“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Crowheart in Fremont County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)

The Riverton Project

The Riverton Project Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, May 30, 2016
1. The Riverton Project Marker
Inscription.  Portions of the High Plains were not settled until the early 20th century because water was needed for irrigation. Responding to pressure for Western settlement, Congress created the Reclamation Service in 1902. Its purpose was to develop water resources by making possible cultivation of what was considered desert wasteland. One effort was the Riverton Project. Located in the Wind River Basin it was undertaken by the Bureau of Reclamation in 1920.
The Midvale Irrigation District of the Riverton Project involves 73,000 acres, three dams -- Bull Lake Dam to the south and Diversion Dam and Pilot Butte Dam to the east, 100 miles of canals and 300 miles of laterals. Diversion Dam, completed in 1923, diverts water from the Wind River to the Wyoming Canal. It is noteworthy as the first dam in the nation with a road incorporated into its structure and the first to contain a fish ladder.
Historian T.A. Larson describes the Riverton irrigation project as "a perennial object lesson in the formidable difficulties inherent in large-scale reclamation projects in the West." Initially posing financial and engineering problems, it came to involve
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legal and political issues. During the rise of Native American self determination the Arapaho and Shoshone tribes exercised their right to Wind River water, granted by an 1868 treaty. Court battles were fought over water used to irrigate land opened to homesteading by Congress in 1905. The struggle highlights the importance of water to the West.
Erected by Wyoming State Parks and Historic Sites.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1902.
Location. 43° 13.734′ N, 109° 0.516′ W. Marker is in Crowheart, Wyoming, in Fremont County. Marker is on U.S. 287 near U.S. 26, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 10014 US Highway 287, Kinnear WY 82516, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Wyoming Winds (a few steps from this marker); Crowheart Butte (approx. 6.2 miles away).
More about this marker. This marker is located at the Kinnear Rest Area.
The Riverton Project Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, May 30, 2016
2. The Riverton Project Marker
Credits. This page was last revised on September 18, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 28, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 316 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 28, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Mar. 2, 2024