The Federal Land Reclamation Act
"An Act Appropriating the receipts from the sale and disposal of public lands in certain States and Territories to the construction of irrigation works for the reclamation of arid lands". The act identifies 16 states and territories included in the project: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. It requires surplus fees from sales of land be set aside for a "reclamation fund" for the development of water resources.
Below are listed the larger of the irrigation projects of the United States, with the area reclaimed or to be reclaimed as of 1925.
Arizona: Salt River, 182,000
Arizona-California: Yuma, 158,000
California: Orland, 20,000
Colorado: Grand Valley, 53,000; Uncompahgre Valley, 140,000
Idaho: Boise, 207,000; Minidoka, 120,500
Kansas: Garden City, 10,677
Montana: Blackfeet, 122,500; Flathead, 152,000; Fort Peck, 152,000; Huntley, 32,405; Milk River, 219,557; Sun River, 174,046
Montana-North Dakota: Lower Yellowstone, 60,116
Nebraska-Wyoming: North Platte, 129,270
Nevada: Truckee-Carson, 206,000
New Mexico: Carlsbad, 20,261; Hondo, 10,000; Rio Grande, 155,000
North Dakota: North Dakota Pumping, 26, 314
Oregon: Umatilla, 36,300
Oregon-California: Klamath, 70,000
South Dakota: Belle Fourche, 100,000
Utah: Strawberry Valley, 50,000
Washington: Okanogan, 10,999; Sunnyside, 102,824; Tieton (Teton), 34,071
Wyoming: Shoshone, 164,122
Oh, look! The federal government built the Klamath irrigation system. I don't see the Kroll and Nielsen Dam on that list.
Aldo Leopold wrote a book Sand County Almanac in which he detailed the complex seasonal relationship of the climate, the soil, the water, the plants and animals on his land. He noted that we exploit rather than understanding these relationships and treat them as if they were infinite. In doing so, he said, we are destroying the environment that sustains us. He stated that until we come up with a land ethic and live by it we will keep on destroying our environment. He wrote this book in the 1950s. Since then we have increased our supply of people like the Bundys who would rather get the last drop of water for themselves than work together, reduce demands, and find an alternative to destruction of the environment.And there you have it. Without FEDERAL government intervention in the first place, those land areas are unable to grow crops because they don’t have the water to do so without irrigation. But somehow when a problem arises, it’s suddenly a “state’s rights” issue.
I swear, the right wingers get dumber by the day.