“Saloons and disreputable places of Hazen [Nev.] June 24, 1905. By Lubken

From the series:  Photographs of Irrigation Projects, 1896 - 1938Records of the Bureau of Reclamation, 1889 - 2008.

From 1903 to 1917, Walter J. Lubken (1881-1960) was an official photographer for the U.S. Reclamation Service (USRS), now the the Bureau of Reclamation (on Tumblr at usbr​). During these years, Lubken took thousands of photographs documenting the Reclamation Service’s irrigation projects across the American West. He recorded the progress of construction projects as well as USRS machinery and personnel. The agency also asked Lubken to photograph nearby towns and farms for a series of articles designed to promote settlement on land reclaimed from the desert through irrigation.

via Picturing the Century : Portfolio: Walter Lubken

The Secretary of the Interior on Wednesday decided against releasing water down the Trinity River to ensure the survival of the salmon runs expected this month.  The virtual trickle of water is low, too warm, and clogged with moss, while corporate farms in California’s Central Valley are receiving the government subsidized water.  The people of the Hoopa Valley Tribe and Yurok Tribe on the Trinity-Klamath Rivers are very worried that they will face another massive fish kill, as happened in 2002 under the same conditions.

Lost & Found

“Diamond drill bit carrying eight stones weighing 21.15 kt. lost in hole D200 W147 on December 10, 1922, during early Black Canyon explorations, and recovered at 2:00 A.M., June 9, 1933, at elevation 519, Assistant Engineer Don Walter in charge.”, 6/26/1933

From the series:  Photograph albums, 1903 - 1972. Records of the Bureau of Reclamation, 1889 - 2008.

According to scope & content notes, this photo of an errant diamond drill bit  was from a series of photo albums documenting the construction of Hoover Dam, Boulder City, Nevada. (From the records of usbr)

This photo of a Roadrunner was taken at Davis Cove backwater (Lake Mohave). “We have trail cameras in place to capture bird predation on razorbacks and bonytail,” said Biological Science Technician Jeff Anderson, Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program - Fisheries Lab. “But this isn’t the species of bird we had in mind.” The automatic camera took the photo in early November 2014. For more information on the LCMSCP visit: http://www.lcrmscp.gov/

Lake Mead About to Hit a Critical New Low as 15-Year Drought Continues in Southwest
Lake Mead is about to reach 1,075 feet in elevation, which will trigger the first mandatory water cuts in history. Drought, climate change and poor water management have contributed to the situation.


The reservoir is only days away from hitting 1,075 feet, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s projections. That number is the threshold set in a 2007 agreement as part of the U.S. Department of Interior’s Colorado River Interim Guidelines, which calls for delivery cuts if water levels in Lake Mead drops below that level.

These cuts will be the first set of mandatory water delivery curtailments to Lake Mead. Should the water levels continue to drop, as they are expected to—due to the prolonged drought, climate change and poor water management—more cuts will be required.

The Bureau of Reclamation predicts the first round of cuts could take place in January 2017 with Arizona and Southern Nevada seeing the biggest cuts. Arizona plans to curtail “groundwater recharge efforts” and cut “deliveries to farmers with low-priority rights,” according to the Las Vegas Sun. Arizona’s cities “would be unaffected, at least initially.” Southern Nevada, for its part, “has prepared with conservation, saving enough water that residents and businesses won’t be affected if a portion no longer is available.”

The following graphic is from The Bathtub Ring Project (and here’s the link):

Huge laser show projected on Grand Coulee Dam

Huge laser show projected on Grand Coulee Dam

A 300-foot-tall coyote face stares out from the face of Grand Coulee Dam during the laser show, shown nightly in the summer. The laser light show that explains the history of the area and the dam shows nightly through the season. It’s the largest outdoor show in North America and is something to see, newly updated in 2014. What time does the laser light show begin? The laser show is held nightly…

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Wonder what is going on near Nimbus Dam? The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation and other partners are placing spawning gravel in the American River for returning Chinook salmon and steelhead. The project will be over in time for returning fall-run fish to dig their redds in the area.

Photo: Steve Martarano/USFWS

CCC Camp BR-79 Kendrick Project: “Kitchen of Company No. 2136. S. K. Wagner, photographer.”, 01/29/1940

From the series: Civilian Conservation Corps Photographs and Related Correspondence, 1939 - 1941. Records of the Bureau of Reclamation, 1889 - 2008

More background on the Kendrick Project via the Bureau of Reclamation (They’re also on Tumblr at usbr)

Lake level held down for maintenance on dam

Lake level held down for maintenance on dam

The boat launch at Crescent Bay on Lake Roosevelt is currently high and dry, but Spring Canyon and up to 11 of 22 launches in the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area still reach the water. Spring Canyon, the lowest reaching launch, goes down to elevation 1,222.

Lake Roosevelt is being held at a level about 47 feet below the full mark while maintnenace is completed on the drum gates that hold…

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Dept. of Interior Whistleblower: Records Were Altered

Dept. of Interior Whistleblower: Records Were Altered

“A whistleblower complained that the bureau in Sacramento erased records within an Interior Department database and altered spreadsheets in an effort to hide mismanagement of collections under the agency’s control…”

Thank you to whistleblower Patrick Williams: “They more or less wanted to sweep it under the rug,” Williams said in an interview. “They were telling me to change things they didn’t…

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