Moon Lake - Mountain Home UT
The US Bureau of Reclamation built the Moon Lake dam and reservoir in 1935-38. Water supply from the reservoir began in 1938. The curb and parapet were added in 1940-41. Funding came from the Public Works Administration (PWA).
Moon Lake Dam is an earth-fill, rock-faced dam, 101 feet high and with a volume of 513,000 cubic yards. It dams the west branch of the Lake Fork River and the reservoir covers a former natural lake, also called Moon Lake. The Uinta Mountains rise dramatically upstream of the lake.
Moon Lake reservoir is the principle storage facility for the Moon Lake Reclamation Project in northeastern Utah, which provides irrigation water to the Duchesne Valley. Other facilities of the project are the Yellowstone Feeder Canal, Midview Dam and Dike, the Midview Lateral Canal, and the Duchesne Feeder Canal, allowing an exchange of water between the Duchesne River and the Lake Fork/Yellowstone River system. The latter facilities were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).
Ute Indians had established water rights for the irrigation of their lands throughout the Uinta and Duchesne River Basins in the 19th century, but changes in US law allowed White settlers to homestead land belonging to the tribes and, as the settlers began to irrigate, the natural flow of the rivers was insufficient to supply existing Indian rights and irrigate some 75,000 acres owned by White farmers. Therefore, the Utah Water Storage Commission sought the aid of the US Bureau of Reclamation for the Moon Lake Project, which was approved by President Roosevelt in late 1935.
There is a house and garage just above the dam, which appear to be original to the dam construction period. This needs confirmation.
Note: on the day we visited, a forest fire was raging in the mountains behind Moon Lake and the smokey air had a distinctly reddish-brown cast.
Kenneth Baldridge, The Civilian Conservation Corps in Utah: Remembering Nine Years of Achievement, 1933-1942. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2019.
Project originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on February 7, 2016.
Additional contributions by Richard A Walker.
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