Logging, Grazing, and Irrigation

Cattle and sheep grazing together in the Cache National Forest


From 1860–1890 the population of Cache Valley grew quickly.  The increasing number of settlers transformed the landscape to meet their needs and make profits in the national economy.  They plowed under valley grasslands to plant fields of crops.  To water their fields they built sophisticated irrigation systems that diverted mountain streams from their natural course.  In the mountains, entire forests were removed to provide lumber for the expanding community and railroad industry.  And by 1890, the livestock boom in the West brought thousands of cattle and sheep to the area, creating overgrazing problems on the Bear River Range.  The sources contained in this section highlight these issues and more.