Utah Stories from the Beehive Archive

Browse Items (373 total)

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Maybe you’ve heard it before: “The Nile is the longest river in the world. The Amazon is the largest. But the Colorado is one of the hardest working.” Learn why. Did you know a quarter of Utah’s water comes from one river? That river is the…

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Acid rain used to be a big problem in Salt Lake Valley. As local farmers sought to curb its impact, they found themselves getting “gaslit” about gas emissions from nearby smelters, both in court and in their own fields. Water normally means life…

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Utahns love to visit beautiful Utah Lake for recreation, but the lake’s dangerous conditions remind us to be wary of getting too comfortable on the water. On a calm Sunday afternoon in June 1883, Thomas Yates and some friends from the town of…

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Floyd Dominy was more than a government bureaucrat. As commissioner for the federal Bureau of Reclamation, Dominy was a lightning rod for the controversy over humanity’s relationship to the natural environment and had an outsized impact on the…

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Did you know that one of the oldest roller coasters in the world is right here in Utah? It all started with a pond and a dancehall called “Lagoon.” Learn more about one of Utah’s oldest amusement parks.In the late nineteenth century -- before…

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Water law in the West can be complicated. Find out how river runners helped the government decide who owns the riverbed of the Colorado Basin, and why that even matters to the public. In the late 1920s, the state of Utah wanted to use the riverbeds…

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Underneath Lake Powell is a drowned ghost town that was once an important mining hub and crossroads for the Colorado River community. If you’ve ever visited the north end of Lake Powell, you may have stopped by the Hite Marina for a public restroom…

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Find out how a season of terrible floods left Salt Lake City residents with a memorable scene: their neighbors packing sandbags to create a river running down State Street. The uncharacteristically wet winter and spring seasons between 1982 and 1983…

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When Utah joined the nation’s crusade against polio in the 1950s, officials weren't sure what to do about public pools. Were they a place where children got relief from their symptoms or a nexus for mass infection? After World War II, the United…

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Dams are a vital part of Utah’s water infrastructure -- but they sometimes fail. A breach of the Mammoth Dam in 1917 sent millions of gallons of water rushing downstream, and exposed its poor conditions of construction and operation. On June 24,…

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Utah has an insatiable demand for water, and the Bear River is one of northern Utah’s most abundant sources. Despite this, efforts to fully develop it have long been stymied by a combination of geography and politics. All of Bear River’s natural…

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Recreational boating became popular on Utah’s lakes during the late 1800s, and some entrepreneurs took major risks to make a profit. Learn about one captain who even went down with his ship! In the late 1800s, steamers and sailboats dotted the…

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Utah Lake was once an important and abundant source of fish and wildlife for the Timpanogos Ute people. But by the turn of the twentieth century, Utah Lake’s native fish species had almost completely vanished. Prior to Mormon settlement in 1849,…

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Stocking Utah’s waterways with sport fish is a practice that goes back more than a century – so long ago that many people may think these introduced species are native. Find out how this impacts Utah’s true native fishes. Setting up beside a…

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Stereotyped as dirty and dangerous, Salt Lake City’s Westside was the last to receive sanitation improvements. The city’s slow response to public health concerns helped make the area’s bad reputation worse. Learn more about how public sewer…

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For almost a hundred years, explorers and mapmakers recorded a river that ran west from Utah out to the Pacific Ocean, despite no such waterway ever even existing. From the 1770s to the 1840s, a majority of explorers, politicians, and white settlers…

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Southern Utah’s unreliable Virgin River prevented settlers from achieving their dream of taming the land to grow cotton. Believing they could “make the desert blossom as the rose,” Mormon settlers expanded into southwestern  Utah in the 1850s…

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The Central Utah Project – which is still under construction – began with plenty of optimism and ambition. But politics and the inherent difficulty of moving mountains nearly sank the project. Learn how it survived. The Central Utah Project –…

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The vast plumbing infrastructure of the Central Utah Project is the culmination of Utah’s desires to move water to where we want it to be. Find out how complicated and contentious this endeavor has been. By the mid-twentieth century, the water of…

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When members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints first arrived in Utah in 1847, they set about changing Utah’s arid environment with irrigation techniques and canals that affect our landscape today. Cultural landscapes are a…
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