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Records of the Four States Irrigation Council

 Collection
Identifier: WFSI

Scope and Contents

The Records of the Four States Irrigation Council consists of documents dated 1952 to 2016, with the bulk falling from 1974 to 1999. The documents were chiefly created in relation to annual meetings, board meetings, and summer tours. Materials mainly include proceedings, programs, and correspondence. There is a nearly comprehensive run of proceedings from 1952 to 1997, excluding the years 1982 and 1993. Thereafter, the council stopped printing proceedings. Other materials include bylaws, board meeting minutes, membership lists, financial documents, notes, photographs, news clippings, a CD, and a commemorative pin.

Dates

  • 1952-2016
  • Majority of material found in 1974-1999

Restrictions on Access

All "confidential" markings have been determined to be for administrative purposes, not national security information; therefore, these materials are open for access. However, the collection is stored off-site, so advance notice is required.

Restrictions on Use

Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.

History

Four States Irrigation Council (FSIC), established in 1952, serves as a resource for those interested or involved in irrigation and water delivery issues in the states of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, and Nebraska. FSIC hosts annual meetings and summer tours within the four states to explore how to better understand and resolve water issues facing farmers and citizens. As a forum for discussion, the council seeks to communicate their knowledge with not only one another but also with their communities as they share resources and bring attention to agriculture and irrigation in their e-newsletter.

Formed in the later months of 1951, FSIC conducted the first of its annual meetings in 1952. According to L. I. Hewes, Jr., the Chief of Land Use and Settlement in the Region 7 Headquarters of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the meeting was held in Denver and brought together "about half a hundred" farmers and irrigators in a bid for unity regarding the rising costs of conducting business. The meeting also enabled Reclamation to bring their project participants in the four states together in one location.

The first meeting proved to be such a success that the second annual meeting in 1953 was hosted by what was then Colorado A & M, now Colorado State University (CSU), in Fort Collins. At that meeting, officers for the succeeding year were elected, membership details were agreed upon, and bylaws were passed. Each meeting since has seen a variety of presentations including, but not limited to, information regarding technology advancements, irrigation solutions, construction projects, and input from Reclamation. Lasting typically between two and three days, the meetings also have an annual theme that unites the presentations and topics at hand.

Additionally, the summer tours are an aspect of the council's research, work, and exploration into irrigation issues and water delivery. The tours visit locations within Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, and Nebraska where irrigated agriculture issues are prevalent, and they view Reclamation projects and other dam and canal operations to help members gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of how other ditch companies operate. The council has visited places like the Chimney Hollow Reservoir site in Larimer County, Colorado, and the Colorado-Big Thompson Project facilities in Grand County, Colorado. In 1985, FSIC began exploring the idea of merging with the Upper Missouri Water Users Association (UMWUA), now Upper Missouri Water Association, which represents the states of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. In 1988, after three years of discussion, the two associations created the Missouri River Basin Coalition in order to conduct joint meetings. In 2001, FSIC made a decision to hold the joint meetings exclusively in Fort Collins and that led to the dissolution of the Missouri River Basin Coalition.

FSIC has received multiple awards for its work, including the Conservation Service Award from the Department of Interior in 1960 and a Certificate of Appreciation from the National Water Resources Association in 1992. In addition to receiving merited recognition, the council also recognizes the work of its own members with the Headgate Award, Ditchrider Award, and Water Master Award. FSIC seeks to enhance the community exploration, understanding, and interest in irrigation and water and, therefore, in 2015 established the Four States Irrigation Council Scholarship, which offers financial aid to undergraduate or graduate students pursuing a degree in an agriculture, water, and/or an irrigation-related field. Four States Irrigation Council remains committed to water delivery and irrigation issues in the Western United States and continues to offer a forum of discussion to further the understanding and appreciation of water resources.

Extent

7.5 linear feet (5 record cartons)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Four States Irrigation Council (FSIC), established in 1952, serves as a resource for those interested or involved in irrigation and water delivery issues in the states of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, and Nebraska. FSIC hosts annual meetings and summer tours within the four states to explore how to better understand and resolve water issues facing farmers and citizens. The collection consists of documents created in relation to annual meetings, board meetings, and summer tours. Materials mainly include proceedings, programs, and correspondence.

Arrangement

The collection arrived in rough groupings, with some chronological arrangement. Some rearrangement was done to create the series below.

The collection consists of 2 series in 5 boxes:

Series 1: Chronological files, 1952-2016 and undated

Series 2: Administrative and miscellaneous files, 1952-2015 and undated

Acquisition

The Records of the Four States Irrigation Council was donated to the Water Resources Archive in 2020 by Eric Brown, a member-at-large representing his employer, Northern Water, on behalf of the council. The files were maintained starting in about 1986 by member-at-large Brian Werner, an employee of Northern Water, prior to donation. Werner served as the FSIC's de facto coordinator for 25 years beginning in 1987.

Related Collections

Both the Papers of Frank Milenski and the Records of the North Poudre Irrigation Company contain materials related to the Four States Irrigation Council.

Processing

Processing was completed in May 2022. Metal clips were removed and replaced with plastic ones as necessary. Sets of bound proceedings were disbound. The collection was refoldered in acid-free folders as necessary and reboxed. Duplicate items beyond two copies, most financial material other than reports, and most documents about meeting logistics were removed. A CD was placed in a protective sleeve. A pin was fastened to foam and placed in a protective baggie.

Title
Guide to the Records of the Four States Irrigation Council
Status
Completed
Author
Prepared by Terrie Farley and Patricia J. Rettig
Date
Copyright 2022
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA
970-491-1844