PART IV THE GREAT DIVIDE
Despite the water agreement reached at Pipe Spring National Monument on June 9, 1924, between the National Park Service, Office of Indian Affairs, and Charles C. Heaton (representing area cattlemen), the issues of water rights and distribution came up again in the summer of 1929 and continued to surface into the 1930s.  They primarily arose from the Office of Indian Affairs' concern about the amount of water being used on the monument by caretaker Leonard Heaton. Prior to Heaton's appointment, little if any monument water was used for landscape maintenance. There is no evidence of landscaping activities at Pipe Spring while the monument was under John White's direction, other than removal of fences and corrals. With Park Service permission, White did maintain a small family garden, and the Office of Indian Affairs had made no objection to that concession. However, once Leonard Heaton was hired as monument caretaker in early 1926 things quickly changed. In addition to the Heaton brothers' pond (mentioned in Part III), two new reservoirs (the meadow ponds) were built to impound spring water for irrigation. Some of the water was used to irrigate land for the Heatons' personal use (for grazing meadows, gardens, and fruit trees) while other water from Pipe Spring sustained vegetation of direct benefit to the public (shade trees around the fort and nearby camping areas). Although Heaton's planting activities demanded ever-increasing amounts of water to maintain, a surprising five-year period of calm reigned between the signing of the 1924 agreement and 1929 when conflict over water issues erupted once again to a level requiring involvement by Washington's Department of the Interior officials. To understand why this was so, one must know what was happening a few miles to the north.
Last Updated: 28-Aug-2006