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Not All Land

Montana Ag Appreciation Month is underway this month & the talk often turns to early day homesteading. Not all land was available for homesteading back in the “Early Days.” however. A Congressional Measure, approved on August 18, 1894, provided Montana & other states with 1,000,000 acres to be known as “The Carey Act.” That’s a “Million” with a “M.” Having accepted the conditions of the Carey Act in 1895, a board was appointed, consisting of the Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General & State Engineer. The biennial report of the Carey Land Act for the years 1919-1920 segregated lands by the Federal government in the 13 different projects in Montana to 1,742,486 acres. Part of this project was the Valier Project down in Pondera County & resulted in the segregation of 85,389.14 acres of Carey Act Land of which 56,782 acres are irrigable. This project still exists today & is known as the Pondera County Canal & Reservoir Company, & supplies irrigation water from the Rockies to the eastern edges of Pondera County. I’ll be blogging even more about homesteading & water very soon as we all help celebrate Montana Ag Appreciation Month this month.

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