John Wesley Powell did, however, explore rivers throughout the Rocky Mountain Region. Those explorations led to the formulation of some of the fundamental principles of geology. Powell went on to develop an understanding of the natural conditions that control society in the arid lands of the Western United States and he developed guidelines for the orderly development of the region.
The development of Powell began when workers came to the area to create a flood irrigation system in the valley now known as Powell Valley. Homesteading began and agriculture became the driving economic force for Powell with the availability of the irrigation water for farm lands. The Shoshone Project oversees irrigation for approximately 88,406 acres surrounding Powell. The water supply for Shoshone Project is obtained from surface runoff, mainly snow melt, above Buffalo Bill Reservoir. Buffalo Bill Dam, situated in a steep narrow canyon between Cedar Mountain and Rattlesnake Mountain, impounds flood waters of the Shoshone River and thereby provides regulation of stream flow for irrigation, flood control, sediment retention, power generation, recreation and fish and wildlife propagation.
- content from Powell Valley of Commerce