Bureau of Reclamation, “Lake Powell: Jewel of the Colorado,” 1965

To build support for western dam projects, the Bureau of Reclamation published “Lake Powell: Jewel of the Colorado,” an illustrated 1965 booklet celebrating the new reservoir created by Glen Canyon Dam. The Bureau also released a documentary film about the history of the dam’s construction and the ways Americans were using its water, power, and recreational opportunities.

How does the Bureau of Reclamation portray the value of Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell, compared to the utility of a free-flowing Colorado River?

How does the booklet reconcile its celebration of natural beauty with its utilitarian attitude towards resource use?


Bureau of Reclamation. Lake Powell: Jewel of the Colorado. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1965.

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