Natural Resources Department

Natural Resource management is a discipline in the management of natural resources such as land, water, soil, plants, and animals, with a particular focus on how management effects the quality of life for both present and future generations. The discipline has given rise to the notion of sustainable development, a principle which forms the basis for land management and environmental governance throughout the world. The Natural Resources Department is comprised of the following departments: Land, Irrigation, Grazing, and National Animal Identification System.


The new dam structure was constructed to replace an arch dam located 300 feet upstream of the new structure which had experienced severe concrete deterioration due to alkali-aggregate reaction. The old dam was breached with a 6 foot diameter hole, at an invert elevation of 6,139 feet, but the rest of the concrete structure was left in place.

The reservoir provides water for irrigation and stock raising. There are approximately 12,800 acres of land on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation, which is located 35 miles downstream of Wild Horse Dam.

The 12,800 acre irrigation project lies at the center of the Duck Valley Indian Reservation and is separated into two district units. Duck Valley Unit and the Pleasant Valley Unit. Both irrigate lands along with Owyhee River, but are separated from each other by a basalt restriction in the river channel called the "Narrows." The Duck Valley Unit lies upstream and to the south of the Narrows; the Pleasant Valley Unit lies downstream and to the North of the Narrows.

The irrigable lands lie between 5,300 feet and 5,500 feet in elevation and the growing season is short and the winters are comparatively severe.

National Animal Identification System

The Natural Resources Department consists of taking care of the range.