Fifty years ago Colorado’s two U.S. Senators, Gordon Allott and Peter Dominick, requested the State of Colorado and the U.S. Geological Survey to publish Mineral and Water Resources of Colorado. “The importance of both of these vital resources to the economic well-being of Colorado cannot be overestimated,” Allott wrote in the report’s foreword. “I requested its preparation for the purpose of making the significant data concerning Colorado’s mineral and water resources widely available to all.” Today, the report continues to be available to all, since it can now be read in digital format courtesy of our library.
Colorado Governor John Love, another sponsor of the report, wrote that “In offering this report to the citizens of Colorado, it is hoped that the report will be used as a quick reference for reliable information, and encourage greater development of our mineral and water resources.” This fervor for development of natural resources was challenged during the next few years as the environmental movement took hold. Candidates sensitive to environmental issues defeated both Allott and Dominick in the early 1970s.
A half a century later the report, prepared in cooperation by the U.S. Geological Survey, the Colorado Mining Industrial Development Board, and the Colorado Water Conservation Board remains a valuable reference listing out the natural resources of Colorado – the state’s geology and topography; the types of minerals that exist in the state; a history of oil and gas exploration; and more. The report is also an important primary source document regarding the history of natural resource development in Colorado. For numerous other documents on the history of Colorado’s natural resources, their development, and their conservation, search our library’s online catalog.