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Snow Survey Centennial: 1906-2006
"In 1906 I offered to climb Mount Rose every month for a year to obtain temperatures on mountaintops. The United States Weather Bureau furnished the thermometers, the Adams Fund was available for research in agriculture, and the Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station was willing. The Study of snow was begun."
- Dr. James E. Church, The Snow Surveyors' Forum, Western Snow Conference, 1952.
The Mt. Rose snow sampler and scale were developed and patented by Dr. Church in the winter of 1908-09 to determine the water equivalent of the snow deposited on the ground. In the spring of 1910, Dr. Church produced a forecast of the Lake Tahoe rise, the first recorded water supply forecast in the western United States.
The Federal government entered the snow survey picture on July 1, 1935, by an Act of Congress. The goal was to coordinate and expand the system of snow surveys for water supply forecasting to all of the western states. The techniques developed by Dr. Church and others were the beginning of the current NRCS Snow Survey and Water Supply Forecasting Program that is carried out by NRCS field personnel.
In 2006, the Program celebrated the 100th anniversary of that first snow survey on Mt. Rose. Here's a collection of articles which commemorate highlights from the last century.
- Introduction: We Get Paid for This?
- The Snow Survey and Water Supply Forecasting Program
- Unlimited Horizons
- Monte Cristo Snow Course, 1936
- Beginnings of the Western Snow Conference
- Early Snow Survey Program Economics
- Excerpts from the Diary of Paul Willmore
- Benefits of the Snow Survey and Water Supply Forecasting Program
- Snow Surveying in Moose Country can be Dangerous
- Cabin Fever
- Surviving the Santa Fe Watershed, 2003
- History of Data Collection on Mt. Rose, Nevada
- Water Supply Forecasting Through the Ages
- The First Honorary Memberships to the Western Snow Conference
- Water Forecasts Key for Salmon Tract Irrigators
- The First Water Supply Forecasts
- Operation Sno-Cat Cascade
- Whiskey and Snow Snakes
- The Salt River Project and the Arizona Cooperative SSWSF Program
- Trip Report: Lightning Creek Trail Snow Survey Accident
- Hole-in-Mountain Avalanche
- The Lake Vanda Swim Club
- The Last of a Good Thing
- Flameout Over Evening Star
- The Today and Tomorrow of Snow and Water Supply Forecasting
- Snow Survey Transportation Through the Years
- SNOTEL Electronics History
- Shotguns and Bears Beware
- The Navajo Nation Cooperative SSWSF Program
- Canada, Mexico and the USA
- How Snow Survey Data and Products are Used