History of the Uinta Basin, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)

The Uinta Basin drew little interest during the initial phase of settlement of the Great Basin. Early in the 1860s Brigham Young did order a small expedition to the Uinta Basin to determine the suitability for locating settlements there. Upon the expedition's return, the Deseret News reported that the expedition had found little there and that the basin was a "vast contiguity of waste...valueless excepting for nomadic purposes, hunting grounds for Indians and to hold the world together."

Soon after, most of the Uinta Basin was set aside by Presidential proclamation for an Indian reservation. It was not until the late 1860s, however, that most of the Utes residing in Utah Valley and areas south were relocated to the new Indian reservation. A second temporary Indian reservation, located south of present day Ouray, was established in 1882 following the Meeker incident in western Colorado in 1879. The two reservations encompassed over 3.5 million acres, much of which is semi-arid. Today the Uintah Utes, White River Utes, and Uncompahgre Utes occupy only a small fraction of their former reservation lands; however, the courts have granted to the Utes greater legal jurisdiction over the land which were once the original Indian reservations.

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