In 1881, following a uprising of Colorado Utes, the federal government
forcibly removed members of the Yamparka and Parianuc bands (known as
the White River Utes) to the Uintah Reservation. The peaceful Taviwac
(Uncompahgre Utes), led by Chief
Ouray, could not escape removal, but managed to obtain their own
reservation in 1882 -- the 1,912,320 acre Ouray Reservation, situated
on the Tavaputs Plateau, immediately south of the Uintah Reservation.
The two reservations maintained separate agencies at Whiterocks and Ouray until the Bureau of Indian Affairs
merged their administration in 1886. The Indian agency was moved from
Whiterocks to Fort Duchesne after the
military post closed in 1912.
In 1888 Congress removed a triangular "strip" of 7,004 acres containing
valuable Gilsonite deposits from the eastern end of the Uintah Reservation,
and in 1897 mining interests influenced Congress to begin allotment
of the Ouray Reservation. In 1904, Congress approved 80-acre individual
allotments for the Uintah and White River Utes of the Uintah Reservation.
The Uintah-Ouray Reservation shrank from nearly four million acres in
1882 to a jointly owned 250,000-acre grazing reserve and 1,283 individual
allotments totaling 103,265 acres by 1909. In 1905 the federal government
withdrew over 1,100,000 acres for the Uinta
National Forest and 56,000
acres in 1909 for the Strawberry Valley Reclamation project, throwing
the remaining reservation land open for public sale. Sales of individual
allotments further reduced Northern Ute holdings.