"Looking Back" is a one hour television documentary highlighting the development of high lift irrigation along the Snake River in Idaho.

This documentary chronicles the evolution of high lift pumping along the Snake River's plateaus, as enterprising men harnessed the power of the electric motor, bringing life-giving water to the thirsty Idaho desert soils. 

During the 50's, 60's, and 70's, there were many key factors that influenced the development of high lift projects.

  • The popularity and demand for frozen french fries.
  • New potato processing plants along the Snake River which required more Idaho potatoes.
  • Plentiful and reliable sources of electricity from new Idaho Power dams.  
  • BLM's directive to release public lands with viable Desert Land Entry applications.
  • The pioneering spirit of enterprising men who saw an opportunity and seized it.   

This video showcases 16mm movies taken of clearing sage brush, digging canals, building pump stations, harvesting potatoes by hand, bucking 100 lb sacks onto a flat bed truck, as well as HD aerial footage of the Snake River's picturesque landscapes and dams. 

This story unfolds through narration and interviews with key players that helped bring these projects to life.  Former House Speaker Bruce Newcomb, and Bell Rapids President Greg Brown, gives clarity to this process that led the Bell Rapids farmers to sell their water to the State of Idaho which helped satisfy the Nez Perce water agreement. 

This documentary is written and produced by Randy Quigley, a Magic Valley videographer and agricultural enthusiast,  and narrated by former KMVT news anchor and radio personality, Doug Maughan. 

You can purchase this historic DVD on line though PayPal for $19.99 plus shipping and handling.

Looking Back

At the Snake River Plateaus

An historical look at High Lift Irrigation along Idaho's Snake River ending with the closure of the Bell Rapids Project