Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge was established in 1928 as a response to an ecological disaster that occurred due to heavy irrigation and the draining of wetlands, resulting in a massive die-off. Once established as a refuge, wetlands were restored through dikes and canals, which are still used to control water levels to this day.
All that work was undone in 1983 when the lake flooded, inundating the wetlands with salt water and damaging refuge structures. It took 6 years for the waters to recede, allowing work to begin on rebuilding water control systems and restoring the habitat.
Eventually, 40,000 acres were restored, and the birds returned once again. And this time, humans from the increasingly urban I-15 corridor came to take advantage of one of the best birdwatching sites in the continental United States.