More than thirty years ago, the federal government began a flood control project on the Kickapoo River; 149 farms were purchased to make way for a dam and reservoir. The landowners were removed, the farm buildings destroyed, and the first phase of construction begun.
However, after several starts and stops the project was halted in 1973 for environmental and economic reasons. Controversial from the start, people in the area were understandably outraged that they had sacrificed so much and saw no benefit.
In 1996, federal legislation directed the US Army Corps of Engineers to transfer up to 1,200 acres to the Bureau of Indian Affairs in trust for the Ho-Chunk Nation and the remaining 7,369 acres to the State of Wisconsin. Ownership transfer was completed December 28, 2000.
The US Army Corps of Engineers published two brochures as part of the closure of the deauthorized project: "Prehistory and Archeology of the Upper Kickapoo Valley" and "A Brief History of the Kickapoo Valley Reserve". Both are available at the Kickapoo Valley Reserve Visitor Center.
• Archaeology of the Kickapoo Valley
• Kickapoo Valley Reserve
•The La Farge Dam Project