Bear River Basin Advisory Group
Lincoln County Public Library
August 9, 1999
Welcome and Introductions
Facilitator, John Talbot, started off the meeting with introductions of the members of the Bear
River Basin Advisory Group, the consultants and the state staff, including members of the
Wyoming Water Development Commission, WRDS, State Engineers Office, and finally the
general public in attendance. Mr. Talbot also introduced his replacement, Joe Lord. Mr.
Lord gave a brief history on himself and how he came to be selected as the new facilitator.
Next, John Talbot summarized the agenda and expectations for the meeting.
Development of Programs for Local Presentations
The group asked for the State Planning Team to produce a video that explained what the
water planning process is all about. In order to clarify what was expected, Talbot asked the
group if they could be more specific as to what they wanted. Three potential formats were
- Computer presentation, Power Point
- Video, 10-15 minutes
There was some discussion as to who the group is trying to reach with these programs, what
the message is, and whether this is the groups responsibility. The mission statement was read
again. The group feels that it is important to inform the public and try to get more people
involved. Everyone agreed that the more information that the public has, the better their
response will be at a later date. The group feels each member is responsible to represent the
people in their area and to get information out to the public.
Sue Lowry, State Engineers Office, stated that the planning team would start working on an
informational handout for the members to use in the near future, but that a video will take
longer to put together. The video will include information on the river basin planning process
and the purpose of the Basin Advisory Groups, with similar information also available on the
BAG Membership Issues and Alternates
There were changes in the membership at the last meeting. New members were contacted and
asked if they wanted to participate. Additional contacts will be made to finalize the
It was the consensus of the group that the issues that have already been identified are a good
starting point. This is a work in progress and issues can be added as they come to the groups
attention. The reason for the list is to give the consultant a starting point on basin issues to
be addressed in the plan. Assignment of municipal water rights and water transfers continue
to be major concerns.
Executive summary of consultant work tasks - Clarence Kemp, Forsgren and
Clarence discussed the tasks in his
scope of services as relates to the issues previously identified by the basin advisory group.
detailing this information was presented to the group.
Additional topics discussed included:
Guiding Principles - a tool for Wyoming to manage its own resources
Prior Wyoming law/appropriation doctrine
Bear River as a prototype basin plan
A Living or Master Plan
Agency Coordination (WRDS, OGIS, etc.)
Green River Coordination
Continuous update of water data and reference materials
Purposes of Planning
Data Gathering and Centralization
Accurate physical understanding of basin
Prevent/defend potential litigation (avoid a repeat of the Platte River)
Wet year/dry year/average year
Identify conflicting usage, excess availability, etc.
Growth and management tool
Within context of Compact and Wyoming Water Law
Reflective of Public/BAG input
Provide data for understanding decision implications
Clarence explained the basin planning process and products with a flow chart. He outlined
the responsibilities of the consulting team, which is made up of Forsgren & Associates,
Leonard Rice Consulting Water Engineers Inc, Anderson Consulting, and BBC Consulting.
Water Rights Attribution - Mike O'Grady, Frank Carr, States West Water
Mike described the water rights attribution work that will be done as a
part of the Bear River Basin Plan, and Frank explained the process and how this information
is useful for river basin planning and other interests. They pointed out that water rights
attribution would be done for both groundwater and surface water, but this is not a
comparison of the water rights of record to what is actually being irrigated. There will be
no mapping of water rights geographic boundaries.
The September 13, 1999 meeting is scheduled in Cokeville for 6:00 PM at the Cokeville Town
Hall. The group decided to switch to an every other month format beginning with the next
meeting. There will not be a meeting in October, so the next meeting will be on November
8, 1999 in Evanston.
John Talbot reminded members of the need to turn in biographical questionnaires.
The meeting adjourned at 9:20 PM.