Powder/Tongue River Basin Advisory Group
June 14, 2000
The facilitators selected for the Powder/Tongue Basin Advisory Group, Cathy Lujan and Sherri
Gregory-Schreiner, of Counterpoise Consulting, Inc. of Cheyenne, opened the meeting at
approximately 6:00 pm. They introduced themselves and welcomed participants to the meeting.
The facilitators reviewed the agenda and explained the expectations for the meeting.
Participants introduced themselves by stating their name, affiliation, and place of residence. A
sign-in sheet was passed around the room. The facilitators explained that the purpose of the sign-
in sheet is to compile the name and address of all participants so they can be included on the list
to receive mailings regarding the plan.
Joe Lord introduced the consulting team, which comprised of MSE-HKM as the prime
consultant, and Lord Consulting LLC, Watts and Associates, X10Systems, and Jere Folgert as
subconsultants. He then described the role of each member of the consulting team. Mr. Lord
also explained that the role of the consulting team is to collect data, perform analyses, prepare
reports, and generally to support the planning team and the Basin Advisory Group(BAG) in the
planning process. He stressed the importance of the work of the BAG in the development of the
river basin plan.
Planning Team Issues
Jon Wade described the briefing book that will be distributed to BAG members as a reference
document. They will be distributed at the August BAG meeting in Sheridan.
Jon Wade invited participants to contact the planning team with questions and comments. The
primary means of distributing information and data will be on the Water Plan Website: http://waterplan.state.wy.us/ The e-mail address is
firstname.lastname@example.org Responding to a
question, Jon Wade indicated information will also be mailed to BAG members since not
everyone - has e-mail.
Participants suggested and adopted the following dates and towns for future meetings: August 16
in Ucross or Sheridan; October 11 in Gillette; and December 13 in Kaycee. The planning team
will arrange for meeting sites in each of the towns.
Responding to a question, Jon Wade explained the statutory authority of basin planning, its
purpose, and who it is for.
Barry Lawrence explained that the purpose of the educational presentations is to inform BAG
members on water planning topics. Educational presentations are also used to present and
discuss issues of the specific area of the basin where the meeting is being held. Participants then
brainstormed to generate the following list of potential educational topics:
- Unplugged drill holes, intermixing aquifers
- Discharging coal bed methane water
- Explanation of compact, how much of Wyoming allocation is being used, how much is
- Who owns water after it has been discharged, who is responsible for damages - water law
101 is required
- Need baseline data on water quality
- Recharge rates and areas, geologic section, in particular for the Madison formation
- Explanation of the parameters for the study, i.e. 50 gpm and 10 cfs criteria
- Population projections
- Interaction of State and Federal agencies that permit water, EPA requirements
(CWAP/TMDL's), presentation on Unified Federal Policy
- Sources of funds for water development
- Minimum streamflow identification with economic impacts
- Downstrean states - expectations, requirements, coordination
- Identification of watersheds
- Corps of Engineers 404 permitting process
- Climate projections
- Projections of water use by industry
- TMDL 101
- Industrial water treatment techniques
- Disposal options
- Wyoming Business Council
The Planning Team will arrange for speakers to make presentations on these topics as Possible.
In response to a question Barry Lawrence read the list of suggested educational topics that the
Green River BAG had requested during their sessions. The Group Requested the Right to visit
the list at a later time.
Referring to the record of the meeting of the Powder/Tongue BAG held April 27, 2000, the
facilitators discussed the meeting rules adopted by the BAG. They then asked for a discussion on
the rules and for suggested additions or deletions to the list.
- Wait to be recognized
- No finger pointing or attacks
- No side conversations
- All decisions will be by informed consent
- Alternative opinions welcome
- Stay on task
- Members commit to the group
- Meetings are open to the public with a public comment period at the end of the
- Don't champion causes outside group
The facilitators explained that making decisions by informed consent means there is no voting.
It does not mean there will be 100% agreement on group decisions. However everyone should
agree with the process which has allowed discussion on all sides of an issue and that there is
general acceptance of how the decision was reached by the group.
The facilitators then led an extensive discussion on the role of representatives of state and federal
agencies in the decision-making function of the BAG. Jon Wade stated that the job of the BAG
is not to make policy decisions, but rather to advise the Planning Team. A participant requested
that agency representatives speak to the policies of their agency directly and forthrightly.
The facilitators explained that name tents would be prepared for use at future BAG meetings.
Meeting rules and the BAG mission statement will be printed on the back of the name tents as a
constant reminder to BAG members.
Basin Advisory Group Membership
The facilitators distributed a list of BAG members and explained that the distributed list is an
update of the list mailed previously. Members were asked to review the list to determine if the
BAG has a representative cross-section of the interests in the basin. The facilitators asked if
anyone wished to be removed from BAG membership, however nobody requested to be dropped
from the list.
The following individuals requested BAG membership:
- Michael Hiza
- Curt Symons
- Betsy Pearson
- Verlin Donnar
The group also suggested Dave Spencer, Wyoming Business Council, should be added to the
BAG. The planning team will follow up on this nomination.
The facilitators asked for comments regarding the size of the BAG. One individual responded
that the group size is appropriate and that the group seems to be working together well. Another
individual responded that if the group gets to be too large it could be divided into smaller groups
The facilitators asked for comments regarding input from non-BAG members during the
meeting. Will these individuals be allowed to comment while a topic is being discussed or will
they need to wait until a specified public comment period at the end of the meeting? Will their
time for comment be limited? The group decided that regardless of membership if the comment
pertained to the discussion topic, it should be allowed. If not related to the agenda/discussion it
should be held to the end of the meeting and limited to 5 minutes time.
Responding to a question, Jon Wade noted that the Planning Team prepares meeting
Basin Advisory Group Mission Statement
Responding to a question regarding the relationship between River Basin Planning and the work
of Coordinated Resource Management (CRM) groups, Jon Wade stated that there is minimal
overlap with respect to goals. He further stated that communication between the groups would be
necessary during the planning process.
The mission statement adopted by the Green River BAG was read. Participants were requested
to suggest ideas to be written into a mission statement for the Powder/Tongue BAG. After ideas
were submitted, compiled, evaluated, and discussed, the BAG crafted and adopted the following
Assist in the planning process for the Little Bighorn, Tongue, and Powder River Basins
by addressing the present and future use and conservation of our water resources.
A meeting participant suggested that the Powder/Tongue BAG should not reinvent the wheel
with the issues identification process. It was suggested that the planning team compiled a list of
issues already identified by other groups, such as CRMs and conservation districts for their own
purposes. Powder/Tongue BAG members could then also submit issues to the planning team
and these issues can be added to the list generated by the planning team.
One individual reported that four conservation districts in the basin have jointly compiled a list
of issues. This list will be submitted to the Planning Team to include in the BAG issue list.
A representative of the State Engineer's Office suggested that BAG members should read the
Yellowstone River Compact. Reading the compact will provide an understanding of the
agreement between the States of Wyoming and Montana, and the percentage allocation of water
between the two states.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:45 pm.