Snake/Salt Basin Advisory Group
Middle School Gymnasium, Jackson, WY
May 15, 2001
Facilitators Sheri Gregory-Schreiner and Cathy Lujan opened the meeting at 6:05
pm. The agenda was reviewed and the initial ground rules were identified for the benefit
of the group. Group members were asked to wait to be recognized, respect all opinions,
and stick to the issues at hand. Introductions of all people in attendance then followed,
and a sign in sheet was passed around.
John Jackson, WWDC - John Jackson of the Wyoming Water Development
Commission (WWDC) presented the group with an overview of the Water Development
Program and a brief description of the agency's mission. For more information please
visit the agency website at http://wwdc.state.wy.us/
The river basin planning process was initiated in 1999 when planning began in the Green
and Bear River Basins. Since this time, basin plans have been completed in the Bear and
Green River Basins, and plan development is underway in the Northeast and
Powder/Tongue River Basins. Each basin plan is scheduled to be revisited every five
years, thus keeping the plans current. John completed his presentation by stressing the
importance of this group's participation in the planning process. With help from the
citizens of the basin, this planning effort will accurately reflect the water uses and issues
of the basin.
Jon Wade and Barry Lawrence , WWDC - Jon Wade and Barry Lawrence
presented an overview of the river basin planning process, and discussed the status of the
ongoing and completed river basin plans. For more information please visit the water
planning website at http://waterplan.state.wy.us/
Evan Simpson, Sunrise Engineering - Evan Simpson of Sunrise Engineering
began by introducing himself as the project manager hired to develop the Snake / Salt
(SS) River Basin Plan. Evan introduced the other members of his team and the firms
that have been hired as subconsultants to Sunrise. Evan briefly discussed the scope of the
study to familiarize the group with the direction this study would be taking. Evan
reiterated the importance of this group, and stated that everyone has a different specialty
to bring to the group.
Dan Budd and Ann Strand, Green River BAG Members - Ann began her
presentation by telling the group about the Colorado River Basin Coordinating Council,
the Green River Basin Advisory Group, and the water planning process. Ann felt that the
process was very important to the people of the Colorado River Basin because of the
downstream demands for water. Ann stated that the plan was not finished and never
would be. The plan changes with every water right and needs to be regularly updated.
Ann then introduced Dan Budd. Dan described the planning process as frustrating and
very important. With droughts in the Pacific NW and shortages in CA, he stated that all
eyes would be on Wyoming's water. Dan added that each person has a priority and each
priority can be satisfied, whether recreational, visual, agricultural or other. He told the
SS BAG that you may not always agree with the other members of your BAG on the
issues at hand, but the plan will come together. It will be your plan, not the State's. Dan
concluded by saying that the members present should hang in and be committed.
Break - 7:05 pm
Role of the Basin Advisory Group
The facilitators introduced this section of the meeting by explaining some of the
expectations for the BAG. The group will have bi-monthly meetings that rotate around
the basin. This helps minimize the drive time for members in outlying areas of the basin,
and enables additional participation by those who are interested in this process and may
not be able to drive great distances to every meeting. The facilitators also reminded the
group that they were to serve in an advisory role and not in a policy setting role. All
group members will receive reference notebooks that are specific to their basin.
Reference notebooks contain factual information on the waters of the basin. The WWDC
will regularly provide updates to the notebooks, which may contain the agendas for the
upcoming meeting, meeting records for the previous meeting, and PowerPoint
presentation handout slides from prior meetings. Group members were encouraged to
read their notebooks and review the updates prior to the meetings. The facilitators closed
by stating that the information has to flow both ways, and that participants must be
committed and involved.
Following in the footsteps of existing BAGs, the attendees present decided to
develop a list of ground rules to be used, in addition to the three previously mentioned by
the facilitators. These rules will be added to the name tents used by the BAG members at
each meeting to remind all who are participating of their responsibilities in the process.
The rules that were developed are as follows:
- Wait to be recognized
- No finger pointing or attacks
- No long drawn out discussions
- Be a committed participant
- If you can't attend a meeting find an alternate
- Come prepared, do your homework
- No B.S.
- Stick to the agenda and time frame
- Think big and think small, consider all points of view
- Be a spokesperson, let your community know what your role is
- Be a good listener
- Encourage good overall representation
- Be willing to compromise
- All meetings are to be facilitated
The facilitators began this portion of the meeting with a discussion on the four
types of conflict resolution. The first type of conflict resolution that was addressed was
voting. This method produces winners and losers, and that is not the intent of this
process. The next method of conflict resolution involves the court system. This method
does not apply to this group, as they do not set policy. The third option is to simply
ignore the problem, however no solutions are reached and nothing gets accomplished this
way. The last option is called informed consent. Informed consent protects the minority
opinion and allows all ideas to be heard. Even if all participants do not agree on the
outcome, they agree on the process that was used in reaching the outcome. All meetings
will be open to the public, and all persons can voice their opinions. Everyone will be
asked to leave their personal agendas and be prepared to talk about the needs of the basin
as a whole.
Next the group identified the main topics to be included in the issues they will
develop for their basin. Fourteen issues were previously identified in a statewide survey
as being important to all basins. The group did not add to this list. Those issues were
presented as follows:
- Downstream Claims / Compacts / Decrees
- Economic Development
- Water Quality
- Municipal and Domestic
- Water Conservation and Reuse
- Water Rights and Water Law
- Non Consumptive Issues
- Water Development
- Federal Involvement / Regulations / Lawsuits
- Industrial / Minerals Extraction / Manufacturing
- Disaster and Emergency Response (Drought Mitigation & Flood Control)
The facilitators next asked the group how they wanted to be represented on the
BAG. The group decided to see who volunteered to be on the BAG before determining
what sectors needed to be added.
Break - 8:10 pm
BAG Member Identification
The group reconvened from the break to determine their BAG membership.
Many of those in attendance volunteered to serve. There were also a few nominations for
membership on the BAG, including the desire to have representation from the Wyoming
Game & Fish, US Forest Service, and the National Park Service. The planning team will
attempt to contact those who were nominated to ascertain their willingness to serve in this
capacity. A preliminary list of members will be provided at the next meeting.
The last item on the agenda was for the group to identify meeting locations for the next
three meetings. On June 25th, the group will meet in Alpine at 6pm. On August 6th, the
group will meet in Afton at 6 pm, with dinner being provided by Evan Simpson, Sunrise
Engineering at 5 pm. On October 8th, the group will meet in Jackson at 6 pm.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 pm.