Wyoming State Water Plan, Wyoming Water Development Office
Rafting on Snake River Lake Marie, Snowy Mountains Wyoming Wind River Range picture

Platte River Basin Advisory Group
Meeting Record
Laramie, WY
June 8, 2004

Facilitator Sherri Gregory welcomed the group and called the meeting to order at 9:00 am. Sherri asked those in attendance to introduce themselves and reviewed the meeting agenda, a copy of which is attached. A sign-in sheet was circulated to record attendance. Sherri announced that the next BAG meeting would be held on Tuesday, August 10, 2004 at 10:00 am in Douglas. The Douglas meeting location had not been finalized.

Planning Team Issues
River Basin Planning Update:
Barry Lawrence, WWDC, noted that no BAG meetings for any of the other basin plans had been held since the April 13 Platte River Basin BAG meeting in Torrington. Future BAG meetings for other basin plans will be held as follows:

Platte River Cooperative Agreement
Mike Besson, WWDC Director, provided a status report regarding ongoing development of the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program (Program). The Program, which involves the States of Wyoming, Nebraska, and Colorado and the United States Department of the Interior, will, when completed, provide the basis for cooperative improvement and maintenance of endangered species habitat on the Platte River in Nebraska. Mr. Besson noted that the draft U.S. Bureau of Reclamation/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program was released for public review and comment on January 23, 2004 and that the DEIS public review and comment period has been extended to August 20, 2004. Mr. Besson also notified the group of upcoming public hearings to be conducted in Wyoming by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the DEIS and encouraged meeting attendance. The scheduled public comment meeting dates, locations, and times are:

Mr. Besson.s presentation regarding the Cooperative Agreement was based on a list of current Program components and the potential impacts on Wyoming water users if each component is or is not included in the final Program.

During and after Mr. Besson.s presentation, BAG members discussed issues related to the Program and the Cooperative Agreement, including cloud seeding, potential impacts of the Cooperative Agreement on Laramie River Basin water use, and Wyoming.s share of the cost of the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program.

Consultant Update
Joel Farber of Trihydro Corporation reminded the BAG members about the pig roast that would be held following the meeting at the new Trihydro office building. He then turned the floor over to John Galbreath and Shanna Fisher of Trihydro. Mr. Galbreath explained to the group that Trihydro would produce two major products during fulfillment of Trihydro.s role as WWDC project consultant, including:

  1. Basin plan documents, and
  2. A Basin Plan .educational tool..
Mr. Galbreath presented the most recent version of the educational tool website to the group and explained that the site would be called the Platte River Basin Water Atlas (PRWA). The PRWA will be developed from the river basin plan and will be a tool containing information of a less technical nature than the complete river basin planning website. The site will include a series of maps with supporting text and statistics, and will also include links to related sites such as the site containing the completed Wyoming river basin plans. Referencing handout Table 1, Mr. Galbreath reviewed the Platte River Basin Plan and educational tool organization and contents.

Shanna Fisher of Trihydro briefly discussed the design, formatting, and layout of the Platte River Basin Water Atlas. She noted that the purpose of the site would be to serve as an informational tool providing an overview of water use on the Platte River for the public. The website is a work-in-progress and will grow as data for the basin plan is collected and organized. Ms. Fisher provided a handout showing the site layout and described current site features.

Mr. Galbreath followed up by answering questions from the group regarding project specifics. Mr. Galbreath then discussed additional handout tables summarizing data that had been collected for the project. This data included a draft list of basin industrial water users based on current State Engineer.s Office permits, agencies and organizations that have potential interest in basin environmental water issues, and a list of reservoirs in the basin that have permitted capacities greater that 1,000 ac-ft. Mr. Galbreath requested BAG input regarding appropriate additions or deletions to the lists. Several BAG members provided additional information regarding these documents.

US Forest Service
Following a short break, Jim Meyer of the U.S. Forest Service spoke about managed timber harvest policies and issues on U.S. Forest Service land. Mr. Meyer informed the group that the Medicine Bow National Forest is in the final stages of completing a revised forest plan. The Medicine Bow National Forest consists of 1.1 million acres, of which 80 percent is covered with trees. Peak forest timber harvest occurred during the period 1955-1960. With the onset of the current drought, lodgepole pine and spruce are evidencing beetle infestation. Mr. Meyer described the different types of trees in the forest and discussed the best timber management practices for each. Additionally, Mr. Meyers described the different types and benefits of timber management used by the Medicine Bow National Forest. A lengthy discussion followed.

Dave Gloss of the U.S. Forest Service then spoke about the impacts of forest management on stream flows. His presentation covered the effects of forest management on runoff, current management issues facing the Medicine Bow National Forest, relevant Medicine Bow National Forest Plan revisions, and historic and projected changes in stormwater runoff from the Medicine Bow National Forest.

The BAG adjourned shortly after 12:00 pm.