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

Snake/Salt Basin Advisory Group
Meeting Record
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.

Ground Rules

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:

  1. Wait to be recognized
  2. No finger pointing or attacks
  3. No long drawn out discussions
  4. Be a committed participant
  5. If you can't attend a meeting find an alternate
  6. Come prepared, do your homework
  7. No B.S.
  8. Stick to the agenda and time frame
  9. Think big and think small, consider all points of view
  10. Be a spokesperson, let your community know what your role is
  11. Be a good listener
  12. Encourage good overall representation
  13. Be willing to compromise
  14. All meetings are to be facilitated

Conflict Resolution

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.

Issues Identification

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:

  1. Agriculture
  2. Groundwater
  3. Downstream Claims / Compacts / Decrees
  4. Economic Development
  5. Water Quality
  6. Municipal and Domestic
  7. Water Conservation and Reuse
  8. Water Rights and Water Law
  9. Non Consumptive Issues
  10. Water Development
  11. Federal Involvement / Regulations / Lawsuits
  12. Recreation
  13. Industrial / Minerals Extraction / Manufacturing
  14. Disaster and Emergency Response (Drought Mitigation & Flood Control)

Sector Identification

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.