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
Alpine, Wyoming
June 25, 2001


The facilitators Sherri Gregory-Schreiner and Cathy Lujan of Counterpoise Consulting opened the meeting at 6:10 p.m. The agenda was reviewed for the meeting and those in attendance made introductions, by stating their names and also their affiliation.

Planning Team Issues

The facilitators indicated that briefing books and name tents would be distributed at the next BAG meeting. A list of planning team contact information would be created and made available at that time also. It was then discussed that at the start of every BAG meeting the next few BAG meetings would be scheduled with locations and dates. The following are the locations, dates, and times for the next three BAG meetings:

Afton, August 6, 2001 6 p.m. (Dinner @ 5 p.m.)
Jackson, October 8, 2001 6 p.m.
Alpine, December 10, 2001 6 p.m.

Consultant Update - Sunrise Engineering, Inc.

Evan Simpson of Sunrise Engineering, Inc. introduced the members of his team; Brad Jorgensen also of Sunrise Engineering, Inc., Bob Ablondi of Rendezvous Engineering, P.C. and Bob Norton of Nelson Engineering. Evan discussed the progress of getting all of the agreements in place with all of the sub-consultants that will be working on this project. He briefly mentioned what tasks each team member would be working on.

Planning Team Issues (continued)

Barry Lawrence, WWDC River Basin Planner, reported on the planning efforts currently underway in the other basins. The Northeast Basin and Powder/Tongue River Basins are on a parallel timeline to each other with plan completion scheduled for the end of the year. HKM Engineering of Sheridan, Wyoming is the consulting firm doing this work. Currently the consultant is finishing up the water use profiles and is busy modeling the basin. Barry then reported that the plan for the Green River Basin has been completed and the task of placing the plan on the website is nearly complete. The review of the draft plan for the Bear River Basin has also been completed and the consultants are finalizing the plan. The Wind/Bighorn Basin planning process is just getting underway and is on a similar track to that of the Snake/Salt Basin. BRS Inc. out of Riverton has been retained to complete the Wind/Bighorn Basin Plan. BAG formation for that basin began in May as well.

Revisit Ground Rules

The ground rules that were discussed during the previous meeting were taken out and reviewed. The group agreed to adopt the ground rules as stated. It was noted that these rules would be printed on the back of the name tents.

Basin Advisory Group Membership

There was some concern expressed regarding the low numbers (approximately 25 persons) that were in attendance at this BAG meeting. Various reasons were speculated why the numbers were so low and it was stated that many had contacted people that were present at previous meetings and were informed of conflicts in schedule. Several farmers were not in attendance because of haying season.

No changes were made to the original BAG membership list at this time, however there were others that expressed interest in becoming a part of the BAG. State staff will continue to pursue member nominations, with the list being revisited at the next meeting.

Educational Presentations

The facilitators asked the BAG what types of water related topics and presentations they would like to hear about in future meetings. The following educational presentations were suggested:

Endangered species
Game & Fish (Status on Fisheries)
Lower Valley Energy/ Jackson Lake Dam/ Strawberry Power Plant
Water Law/ Compacts
Instream Flow
Water Projects Affecting Future Use
Trans-Basin Plans
Water Use Conversion from Agricultural to Development
Salt River - Flood Irrigation to Sprinklers (Brian Venn, UW Student)
Irrigation & Agriculture
Bureau of Reclamation - Salmon Recovery and Jackson Lake Operations
GW/SW Rights Availability
U.S. Forest Service
DEQ (Total Maximum Daily Loads)
National Park Service
State Engineer's Office

Basin Advisory Group Mission Statement

After the BAG members were given the opportunity of presenting their ideas on what they felt should be included in a mission statement, the attendees worked together to combine or remove items that collectively they all agreed upon. The mission statement that was agreed upon is as follows:

Recognize the diversity of the Snake/Salt Basins and identify water resource issues and concerns relating to the use, distribution and conservation of water. Develop recommendations to conserve, protect, and enhance water resources to benefit the quality of life for people, livestock and wildlife, and the health of the watershed now and in the future.

Issues Identification Process

Members in attendance began identifying the major issues/sub-issues associated with the water resources of the Snake/Salt Basin. This list will be revisited at the next meeting.

  1. - Water Quality
    • Monitor Water Quality
    • Pollution of Water Sources
    • Protect Streams from Pollution
    • Water Quality, Is It Getting Better or Worse, and Why?
    • Domestic & Culinary Use

  2. - Environmental Concerns
    • Aesthetics and the Character of Streams and Rivers
    • Wetlands
    • Wildlife - Eagles, Ducks, etc.
    • Protection of Riparian Areas from Development

  3. - Recreation
    • Enough Water for White Water Rafting
    • Active and Passive Recreation
    • Visitor Use vs. Local Use
    • Fishing
    • Water as a Visual Resource - The Importance of Water in a Dry Climate
    • Consider Economic Impacts of Fishing and Other Water Recreation

  4. - Agriculture
    • Maintain Existing Irrigation Water Rights
    • Improve Irrigation Efficiency
    • Agricultural Use
    • Saving the Livelihood of Farms in Star Valley

  5. - Other Uses / Consumptive
    • Bottled and Trucked Out Water

  6. - Water Law / Compacts
    • How Can We Advise the Planning Team to Acquire a Say in the Storage, Release, and Use of the Water Released From Jackson Lake?

  7. - Growth
    • Continued Population Increases (Water Adjudication)
    • Plan for Orderly Growth
    • How Much Water Do We Need in the Basin and Do We Still Have It?
    • Population in the Basin - Growth and the Resulting Demand for Water
    • Training Administrators
    • Training Operators for Water and Wastewater

  8. - Fisheries
    • Maintain Water Quality for Fish Habitat
    • Protect Instream Flows

  9. - Wastewater
    • Wastewater Treatment
    • Wastewater Reuse

The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.