The Uinta County Conservation Districts water program was initiated when three of Uinta County's major rivers were placed on the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality's 303(d) list of impaired waters.
The Blacks Fork and Smiths Fork Rivers, located on the eastern side of the county, were both listed as impaired due to e.coli bacteria and the Smiths Fork was also listed for habitat degradation causing excess sediment loading to the stream. The Bear River, on the western side of the county, was listed as impaired due to excess sediment in the stream which was affecting aquatic life in the river. Watershed plans are completed and approved for these rivers. For more information or to receive a copy of the watershed plans, please contact us at (307) 787-3070, or click HERE to send an email.
In order to address these listings, UCCD pursued watershed planning in both Blacks Fork / Smiths Fork and Bear River areas; and worked hard to involve the local communities in the planning process. UCCD and the local steering committees have completed two watershed plans, the Blacks Fork / Smiths Fork Watershed Plan and the Upper Bear River Watershed Plan (if you would like to read the plans, stop in our office anytime!). Both watershed plans identify local resource concerns throughout the watersheds and outline actions that can be taken by the local people to address those concerns.
We want to help you get projects on the ground in order to meet our Watershed Planning goals--so check out our cost share programs we offer. Although specific programs have not been developed for other resource concerns, the Conservation District has funding available to assist with projects that address water quality concerns and have the potential to improve water quality. Some examples of projects eligible for cost share include off site water, fencing, irrigation improvement, stream bank stabilization, erosion control and buffers. Contact us by email for more information or give us a call at (307) 787-3070.
In order to gather baseline data about current surface water conditions, District personnel completed five years of monitoring on the Blacks Fork and Smiths Fork Rivers and their tributaries. All of the data collection was done under a Sampling and Analysis Plan that was approved by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality. The following data was collected from each site: E. Coli and Total Coliform bacterial levels, water chemistry, pH, temperature, conductivity and flow.
All of the data has been compiled into a final report that was completed using funds from the Clean Water Act Section 319 grant, which the District received in 2002. The District will continue monitoring to determine if practices being installed in the watershed have had an impact on the quality of the water.
Our future plans on the Upper Bear River: UCCD plans to collect baseline water quality data on the Bear River, Sulpher Creek, and LaChapelle Creek to determine existing conditions and areas that are at a higher risk for contamination. The monitoring effort will assist UCCD and the steering committee in determining where to focus education efforts and assist landowners in installing best management practices. The data that will be collected will include basic chemistry, pH, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, temperature, flow, turbidity and Total Suspended Solids (TSS).
Uinta County Conservation District P.O. Box 370 204 East Sage St. Lyman, WY 82937 307-787-3070