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Wyoming Water Development Commission 
Harry C. LaBonde, Jr., PE, Director 
6920 Yellowtail Rd, Cheyenne, WY 82002 
Phone: 307-777-7626 

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 52. PROJECT:Little Snake River Basin Water Development
LEVEL:New Application
SPONSOR:Little Snake River Conservation District
LOCATION:Carbon County
PROGRAM:New Development

The project has been proposed to improve 25 ranching operations and 22,400 acres of rangeland. Livestock production would be enhanced and water would be provided for wildlife. The Little Snake River Conservation District originally requested a 60% grant 40% loan totaling $687,500 from Water Development Account #1 for Level III funding of 34 ponds. The District planned on obtaining funding from alternative sources to repay the WWDC loan once the project is constructed.

The Conservation District estimates that 400 acre feet of water would be developed by constructing 34 ponds ranging in size from 5 to 100 acre feet. The ponds are proposed to be constructed on several tributaries to the Little Snake River and would be used primarily for livestock watering, range land improvement and wildlife habitat enhancement. The reservoirs would be located on federal (BLM), state, and private land.

The project does not benefit 2000 acres of irrigated land. However, the project sponsor estimates that 22,400 acres of rangeland would be improved. The proposed project may have merit and further study would clarify if these projects are something that the WWDC would be interested in participating in. The proposed Level II study would:

  1. Determine the projected life and annual maintenance costs of maintaining these kinds of structures.

  2. Determine the economic feasibility of these kinds of projects.

  3. Determine the potential to develop wetlands for mitigation of the Little Snake Supplemental Irrigation Project, and inclusion in the Wyoming Wetland bank.

  4. Determine permitting requirements.

  5. Determine water right ownership on the facilities.

  6. Analyze implications of development of projects on private lands.

  7. Review design and construction specifications of the federal agencies.

  8. Geotechnical investigations.

  9. Determine who would be responsible for operation and maintenance and, if necessary, develop needed contract/agreement documents.

The WWDC recommends the project be incorporated in the New Development Program at Level II with an appropriation of $125,000.

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