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:
- Determine the projected life and annual maintenance costs of
maintaining these kinds of structures.
- Determine the economic feasibility of these kinds of projects.
- Determine the potential to develop wetlands for mitigation of the
Little Snake Supplemental Irrigation Project, and inclusion in the
Wyoming Wetland bank.
- Determine permitting requirements.
- Determine water right ownership on the facilities.
- Analyze implications of development of projects on private lands.
- Review design and construction specifications of the federal
- Geotechnical investigations.
- Determine who would be responsible for operation and maintenance
and, if necessary, develop needed contract/agreement documents.
RECOMMENDED LEGISLATIVE ACTION:
The WWDC recommends the project be incorporated in the New Development
Program at Level II with an appropriation of $125,000.