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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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 86. PROJECT:Prairie Dog Watershed Plan
LEVEL:New Application
SPONSOR:Sheridan County Conservation District
LOCATION:Sheridan County
PROGRAM:New Development

The Prairie Dog Creek watershed begins approximately 15 miles south of Sheridan and flows north to its confluence with the Tongue River near the Montana border. The watershed comprises approximately 236,000 acres. The major tributaries in this watershed are Meade, Jenks, Jim, SR, Arkansas, Coutant, Wildcat and Dutch Creeks.

The Prairie Dog watershed supports irrigated as well as dryland agriculture, however, cattle production is the primary agricultural industry in the watershed. In the 1880's three significant trans-basin water diversions were built. These diversions were built to divert water from North Piney Creek into the Prairie Dog watershed. While these diversions opened up thousands of acres for irrigation, they have created an unnatural hydrologic condition. Because of the steepness of the slope of the upper portion of the watershed near the diversions and the unstable substrate, these diversions created areas of significant erosion, which led to stream downcutting, sediment accumulation and visual impairments.

Prairie Dog Creek is currently on the Department of Environmental Quality's (DEQ) "Needs to be Monitored" list. The creek has already been monitored by DEQ and monitoring results have been analyzed. Prairie Dog Creek will not be listed as a waterbody requiring a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) but will remain on the "Needs to be Monitored" list.

The WWDC recommends the project be incorporated in the New Development Program at Level I with an appropriation of $100,000.

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