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Wyoming Water Development Commission

Harry C. LaBonde, Jr., Director
6920 Yellowtail Road
Cheyenne, WY 82002

2014, Fifth Edition


The Fifth Edition of the Wyoming Water Management and Conservation Assistance Programs Directory is an updated version of the 2009 Directory which was written and compiled by Ronald E. Vore, Water Conservationist; edited by Michelle Ogden, WRDS; Jon Wade, WWDO Planning Administrator and Chace Tavelli, WWDO River Basin Planning Supervisor.

For Additional Information:
Jon Wade (307) 777-7626

Water Management & Conservation Assistance Programs Directory


Water users and managers interested in a voluntary management and conservation program or project should be aware of the many incentive assistance programs available to help a well devised and organized plan succeed. It is the intent of the Wyoming Water Development Commission water management and conservation planning effort to compile and organize all available information relative to financial and technical assistance.

There are numerous programs run by various agencies and organizations that are potential sources of assistance to water users. Local Conservation Districts, Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, Cooperative Extension, Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts, Wyoming Association of Rural Water Systems, Wyoming Department of Agriculture, Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Wyoming State Engineer's Office, Wyoming Water Development Commission, Bureau of Land Management, US Army Corps of Engineers, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Bureau of Reclamation, US Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Geological Survey are all potential sources of information, technical assistance and cost-share funding opportunities.

It is important to recognize that project applications are stronger when assistance is leveraged among partners. It is also important to recognize that private funding contributions, such as in-kind provisions, are crucial to the development and acceptance of water management and conservation implementation proposals. Information such as source, program description and availability of funding are available to user groups and decision makers in this directory.

The water management and conservation assistance programs directory is an overview of local, state and federal programs, each with a separate section. Individual entries are tabbed for convenience and will be ordered alphabetically. Description of respective programs, a contact name, telephone number and electronic address are included as available. This directory is provided as an opportunity to review a description of local, state and federal assistance available to water users in Wyoming. It is constructed in a format that can be changed as needed, recognizing that programs and personnel change. This directory will hopefully provide the user with program descriptions and basic information from which to further pursue additional, in-depth information. This also allows for partners to be assembled for assistance in program and project development.


Click on program name to retrieve contact information

Conservation Districts
Ducks Unlimited
WY Council of Trout Unlimited
Office of State Lands & Investments
University of WY Extension
Water Resources Data System (WRDS)/Wyoming State Climate Office
WY Association of Conservation Districts
WY Association of Rural Water Systems
WY Business Council
WY Department of Agriculture
WY Department of Environmental Quality
WY Department of Game & Fish
WY State Engineer's Office
WY Water Association
WY Water Development Commission/WY Water Development Office
WY Water Library at WRDS
WY Wildlife and Natural Resources Trust
Bureau of Land Management
US Army Corps of Engineers
US Bureau of Reclamation
USDA - Farm Service Agency
USDA - Forest Service
USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service
USDA - Rural Development
US Fish & Wildlife Service
US Geological Survey




Contact:  Bobbie Frank, Executive Director
  (307) 632-5716 | Email:
  Kelly Brown, Program Specialist
  (307) 632-5716 | Email:
  Cathy Rosenthal, Watershed Coordinator
  (307) 751-9389 | Email:

Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts Website:

Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts Directory (updated April 24, 2014)

Conservation districts are locally lead, locally elected county government entities. They function as representatives of local people with responsibility to natural resource issues. Local conservation district boards perform as a liaison between local landowners and resource users and state and federal government agencies.

Conservation districts are providers of information and education at the local level. Districts also provide technical assistance as local resources, capacity and expertise allow. They can also assist in development and implementation of program and project design and funding. This is done through assistance in proposal preparation, presentation and pursuit of grant assistance.

Conservation districts can also provide funding assistance, often through in-kind contributions such as staff time and technical aid. Local conservation districts can provide administration of programs, projects and grants on behalf of recipients of state and federal natural resource programs. Districts can assist with the development of leveraged, partnered programs and projects. For more information visit:

Conservation District City Phone (307) Email
Crook County
Little Snake
Lower Wind
Medicine BowMedicine
North Platte
Platte County
South Big Horn
Sweetwater CountyRock
Weston County

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Contact:  Mike George, Conservation Programs
  Martin Grenier, Conservation Programs
  Matt Reddy, Conservation Programs
  (970) 221-9862 | Email:

Ducks Unlimited Website:

Ducks Unlimited, Inc. is a funding source for wetlands and waterfowl restoration. Ducks Unlimited (DU) conducts program development through a "Partner" agency in providing short term project funding assistance. Money availability is limited to what is within the organizational system. Generally, there is $20,000 to $30,000 available annually statewide with additional funding support from project specific donations.

Ducks Unlimited offers a waterfowl habitat development and protection program called MARSH which stands for Matching Aid to Restore States Habitat. This is a reimbursement program that provides matching funds for restoration, protection or enhancement of wetlands. The financial extent of this program is dependent on DU's income within the state.

MARSH projects must significantly benefit waterfowl. Projects receiving funding support must be on lands that can demonstrate at least a 30 year project life at a minimum. Groups requesting assistance must be able to demonstrate capacity to execute long-term habitat agreements, deliver and manage projects and be willing to assume project liability. DU's goal is to match MARSH funds equally with private, state or federal sources. Their objective is to obtain maximum leverage possible to maximize benefit to waterfowl. Therefore, leveraged projects have a greater likelihood of being approved.

Specifics for proposal submission, budget preparation, project development and receipt of funding can be further explained by DU's local coordinator. He can provide additional information relating to the program and provide "Partner" contact opportunities at a local level.

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Contact:  Scott Christy, Wyoming Coordinator
  (307) 332-7700 ext. 12 | Email:

Wyoming Council of Trout Unlimited Website:

The mission of the Wyoming Council of Trout Unlimited is to conserve, protect and restore Wyoming's coldwater (trout) fisheries and their watersheds. The Council is made up of 16 Chapters located throughout the state.

While a majority of Trout Unlimited members are indeed enthusiastic anglers, our focus is not only on maintaining fisheries for the purpose of angling. We believe that healthy trout fisheries are indicative of well-functioning, sound ecosystems and that the work we do toward restoring good trout habitat will ultimately benefit the overall environment.

Of special concern are Wyoming's four subspecies of native cutthroat trout that currently inhabit a tiny fraction of their historic range. Working with federal and state agencies, local officials and landowners, Wyoming Trout Unlimited is actively engaged in a battle to keep these fish from being listed under the Endangered Species Act.

Trout Unlimited provides funding and volunteer labor for a variety of stream and watershed projects such as erosion control and fish habitat structures, willow and other riparian plantings and stream protection fencing. Embrace-A-Stream grants are available for up to $10,000 per project. Partnerships are encouraged and can include local conservation districts and state and federal agencies. Those interested should contact the Council office.

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Contact:  Bridget Hill, Director
  (307) 777-6629 | Email:

OSLI Website:

Herschler Building, 3 West
122 West 25th Street
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Phone: (307) 777-6629
FAX: (307) 777-3524

The Office of State Lands & Investments is the administrative arm of the Board of Land Commissioners and the State Loan and Investment Board. It is the statutory responsibility of the Office of State Lands & Investments to carry out the policy directives and decisions of these two Boards.

The organizational structure of Office of State Lands & Investments consists of the Office of the Director and four divisions: Administrative Services Division, Trust Land Management Division, Field Service Division, and Wyoming State Forestry. Collectively, these divisions serve the trust beneficiaries - Wyoming's school children and state institutions; numerous clients in agriculture, mineral, timber, transportation, communication, public utility, recreation, tourism and other Wyoming industries; local government entities; state and federal agencies; and the resident and non-resident general public.

The Farm Loan Program established in 1921, provides long term real estate loans to Wyoming's agricultural operators. The use of this program has been expanded over the years to also include loans for the purchase of livestock and to assist beginning agricultural producers.

The Irrigation Loans Program established in 1955, is designed to support small and large agricultural water development projects. The Legislature has allocated a total of $275 million for loans under the Farm Loan Program and $20 million for the Irrigation Loan Program. Both programs are funded from the Wyoming Permanent Mineral Trust Fund.

Joint Powers Act Loan Program was established in 1974 the Legislature authorized the Joint Powers Act Loan Program to benefit local communities for infrastructure needs. These loans are approved from funds within the State's Permanent Mineral Trust Fund. These programs are an aid to cities, counties and special districts in providing needed government services and public facilities.

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Contact:  Glen Whipple, Associate Dean/Director
  (307) 766-5124 | Email:

UW Extension Website:

The University of Wyoming Extension is an educational and technical resource. At the local level, County Extension offices serve as a contact point to gain assistance from faculty and staff at the University of Wyoming campus at Laramie. County extension educators may be able to provide assistance in gathering information, help with problem solving and also provide local leadership in preparation and presentation of assistance proposals for grant aid. Local cooperative extension personnel can assist with meeting organization, contact of outside resources and administration of projects.

County Extension Offices Phone (307) Email
Big Horn
Campbell County
Converse County
Crook County
Fremont County/Lander
Fremont County/
Hot Springs
Johnson County
Laramie County
Lincoln County/
Lincoln County/
Park County/
Park County/
Wind River

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Contact:  Chris Nicholson, Director
  (307) 766-3741 | Email:
  Antony Bergantino, Deputy Director
  (307) 766-3786 | Email:

WRDS Website:
WY SCO Website:

Water Resources Data System/WY State Climate Office
University of WY; Dept. 3943
1000 E. University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766-6651
FAX: (307) 766-3785

The Water Resources Data System (WRDS) is a clearinghouse of hydrological and climatological data for the State of Wyoming. WRDS offers a wide variety of products and services, including retrievals for water resources information from in-house databases, CD-ROM products, and alternate data systems from across the region and/or country via the Internet. WRDS is actively migrating its databases to the World Wide Web (WWW) environment for online access by its users. Currently, The Wyoming Water Bibliography, Water Quality, and Water Level databases are accessible in this manner. Cooperative data posting efforts with federal and state agencies in Wyoming have led to additional water resources information being disseminated through the site. Online data may be accessed at the following URL:

Funded by an allocation from the Wyoming Water Development Commission, the system strives to provide the most comprehensive compilation of water resource information available to its requesters. Operating in such a one-stop shopping environment mandates not only linkages to other databases, but also the keen awareness of who the end users are and how the data will be utilized, which can be as varied as the number of sources of information.

Additionally, WRDS houses the Wyoming Water Library, a comprehensive and ever-expanding circulation library that contains pertinent water resource information. Visit the Wyoming Water Library website at:

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Contact:  Bobbie Frank, Executive Director
  (307) 632-5716 | Email:
  Kelly Brown, Program Specialist
  (307) 632-5716 | Email:
  Cathy Rosenthal, Watershed Coordinator
  (307) 751-9389 | Email:

WACD Website:

For contact information about specific Wyoming Conservation Districts see Conservation Districts as listed in the LOCAL section of this directory or view the WACD 2014 Directory (updated April 24, 2014).

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WARWS Website:

PO Box 1750
Glenrock, WY 82637
Phone: (307) 436-8636
FAX: (307) 436-8441

WARWS Staff Phone (307) Email
Mark Pepper, Executive
Jane Jeffs, Office
Donna Uribe, Administrative
Jim Van Dorn, Registered Circuit
Ross Jorgensen, Registered Circuit
Kathy Weinsaft, Training
Mark Court, Certified Wastewater
Dan Chamberlain, Small Systems Circuit
Miles Edwards, USDA Source Water

The mission of WARWS is to provide the assistance necessary to meet the needs of our membership and to ensure the protection of Wyoming's water - our most precious resource. By providing on-site, one-on-one technical assistance and training we can help the State's operators with their commitment and their profession of providing "Quality on Tap!"

We work in concert with our state drinking water primacy agency, the US EPA, as well as state agencies such as DEQ and the Department of Health. No state agency has the available personnel or budget to allow for field staff to provide the following services.

The Training and Technical Assistance Program began in 1989. Water and wastewater operators must be certified and undergo continuous education. This program organizes professional training programs for operators and system decision-makers. Training courses are directed toward everyday problems that systems encounter particularly items that pertain to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). Courses are submitted to Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for certification of contact hours to be credited to operators' state license requirements. Our training classes provide nearly all of the state's certified operators with their continuous education requirements annually. In 2008, over 10,000 man hours of training were conducted.

Our Circuit Riders (CR) travel the State answering requests for help from a large portion of approximately 778 public water systems in the state. Typical tasks that the CR is asked to perform are: (each CR is a road warrior who makes over 420 on site visits each program year.)

  • Giving advice on rate structures and forming new districts.
  • Training operators in the operation and maintenance of their system.
  • Developing a system of maintenance.
  • Helping take required tests and teach operators the correct testing methods.
  • Assisting with specific maintenance problems.
  • Testing of meters in the field.
  • Leak and line location.
  • Training on record keeping.
  • Reducing cost of power and water losses.
  • Any other service to help the water system succeed.

The Wastewater Program was started in June of 1993. The WW technician performs many of the same functions as the CR, specializing in the wastewater field. With approximately 200 wastewater systems in the state, he is able to visit these systems with greater frequency. A large part of this assistance is directed toward the treatment of wastewater collection systems and the maintenance of lagoons. This program also facilitates training for Wyoming's wastewater operators. This program specialist provides a mix of on site technical assistance and both on site and classroom training. Over 420 visits are conducted annually for technical assistance and training by this program.

Two WARWS programs work hand-in-hand to ensure a safe and abundant supply of drinking water now and in the future for Wyoming's residents. The Groundwater/Wellhead Protection (GW/WHP) program. It was started in April 1994 and suspended at the end of 2006 as Congress chose not to fund this program since. The program incorporates a five-step plan with small systems to start GW/WHP programs in their systems. It begins with the formation of a committee to identify problems and possible contamination sites and works to form a plan for emergency delivery of water in case of unsafe water conditions. While not funded, we give direction on this program as needed to systems through on site contacts by our other program specialists.

Our newest program is the Source Water Protection Program. Funded by a congressional appropriation through a 1996 amendment to the Safe Drinking Water Act but suspended at the end of 2006 as Congress chose not to fund this program for the future, the program expands upon the efforts of Wellhead Protection to provide water protection planning to both groundwater and surface water systems. Funding for this program was restored by Congress in 2009. The program is a multi-jurisdictional, multi-barrier approach to water protection accomplished through the formation of partnerships of all water users in the designated protection area. With Wyoming being a headwater state, this program may be more vital now than when it originally began. Coal Bed Methane issues, leaking solid waste sites, increased energy development are all contributing to increased risks of potential contamination.

Although our program requirements stipulate working primarily with systems that are eligible for RUS funding, we respond to all calls and lend assistance where possible to any system. Of particular concern to our technical staff is ineligible systems such as Dude Ranches, private camp grounds, mobile home/RV parks called transient non community (for profit) systems which are not as regulated as community systems but account for 100% of all water borne disease outbreaks in Wyoming. We are able to assist these systems only when requested by EPA to help mitigate an administrative order (notice of violation). We continue to push state agencies and legislatures to develop a similar State Circuit Rider program for these systems so that violations could be avoided instead of attempting to help mitigate and correct violations.

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WBC Website:

Agribusiness Division Staff Phone (307) Email
Cindy Garretson-Weibel, Agribusiness
John Henn, Livestock/Meat Marketing Program
Donn Randall, Crop/Forage Program
Jessica Payton, Administrative
Scott Keith, Livestock Genetics Program
Terri Barr, Wyoming Products Program Manager777-2807
Cody Ann Bainter, Agricultural Marketing

The Wyoming Business Council was created by the Legislature in July, 1998 to diversify and strengthen Wyoming's per capita income and job creation base across all business and industry sectors. The "end-game goal" for all divisions within the Council is that jobs and per capita income across the State meet and exceed national averages. Several main drivers are the focal point of the Strategic Plan:

  1. Establish new job generation through the recruitment of targeted industries and their support businesses into the state.
  2. Capture and strengthen existing job generation through the growth of the state's existing business and industry base.
  3. Leverage and maximize the efficiencies of government entities and private business to facilitate job growth and economic activities within the state.
  4. Facilitate value added product development as a contributor to new job growth.
  5. Facilitate capital formation as an enabler of business location and expansion.
  6. Build a statewide and local service and packaging network for economic growth.

The Wyoming Business Council maintains memberships, partnerships and strategic alliances with private organizations, local economic development agencies, state government agencies throughout the country and the federal government. The Council is responsible for administration of programs such as Community Development Block Grant, Main Street Program, USDA Rural Rehabilitation Funds, etc.

The objective of the Agribusiness Division is to expand agricultural, timber, and value-added (consumer goods) for Wyoming by increasing related skills and knowledge, conduct marketing research, facilitate agricultural, timber, and value-added business development/expansions and provide consumer and industry information on specific commodities produced in the State.

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Contact:  Chris Wichmann, Manager-Division of Natural Resources & Policy
  (307) 777-6576 |

WDA Website:

Phone: (307) 777-7321
FAX: (307) 777-6593

Water Quality: Protect the quality of surface and groundwater through the establishment of guideline programs for wellhead protection, pesticide container disposal, confined livestock feeding, rangeland best management practices, enhanced riparian and wetland management, implementation of Farm Bill programs, development of a State Water plan and continuation of voluntary Ag Non-Point Source Pollution.

Conservation Districts: Enhance abilities of conservation districts to protect water quality and natural resources. Provide comprehensive leadership training and assist in developing coalitions with all natural resource users, managers and owners. Provide grants for local conservation districts.

Coordinated Resource Management: Use the CRM process to resolve natural resource conflicts, protect water quality and enhance natural resources. Facilitate partnership at the local level. Provide CRM awareness sessions and facilitation training.

Policy: Research, analyze, and develop locally supported policies that recognizes the importance of water management to wildlife and agricultural interests.

Coordination of Critical Natural Resource Issues: Plan, coordinate and develop natural resource management strategies with local, state and federal partners. Provide information and assistance at the local level for the development of natural resource management plans and strategies.

Mediation: Develop and implement a mediation program to assist natural resource managers in resolving conflicts through improved communication, cooperation and coordination. Provide a voluntary mediation process for dispute and conflict resolution.

New Technologies: Research and implement new technologies to promote better management of natural resources. Establish demonstration sites to evaluate remote sensing, GIS, GLA and watershed management software. Provide education to natural resource owners, managers and users on the benefits and effectiveness of new technologies.

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Contact:  Keith Guille, Public Information Officer
  (307) 777-6105 | Email:

WDEQ Website:

WDEQ/Water Quality Division
122 West 25th Street
Herschler Building, 4th Floor-West
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Phone: (307) 777-7781
FAX: (307) 777-5973

Field Offices:
 Casper (307) 473-3465
 Lander (307) 332-3144
 Rock Springs (307) 352-2559
 Sheridan (307) 673-9337

Mission Statements for Three Sections of the Water Quality Division

The mission of the Groundwater Protection Section is to prevent, reduce, and eliminate groundwater pollution; and to protect, preserve, and enhance existing and potential groundwater uses; and, when excessive pollution is discovered, require restoration of pre-existing groundwater uses and the protection of public health and the environment. This is accomplished by:

  1. Administering a preventative permit to construct program to ensure that point sources of groundwater pollution are designed, constructed and capable of being operated to protect groundwater use standards;
  2. Carefully evaluating the self compliance monitoring reports to ensure that releases of pollution do not impact groundwater in excess of allowed amounts or to ensure corrective action is progressing in an effective and timely manner;
  3. Administering a preventative voluntary program by promoting the use of Best Management Practices (BMP) and providing information to owners of non-point groundwater pollution sources directed at protecting groundwater;
  4. Utilizing groundwater vulnerability mapping and other groundwater related information to prioritize resources in administering groundwater protection activities for non-point sources of groundwater pollution;
  5. Investigating groundwater pollution complaints, standard or permit exceedances and requiring the responsible party of excessive groundwater pollution to take necessary corrective actions to reduce or eliminate the pollution and protect public health and groundwater uses;
  6. Requiring responsible parties of spills that have caused groundwater pollution to take necessary corrective actions to restore groundwater use, prevent further environmental damage and threats to public health; and
  7. Coordinating and cooperating with local governments, other state agencies, agencies of other states, and the federal government to develop and implement a comprehensive approach to groundwater protection.
  8. Oversee the construction and operation of Underground/Aboveground Fuel Storage Tanks to assure protection of public health and safety and the groundwater and to conduct corrective action projects where leaking underground storage tanks have polluted the groundwater and pose threats to public health and safety.
  9. Assist local governments with the review of subdivision applications to assure safe and compatible sewage disposal and water supply systems.

The mission of the Watershed Management Section is to protect and restore the quality of Wyoming's surface water resources to assure they support their designated uses. This mission is accomplished through implementation of the following programs:

  1. Permits are issued for discharge of pollutants to surface water. These permits contain limits to assure that public health and the receiving waters uses are protected.
  2. Stormwater runoff permits are issued for projects which disturb five or more surface acres and for certain industrial sites. Project proponents must develop and implement pollution prevention/erosion control plans.
  3. Review of certain federal actions to assure that Water Quality Standards will be achieved for activities that may affect waters of the state (primarily Section 404 Dredge and Fill Permits and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licenses).
  4. The section operates the state wetlands banking program which provides incentives for voluntary wetland creation, restoration and enhancement activities. Under the program, credit can be awarded for wetland improvements and can be used to mitigate impacts from future development activities. The goal of the program is to help achieve no net loss of wetlands on a watershed basis.
  5. A voluntary nonpoint source control program utilizes education, demonstration and cost-share grants to local entities to address water quality problems which result from diffuse pollution sources such as runoff associated with land use activities.
  6. Surface water bodies are protected by standards which describe the minimum acceptable water quality conditions and maximum pollutant concentrations. The standards include designations of protected uses, numeric and narrative criteria designed to achieve those uses, and an antidegradation policy to maintain the highest possible water quality.
  7. A process to identify waterbodies that are impaired or at threat of impairment and to focus resources and processes on these impaired waterbodies to restore and protect their designated uses.
  8. Conduct an ambient water quality monitoring program to identify those waters which are supporting their uses, those waters which are impaired, to identify sources of impairment, to verify stream classifications, to establish discharge limits, to verify program effectiveness, and where necessary, to develop Total Maximum Daily Loads.
  9. Conduct regular inspections of permitted discharge points and respond to complaints concerning unauthorized discharges to surface waters of the state.

The mission of the Water and Wastewater Section is to prevent, reduce and eliminate pollution of the surface and ground waters of the state in order to preserve and enhance the water resources of the state and to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the environment and the inhabitants of the state. This mission is accomplished through implementation of the following activities and programs:

  1. Prevention of pollution through wastewater construction permits. The purpose of these permits is to insure the design, construction and operation of facilities capable of providing the required treatment and prevention of pollution.
  2. Issuance of public water supply construction permits. The purpose of these permits is to insure the design, construction and operation of facilities capable of delivering a safe and reliable potable water supply.
  3. Assure that technically competent personnel operate public water supply systems and public sewerage systems.
  4. Respond to reporting of spills, assure proper cleanup and follow-up reporting of releases that enter or threaten to enter waters of the state.
  5. In cooperation with the Office of State Lands and Investment, administers low interest loan programs for publicly owned water supply systems and wastewater treatment projects.
  6. Assure that public water supplies systems have the technical, managerial and financial capability to operate these systems in compliance with the requirements of state and federal laws. To assist these systems with the development of source water protection programs.
  7. Permit the construction, operation and closure of large confined swine feeding operations.
  8. Authorize land application and surface disposal of biosolids generated during the treatment of domestic sewage in treatment works.
  9. Work with local governments to carry out these responsibilities and delegate programs where applicable.
  10. Provides field inspection and technical assistance to permitted facilities as resources allow.

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Contact:  Paul Dey, Aquatic Habitat Program Manager
  (307) 777-4559 | Email:

WGFD Website:

Wyoming Game and Fish Department Headquarters (Cheyenne Office)
5400 Bishop Blvd.
Cheyenne, WY 82006
Phone: (307) 777-4600

Regional Offices:
 Casper (307) 473-3400
 Cody (307) 527-7125
 Green River (307) 875-3223
 Jackson (307) 733-2321
 Lander (307) 332-2688
 Laramie (307) 745-4046
 Pinedale (307) 367-4353
 Sheridan (307) 672-7418

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department may offer technical and funding assistance to help landowners, conservation groups, institutions, land managers, government agencies, industry, and non-profit organizations develop or maintain water sources for fish and wildlife. Assistance may also be provided for protecting or improving riparian areas/wetlands, restoring streams, and upgrading irrigation infrastructure in a manner that provides improved fish passage or diversion screening.

Habitat Trust Fund: Funds can be used for acquisition, maintenance or improvement of wildlife habitat; or for the promotion of human understanding and enjoyment of the fish and wildlife resource (habitat or information & education projects). Funds can be used for internal projects or paid as grants to an outside entity. All proposals must have a Department sponsor and be entered into a Department proposal database by early January or early August annually. Project proposals will be prioritized for funding by Department staff during January through March and the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission grants preliminary approval in March and final approval in July for funds available in July. No cost-share is required, but is strongly recommended. Projects should occur in priority habitats or watersheds ( Approximately $600,000 to $1,200,000 is allocated annually to projects across Wyoming.

Fish Passage Grants: Funds can be used for creating or improving upstream or downstream passage of all life stages of fish in Wyoming waterways and for screening diversions. Examples include developing fishways or fish ladders, assisting with the replacement of traditional push-up diversion dams with more fish-friendly options, and installing various screening technologies to keep fish from becoming entrained into irrigation ditches. All proposals must have a Department sponsor and be entered into a Department proposal database by early January annually. Project proposals will be prioritized for funding by Department staff during January through March and the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission grants preliminary approval in March and final approval in July for funds available in July. No cost-share is required, but is strongly recommended. Projects should occur in priority habitats or watersheds ( Approximately $25,000 to $90,000 is allocated annually to projects across Wyoming.

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WY SEO Website:

SEO Contact Phone (307) Email
Pat Tyrell, State
Allan Cunningham, Board of
Lisa Lindemann,
Sue Lowry, Interstate
Mike Hand, Safety of
Lynn Ritter, State Board-Water Well Drill/
Rick Deuell, Surface
Brian Pugsley, Field-Water Div.
Carmine Loguidice, Field-Water Div.
Loren Smith, Field-Water Div.
Vacant Position, Field-Water Div. IV
Shannon Stanfill, Exec. Director (BOPEPLS)

The Wyoming State Engineer's Office is charged with the regulation and administration of the water resources in Wyoming.

Wyoming water law operates under the prior appropriation doctrine, or "first in time, first in right." Those holding an earlier priority water right are allowed to receive their full portion of water before those with junior rights during times of water regulation.

Permits can be issued to anyone who plans to make beneficial use of the water thereby establishing a water right. Recognized beneficial uses include, but are not limited to: irrigation, municipal, industrial, power generation, recreational, stock, domestic, pollution control, instream flows (State-held), and miscellaneous. Water right holders are limited to the amount of water that can be beneficially used.

The Surface Water and Engineering Division is responsible for reviewing applications to put surface water of the state to a beneficial use. Permits are issued for 1) transporting water through a ditch or pipeline; 2) storage in reservoirs; 3)storage in smaller (under 20 acre-feet in capacity and a dam height less than 20 feet) reservoirs for stock water, wildlife, wetlands, and fish propagation; 4) enlargements to existing ditch or storage facilities; and 5) instream flow purposes.

This division also carries out the Safety of Dams program for Wyoming for larger or potentially hazardous storage facilities. The State Engineer is responsible for regulating the safety and structural integrity of water storage facilities in the state. On-site inspections of facilities are made and any new or rehabilitation construction plans must be reviewed and approved by the State Engineer's Office.

The Instream Flow Law, enacted by the 1986 Wyoming Legislature, provides that maintenance of stream flows for fisheries is considered a beneficial use. Unlike other water rights, which may be applied for by the general public, only the Wyoming Water Development Commission may apply for an instream flow water right.

By statutory authorization in 1947, the Ground Water Division began issuing appropriations for all ground water uses except stock and domestic. As of March 1, 1958, a permit was required prior to the drilling of any well except stock and domestic. By amendment effective May 24, 1969, all water wells, including stock and domestic, require a State Engineer's Office permit prior to drilling.

Three ground water management districts called Control Areas have been established in the southeast portion of the state. Corrective controls which include horizontal and vertical requirements for new wells may be required in these areas. Applicants should contact the Groundwater Division when filling out permits to understand the restrictions for groundwater wells in these areas. The State Engineer is empowered to require driller's reports, water use reports, create well spacing requirements and well construction standards, and to require wells to be sealed. The Ground Water Division maintains a statewide observation well network, conducts interference investigations, water right adjudication inspections, and reviews reports of water supply adequacy for subdivisions.

Wyoming's drainages are divided into four water divisions for field administration and regulation of water rights by hydrographer-commissioners. Each of these divisions is headed by a Superintendent whose offices are located in Torrington, Sheridan, Riverton, and Cokeville. The four Superintendents plus the State Engineer comprise the Wyoming State Board of Control.

The Board of Control is responsible for the adjudication of a permit which is in good standing. The adjudication procedure includes a field inspection to assure that water is being put to a beneficial use as specified under the permit.

The Board of Control is also responsible for all changes in point of diversion, changes in use, changes in the place of use, or abandonment of a water right.

As a headwaters state, Wyoming is party to seven interstate Compacts and two federal Court Decrees. In addition to participating in the interstate commissions that have been established to administer these compacts, the State Engineer also participates in a number of basin- or region-wide water resource groups and associations.

Wyoming is a party to the following Compacts and U.S. Supreme Court Decrees:

  • Colorado River Compact, 1922 - This Compact divides the basin at Lee Ferry, Arizona. It provides that the Upper Basin States may use 7.5 million acre-feet annually.
  • Upper Colorado River Compact, 1948 - This Compact apportions 14% of the water allocated to the Upper Basin States in the Colorado River Compact to Wyoming.
  • Amended Bear River Compact, 1978 - This Compact provides for the administration of flows and storage between Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming.
  • Belle Fourche River Compact, 1943 - This Compact allocates new uses after 1943, of which 10% goes to Wyoming and 90% goes to South Dakota.
  • Snake River Compact, 1949 - This Compact specifies that Wyoming may divert 4% of the Idaho - Wyoming state line flow for post-1949 uses.
  • Upper Niobrara River Compact, 1962 - This compact restricts storage in reservoirs that are larger than 500 acre-feet in capacity.
  • Yellowstone River Compact, 1950 - This Compact allocates the flows of the Powder, Tongue, Bighorn and Clarks Fork Rivers between Montana and Wyoming.
  • North Platte River Court Decree, 1945, modified in 2001 - The Supreme Court ruled that Wyoming can annually irrigate up to 226,000 acres above Guernsey Reservoir. The natural flow is split below Whalen Dam in the following manner: 25% to Wyoming and 75% to Nebraska.
  • Laramie River Court Decree, 1922, 1936 and 1957 - This Court Decree allows Colorado to divert up to 39,750 acre-feet per year.

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Contact:  Radona Williams
  (307) 286-8614 | Email:

WWA Website:

Wyoming Water Association
PO Box 1328
Powell, WY 82435
Phone: (307) 286-8614

"The objectives of the Wyoming Water Association are to promote the development, conservation and utilization of the water resources of Wyoming for the benefit of Wyoming people."

Founded in 1933, the Wyoming Water Association (WWA) is a non-profit corporation and is our only statewide water resources association. We are a voluntary organization of private citizens, elected officials, and representatives of business, government agencies, industry and water user groups and districts. Any individual, organization, agency or group interested in the purposes and objectives of the Wyoming Water Association may become a member by paying annual dues. The Board of Directors consists of not less than 10 persons selected from water interest sectors, with a minimum of two persons from the agriculture; industry, business and education; recreation, conservation and environment; local government; and labor and civic categories.

The WWA is the only statewide uniform voice representing all types of water users; providing policy input, information and feedback to state and federal legislators and agency managers concerning the development, management and use of Wyoming's most precious natural resource.

The State of Wyoming and the federal government have invested millions of dollars in water system infrastructure. The WWA provides up to date information on the state and federal funding programs that are necessary to maintain these facilities and develop other needed uses. More information about the Association's activities is found on our website:

The Association holds its annual conference (education seminar and annual meeting) in late October.

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WWDC/WWDO Website:

Water Development Commission

Commissioners City Pol Aff Expiration
Nick BettasKemmererD3/1/2015
Travis BrockieFort WashakieD3/1/2018
Karen Budd-Falen, At LargeCheyenneR3/1/2017
Floyd Canfield, Vice-ChairmanSundanceD3/1/2017
Sheridan Little, SecretaryLeiterR3/1/2015
William ResorWilsonD3/1/2017
Margo SabecCasperR3/1/2015
Jeanette Sekan, ChairwomanCodyD3/1/2015
Rodney WagnerLingleR3/1/2017
Todd WerbelowGreybullR3/1/2017

Wyoming Water Development Office
6920 Yellowtail Road; Cheyenne, WY 82002
Phone: (307) 777-7626

WWDO Contact Email Title
Harry C LaBonde, Jr, PEharry.labonde@wyo.govDirector
Andrea Odellandrea.odell@wyo.govAdmin/Fiscal Manager
Janet Belmontejanet.belmonte@wyo.govAccountant
Nancy Casnernancy.casner@wyo.govOffice Support Specialist
Jon Wade, PG jon.wade@wyo.govDeputy Director - Planning
Kevin J Boyce, PGkevin.boyce@wyo.govProject Manager
Keith E Clarey, PGkeith.clarey@wyo.govProject Manager
Barry B Lawrencebarry.lawrence@wyo.govProject Manager
Dave K Myer, PEdave.myer@wyo.govProject Manager
Vacant PositionProject Manager
Chace Tavelli, PEchace.tavelli@wyo.govRiver Basin Planning Supervisor
Jodie Pavlica, PEjodie.pavlica@wyo.govProject Manager
Jodee Pringjodee.pring@wyo.govProject Manager
Katie Talbottkatie.talbott@wyo.govOutreach Coordinator
Jason Mead, PEjason.mead@wyo.govDeputy Director - Dams and Reservoirs
Andrew Linch, EITandrew.linch@wyo.govProject Manager
Tony D Rutherfordtony.rutherford@wyo.govProject Manager
Brian Smithbrian.smith@wyo.govDam Technician
Bryan Clerkin, PEbryan.clerkin@wyo.govDeputy Director - Construction
Dale Anderson, PEdale.anderson@wyo.govEngineering Consultant
Bill Brewer, PE, PGbill.brewer@wyo.govEngineering Consultant
Keith Brookshire, Engineering Consultant
Keenan Hendon, Engineering Consultant
Wade Verplancke, Engineering Consultant
David Ward, PEdave.ward@wyo.govEngineering Consultant
Abigail Boudewynsabigail.boudewyns@wyo.govAssistant Attorney General
Shawn Reeseshawn.reese@wyo.govWyoming Business Council, CEO
Pat Tyrrellpatrick.tyrrell@wyo.govWyoming State Engineer
Greg Kerrrrek@uwyo.eduUniversity of Wyoming

The Wyoming Water Development Commission provides grant and loan funding for water supply reconnaissance and feasibility studies and construction projects. Funding for studies and construction projects comes from mineral taxes. All planning studies and construction projects must be approved for funding by the Wyoming Legislature. Applicants must be public entities such as municipalities, irrigation districts, service and improvement districts, or joint powers boards. Projects must address water supply, transmission, or storage.

Project Planning: The WWDC funds and manages both Level I Reconnaissance studies and Level II Feasibility studies. Level I studies carry out necessary reconnaissance work, while Level II studies determine a projects' feasibility. Levels I and II are one hundred percent grant funded. Project construction is covered in Level III.

Project applications originate with sponsoring entities. New applications must be received by the WWDC by September 15 of each year. The Wyoming legislature must authorize each project and approve funding before a project is initiated, and before it advances to the next level.

Construction: Once a project receives a Level III authorization, the staff of the Construction Division works with project sponsors to establish the legal documentation making state funds available and ensuring that the project constructed complies with the description, intent, and budget as specified in the enabling legislation. One of the professional staff is assigned to each construction project from design through construction and warranty acceptance. The Construction Division assists the sponsor with design engineer selection, plan and specification review, award of the construction contract, and reviews and approves all project payments. Commission policy allows for grants of sixty-seven percent (67%) of the eligible portions of new development and rehabilitation projects. The remainder of funding for eligible portions can be loaned at four percent (4%) interest rate for new development and rehabilitation projects. Sponsors may choose to fund the loan portion from other sources.

River Basin Planning: The purpose of river basin planning is to gather and make available accurate, contemporary water information. This would include such information as hydrology for the average wet, dry, and normal year, GIS format coverage maps of irrigated land masses, well locations, headgate locations, estimates of consumptive water use, and projection of future water demands. River Basin Planning will assist the Legislature and the Governor in developing effective state water policies to protect Wyoming's water and promote responsible development. It will also quantify Wyoming's water resource allocations available under our Compacts and Decrees and give Wyoming citizens access to the water information they need to deal with water issues at the grassroots level. The completion of each river basin plan is achieved with the help of the public, private consultants, and State and Federal agencies. For each basin plan there is a considerable amount of public participation namely with the development of a local Basin Advisory Group (BAG). BAG membership is made up of people residing within the specific basin being studied. The BAG determines membership, meeting rules, bi-monthly BAG meeting dates, times and locations. One of the most important functions of the BAG is to provide input throughout the entire planning process by advising the consultants on local issues, data needs, and regional concerns to be addressed in the final plan, as well as reviewing the final basin planning products.

Groundwater Grant Program: The 1981 and 1984 Wyoming Legislatures addressed W.S. 41-2-119 which authorized the Water Development Commission to grant up to four million dollars ($4,000,000) to incorporated cities and towns for exploration programs to evaluate the potential use of underground water for municipal purposes. During the 2002 session, the Legislature appropriated an additional one million five hundred thousand dollars ($1,500,000) for the groundwater grant program and included water and sewer districts and improvement and service districts in addition to cities and towns, which were already eligible to receive groundwater grants, as eligible grant recipients. Authorized entities are eligible to receive up to $400,000 in grant funds and are required to provide 25% of the total project costs in local matching funds. The primary purpose of the program is to inventory the available groundwater resources in the state where data on aquifer resources are scarce. The program also serves to assist communities in the development of efficient water supplies. The program is not a well rehabilitation program that, for instance, replaces failed wells or repairs deficient wells. Unlike other projects within the Water Development Program, funding for projects that meet the criteria of the Groundwater Grant Program can be allocated directly by the WWDC without legislative action.

Small Water Project Program: The Small Water Project Program (SWPP) is intended to be compatible with the Wyoming Water Development Commission conventional program and criteria and to parallel and partner with other local, state and federal programs that perform water resource planning and water development in Wyoming. Small water projects are defined as those projects that provide multiple benefits and where estimated construction costs, permit procurement, construction engineering and project land procurement are one hundred thirty-five thousand dollars ($135,000) or less, or where the maximum financial contribution from the commission is fifty percent (50%) of project costs or thirty-five thousand dollars ($35,000), whichever is less.

Projects eligible for SWPP grant funding assistance include the construction or rehabilitation of small reservoirs, wells, pipelines and conveyance facilities, springs, solar platforms, irrigation works, windmills and wetland developments. Planning for small water projects will be generated by a WWDC watershed study or equivalent as determined by the WWDO. A watershed study will incorporate, at a minimum, available technical information describing conditions and assessments of the watershed including hydrology, geology, geomorphology, geography, soils, vegetation, water conveyance infrastructure, and stream system data. A plan outlining the site specific activities that may remediate existing impairments or address opportunities beneficial to the watershed shall also be included.

It is the intention of WWDC to work closely with the land management agencies and the sponsoring entities in the administration of this program. This additional source of grant funding will help develop a partnership where local, state, and Federal agencies can work together for the benefit of the people of Wyoming.

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Contact:  Barbara Muller, Water Librarian
  (307) 766-6661 | Email:

WY Water Library Website:

See also Water Resources Data System (WRDS)/WY State Climate Office (WY SCO)

Staffed with a Water Librarian, the Water Library is an exceptional resource for individuals desiring in-depth information regarding the State's water resources. The collection includes a variety of government documents, maps, and water institute publications. Specific agencies and institutions represented in the collection include the Wyoming Water Development Commission, Wyoming State Engineer's Office, US Geological Survey, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management and the University of Wyoming. Other materials in the library cover drought, global climate variability, the Wyoming State Water Plan Program, and environmental impacts.

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Contact:  Bob Budd, Executive Director
  (307) 777-8024 | Email:

WWNRT Website:

Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust
Hathaway Building, 1st Floor
2300 Capitol Avenue, Ste 117
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Phone: (307) 777-8024

The Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust, created in 2005, is an independent state agency governed by a nine-member citizen board appointed by the Governor. Funded by interest earned on a permanent account, donations, and legislative appropriation, the purpose of the program is to enhance and conserve wildlife habitat and natural resource values throughout the state. Any project designed to improve wildlife habitat or natural resource values is eligible for funding. The office is centrally located in Riverton, Wyoming.

Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust funding is available for a wide variety of projects throughout the state, including natural resource programs of other agencies. Some examples include the following:

  • Projects that improve or maintain existing terrestrial habitat necessary to maintain optimum wildlife populations may include grassland restoration, changes in management, prescribed fire, or treatment of invasive plants.
  • Preservation of open space by purchase or acquisition of development rights, contractual obligations, or other means of maintaining open space.
  • Improvement and maintenance of aquatic habitats, including wetland creation or enhancement, stream restoration, water management or other methods.
  • Acquisition of terrestrial or aquatic habitat when existing habitat is determined crucial/critical, or is present in minimal amounts, and acquisition presents the necessary factor in attaining or preserving desired wildlife or fish population levels.
  • Mitigation of impacts detrimental to wildlife habitat, the environment and the multiple use of renewable natural resources, or mitigation of conflicts and reduction of potential for disease transmission between wildlife and domestic livestock.

It is the goal of the Board to assist all applicants in the process of enhancing wildlife and natural resources in Wyoming.

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Contact:  Peter Godfrey, BLM State of WY Soil, Water & Air Quality Program Leader
  (307) 775-6484 | Email:

BLM Website:

BLM's Riparian Habitat Management Program offers the opportunity to coordinate with outside interests on riparian improvement projects. The goal of BLM's riparian-wetland management is to maintain, restore, improve, protect, and expand these areas so they are in proper functioning condition for their productivity, biological diversity, and sustainability. The overall objective is to achieve an advanced ecological status, except where resource management objectives, including proper functioning condition, would require an earlier successional stage. The goal includes aggressive riparian-wetland information, inventory, training, and research programs as well as improving the partnerships and cooperative management processes.

Partnerships have been available for riparian improvement projects and for research into riparian issues. Funding is available on an annual basis subject to budget allocations from Congress. All submitted cooperative projects compete for the funds available in the riparian program.

Range Improvement Planning and Development is a cooperative effort not only with the livestock operator but also with other outside interests including the various environmental/conservation groups. Water development, whether it be for better livestock distribution or improved wetland habitats for wildlife, is key to healthy rangelands and biodiversity. Before actual range improvement development occurs, an approved management plan must be in place. These plans outline a management strategy for an area and identify the type of range improvements needed to accommodate that management. Examples of these plans are Coordinated Resource Plans, Allotment Management Plans, and Wildlife Habitat Management Plans.

All rangeland improvement projects on lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management require the execution of a Permit. Although there are a couple of methods for authorizing range improvements on the public lands, Cooperative Agreement for Range Improvements form 41206 is the method most commonly used. This applies equally to range improvement projects involving water such as reservoirs, pits, springs, and wells including any associated pipelines for distribution. The major funding source for the Bureau of Land Management's share comes from our range improvement fund which is generated from the grazing fees collected. There, too, is a limited amount of funding from the general rangeland management appropriations. If the cooperator is a livestock operator, their contributions come generally in the form of labor. There are times they also provide some of the material costs as well. Contributions from the conservation/environmental interests is monetary and often come in the form of grants. They also contribute labor on occasion.

BLM's Watershed and Water Quality Improvement efforts are undertaken in a cooperative approach with the State of Wyoming, Conservation Districts, livestock operators and various conservation groups. Wyoming's BLM is partnering in the implementation of several Section 319 watershed plans state-wide.

It is anticipated that as the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ) continues the inventory of waters of the State and the identification of Impaired and/or Threatened water bodies, BLM will be partnering with the WDEQ to improve water quality in water bodies on Public Lands. In the course of developing watershed plans or TMDLs for these watersheds, BLM will be routinely involved in watershed health assessments, planning, project implementation and Best Management Practice (BMP) monitoring.

Now, and in the future, the goals of cooperative watershed projects will typically be the restoration and maintenance of healthy watershed function. These goals will typically be accomplished through approved BMPs, e.g. prescribe burns, vegetation treatments, instream structures, to enhance vegetation cover, control accelerated soil erosion, increase water infiltration and enhance stream flows and water quality.

In response to the Clean Water and Watershed Restoration initiative and associated funding increases, BLM is expanding its efforts to address water quality and environmental concerns associated with abandoned mines. This work will also be accomplished, in cooperation with the State Abandoned Mine Lands Division, on a priority watershed basis and will employ appropriate BMPs to address identified acid mine drainage and runoff problems from mine tailings and waste rock piles.

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Contact:  Mike Happold, USACE WY Regulatory Office
  (307) 772-2300 | Email:

USACE Website:

The Corps of Engineers is authorized to provide technical assistance to local communities, States and federally recognized Indian Tribes in support of their efforts to alleviate flooding impacts, reduce erosion and otherwise plan for the wise and prudent use of the nation's water and related land resources. They also have authority to construct certain water resources related projects and respond to water resource needs.

Planning Assistance To States. This program provides for assistance in preparation of plans for the development, utilization and conservation of water and related land resources. The Corps provide technical planning assistance in all areas related to water resources development such as bank stabilization, sedimentation, water conservation, ecosystem and watershed planning and water quality. Assistance is limited to $500,000 per state and studies are cost-shared on a 50-50 basis with a non-federal sponsor such as a state, public entity or an Indian Tribe.

Flood Plain Management Services. This program provides technical services and planning guidance for support and promotion of effective flood plain management. Flood and flood plain data are developed and interpreted with assistance and guidance provided in the form of "Special Studies" on all aspects of flood plain management planning. All services are provided free of charge to local, regional, state or non-federal public agencies. Federal agencies and private entities have to cover 100% of costs.

Flood Damage Reduction Projects. This program provides structural and non-structural projects to reduce damages caused by flooding and focuses on solving local flood problems in urban areas, towns and villages. The Corps works with the project sponsor to define the flood problem, evaluate solutions, select a plan, develop the design and construct a project. A feasibility study is conducted to identify potential projects with the first $100,000 of the cost Federal. Any cost above this amount is cost-shared 50-50 with the sponsor in the form of cash and in-kind services. Construction lands, easements, rights-of-way, relocations and disposal and 5% of the projects costs are the sponsor's responsibility. Operation and maintenance and a maximum of 50% of total project cost are the sponsor's responsibility.

Project Modification For Improvement of Environment. The purpose of this program is to modify structures or operation of previously constructed water resources projects to improve environmental quality, especially fish and wildlife values. A study, at federal expense, is initiated followed by a feasibility plan that is cost-shared 25% by the sponsor.

Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration. This effort is for restoration of historic habitat conditions to benefit fish and wildlife resources. This is primarily to provide structural or operational changes to improve the environment such a river channel reconnection, wetland creation or improving water quality. Conditions are similar to the Project Modification program with sponsor cost-share being 35%.

Water Resources Projects. The purpose of this program is to construct larger projects for flood damage reduction and to provide technical assistance in resolving more complex water resource problems. It is used to evaluate projects costing more than $10 million that include purposes of flood control, water supplies, water quality, environmental protection and restoration, sedimentation or recreation. This would include reservoirs, diversions, levees, channels or flood plain parks as examples. The Corps works with a non-federal sponsor to define the flood or water resource related problem or opportunity, evaluate flood control or solutions, select a plan, develop a design and construct a project. This requires special authorization and funding from Congress with a reconnaissance study being federal cost. A feasibility study to establish solutions is cost-shared 50% by the non-federal sponsor with 35 to 50% of construction cost the responsibility of the sponsor.

Support For Others Program. This program provides for environmental protection and restoration or facilities and infrastructure. This includes Environmental Planning and Compliance, Economic and Financial Analyses, Flood Plain Management, Cultural Resources and General Planning. All costs for these programs are provided by the customer agency.

Regulatory Authority/Responsibility. The Corps of Engineers has regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act and the River and Harbor Act. The purpose of these laws is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of waters of the United States. Section 404 of the Clean Water Act authorizes the Corps to regulate the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters. This would include dams and dikes, levees, riprap, bank stabilization and development fill. There are three kinds of permits issued by the Corps: They are Individual, Nationwide and Regional General permits.

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Contact:  Carlie Ronca, Area Manager-USBR Wyoming Area Office
  (307) 261-5671 | Email:

USBR Websites: and

The Bureau of Reclamation's mission is to manage, develop, and protect water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner in the interest of the American public. Reclamation has a major responsibility, in partnership with States, water users, and other interested parties, to help improve water resources and the efficiency of water use in the Western United States. After more than 100 years, Reclamation's primary role has evolved from one of water resource development to one of water resource management. More efficient water use is a key component of Reclamation's water resource management strategy.

The WaterSMART (Sustain and Manage America's Resources for Tomorrow) Program establishes a framework to provide Federal leadership and assistance on the efficient use of water, integrating water and energy policies to support the sustainable use of all natural resources, and coordinating the water conservation activities of various Department bureaus and offices. Through the WaterSMART Program, the Department is working to achieve a sustainable water management strategy to meet the Nation's water needs through projects that conserve and use water more efficiently, increase the use of renewable energy and improve energy efficiency, protect endangered and threatened species, facilitate water markets, or carry out other activities to address climate-related impacts on water or prevent any water-related crisis or conflict. A major component of WaterSMART is the Water and Energy Efficiency Grant Program, through which Reclamation provides funding in two funding groups. In Funding Group I, up to $300,000 in Federal funding is available per project, for smaller on-the-ground projects that can be completed within two years. In Funding Group II, up to $1 million in funding is available for larger, phased, on-the-ground projects that may take up to three years to complete. Water and Energy Efficiency Grants are awarded through a west-wide competitive process that requires a minimum 50% cost share by the recipient.

The Water Conservation Field Services Program (WCFSP), by contrast, provides smaller amounts of funding ($100,000 per project maximum) through local competitions within a region or area. The projects funded are generally smaller in scope than Water and Energy Efficiency Grant projects, and are focused on fundamental conservation improvements as identified in water conservation plans developed by water users. Financial assistance provided through the WCFSP also requires a minimum 50% cost share by the recipient. Funding opportunity announcements for WaterSMART grants and the WCFSP can be found on the website.

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Contact:  Cindy Hottel, Agricultural Program Specialist
  (307) 261-5081 | Email:

USDA-FSA Website:

The Farm Service Agency is a member agency of the United States Department of Agriculture. Programs administered through the FSA are offered through local county committees. Technical assistance needed for implementation of FSA programs is provided through the Natural Resources Conservation Service. FSA programs available are the Conservation Reserve Program, the Continuous Sign-up for High Priority Conservation Practices and the Emergency Conservation Program.

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP): This program offers agricultural producers annual rental payments to remove highly erodible cropland from production. Farmers and ranchers establish long-term conservation practices on erodible and environmentally sensitive land. In exchange, they receive 10-15 years of annual rental payments and Cost share assistance. CRP is a voluntary program specifically for highly erodible lands currently in active production planted 2 of the 5 most recent crop years. Land offered for CRP is ranked according to environmental benefit for wildlife habitat, erosion control, water quality and air quality.

Continuous Sign-Up for High Priority Conservation Practices: Continuous sign-up provides management flexibility to farmers and ranchers to implement certain high-priority conservation practices on eligible land. Land must meet the requirements of CRP and be determined by the NRCS to be eligible and suitable for:

  • Riparian buffers
  • Filter strips
  • Grass waterways
  • Shelter belts
  • Field windbreaks
  • Living snow fences
  • Contour grass strips
  • Salt tolerant vegetation
  • Shallow water areas for wildlife

This is a cost share program that offers rental rates based on the average value of dryland cash rent with an additional financial incentive of up to 20% of the soil rental rate for field windbreaks, grass waterways, filterstrips and riparian buffers. An additional 10% may be added if the land is located in an EPA-designated wellhead protection area. There is also a provision for cost share of up to 50% of the cost of establishing permanent cover.

Emergency Conservation Program (ECP): ECP provides emergency funding and technical assistance for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters and for carrying out emergency water conservation measures for livestock during periods of severe drought.

Participants receive cost-share assistance of up to 75 percent of the cost to implement approved emergency conservation practices, as determined by county FSA committees.

Some of the conservation practices are:

  • Removing debris
  • Restoring fences and conservation structures
  • Providing water for livestock in drought situations

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State of WY Contact:  Ron Graham, Asst. State Forester-Fire Management
  (307) 777-3368 | Email:

USDA-FS Website:

A number of Federal laws direct or authorize watershed management on National Forest Service lands. Some of these laws provide broad authority while others deal more narrowly with specific watershed management activities.

The objectives of the Forest Service watershed management program are to protect and enhance soil productivity, water quality, water quantity and timing of water flows and to maintain favorable conditions of stream flow and continuous production of resources from National Forest System watersheds.

It is the policy of the Forest Service to implement watershed management activities on National Forest System lands in accordance with general objectives of multiple use and the specific objectives in the forest land management plans for the area involved. It is also the intent to design management activities of other resources to minimize short term impacts on soil and water resources and to maintain or enhance long term productivity, water quality and water quantity.

The Clean Water Action Plan provides broad water quality direction for the Forest Service. Specific direction for water quality is contained in the Land and Resource Management Plan for each National Forest. The forests in Wyoming are in the process of completing the Inland West Water Reconnaissance which will provide a classification of watersheds and stream reach conditions. Forest Service water quality programs are coordinated with Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality and other appropriate agencies. The Forest Service also has a water rights program that is coordinated with the Wyoming State Engineer.

The Forest Service, in conjunction with other federal, state and local agencies, provides watershed management and condition training. T-WALK and Proper Functioning Condition surveys are field methods used to assess stream reach and other water body condition.

Forest Service Office Contact Phone (307) Email
Bighorn NFChris
Bridger-Teton NFRonna
Medicine Bow/Routt NFDave
Shoshone NFKarri

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Contact:  Astrid Martinez, State of WY Conservationist
  (307) 223-6750 | Email:
  Jill Binette, State of WY Executive Assistant
  (307) 233-6750 | Email:

USDA-NRCS Website:

Wyoming NRCS State Office
PO Box 33124
Casper, WY 82602
Phone: (307) 223-6750

The United States Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides leadership in a partnership effort to help people voluntarily conserve, improve and sustain natural resources on private lands. The purpose and mission of the agency is to help landowners treat every acre of their private property according to its needs and within its capability. The treatment includes a balance between the land use for economic return and protecting its ability to be productive from generation to generation.

Conservation planning is key to successful land stewardship as NRCS employees and landowners work together to tailor-make voluntary conservation plans that meet the specific needs of individual customers. The NRCS workforce has the technical expertise and field experience to help land users solve their natural resource challenges and maintain and improve their ability to thrive economically. They are highly skilled in many scientific and technical specialties, including soil science, soil conservation, range conservation, engineering, agronomy, biology, geology, hydrology, forestry, cultural resources, Geographic Information Science (GIS) and economics. NRCS conducts natural resource inventories and assessments to indicate status, condition and trends of natural resources on private lands. This resource information and technology include science-based technical tools, technical guides and performance specifications and standards that assure quality and consistency of conservation planning and application across the nation.

Technical and cost-share assistance is available through NRCS. This assistance includes designs, specifications, construction and management and financial help for practice and system installation. Local people, individually and collectively, decide how to use NRCS capabilities in the natural resource conservation planning and application process. The role of NRCS is to support and facilitate these individual and local decisions based on good resource information, whether that's a grazing management plan or layout for an irrigation system.

NRCS provides technical assistance for the following programs in Wyoming:

  • Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI): Accelerated range management technical assistance is available to producers in every county to support this initiative.
  • Small Watershed Program (PL-566): NRCS works through local government sponsors to help solve natural resource and related economic problems on specific watersheds.
  • Snow, Water and Climate Services: Snow survey crews collect information on snowpack conditions to provide Wyoming water users with forecasts of seasonal water supplies. This helps determine available water to meet agricultural, industrial, recreational and urban area needs.
  • Soil Surveys: Soil surveys provide a field-based scientific inventory of soil resources and information on the potentials and limitations of each soil. This information assists in determining the best uses of the land based on soil type.
  • Plant Materials: Wyoming NRCS is serviced by the Plant Materials Center (PMC) at Bridger, Montana. The Plant Materials Program identifies, selects and releases superior performing plant collections for a variety of conservation uses.
NRCS administers the following Landscape Planning Programs:
  • Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program assists in implementing emergency measures, including the purchase of flood plain easements, for runoff retardation and soil erosion prevention to safeguard lives and property from floods, drought, and the products of erosion on any watershed whenever fire, flood or any other natural occurrence is causing or has caused a sudden impairment of the watershed.
  • Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Operations (WFPO) Program provides technical and financial assistance to entities of State and local governments and Tribes (project sponsors) for planning and installing watershed projects.
  • Watershed Surveys and Planning (WSP) authorizes NRCS to cooperate with Federal, State, and local agencies and Tribal governments to protect watersheds from damage caused by erosion, floodwater, sediment and to conserve and develop water and land resources.
NRCS administers the following 2014 Farm Bill programs:
  • Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP): Through EQIP, technical assistance, cost share and incentive payments are available to agricultural producers to implement conservation practices that improve water quality, enhance grazing lands, and/or increase water conservation.
  • The Sage-grouse Working Lands for Wildlife Initiative is offered under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) with the purpose of providing assistance to agricultural producers to implement practices that will alleviate or reduce threats to sage-grouse habitat.
  • Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) encourages land stewards to improve their conservation performance by installing and adopting additional activities, and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities on agricultural land and nonindustrial private forest land.
  • The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) promotes coordination between NRCS and its partners to deliver conservation assistance to producers and landowners. NRCS provides assistance to producers through partnership agreements and through program contracts or easement agreements. Assistance is delivered in accordance with the rules of EQIP, CSP, ACEP and HFRP; and in certain areas the Watershed Operations and Flood Prevention Program.
  • The Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) provides financial assistance to agricultural producers to address resource issues such as water management, water quality, invasive species control, and erosion control by incorporating conservation into their farming or ranching operations. The purpose of AMA is to assist producers in reducing risk to their operation.
  • Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program is intended to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies while leveraging Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection, in conjunction with agricultural production. Under CIG, Environmental Quality Incentives Program funds are used to award competitive grants to non-Federal governmental or nongovernmental organizations, Tribes, or individuals.
  • The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands and their related benefits. Under the Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) component, NRCS helps Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations protect working agricultural lands and limit non-agricultural uses of the land. Under the Wetlands Reserve Easements (WRE) component, NRCS helps to restore, protect and enhance enrolled wetlands.

NRCS collaborates with many local, state, and federal agency partners to provide the maximum technical assistance to people who work the land and to leverage the federal contributions to natural resource conservation on private lands. The state's 34 conservation districts take a special place in the partnership and the natural resource conservation delivery system. Units of local government, conservation districts operate on the premise that local people know the most about local natural resource needs. Conservation districts link NRCS to local communities and to local priorities for natural resource conservation.

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Contact:  Alana Cannon, Community Programs Director
  (307) 233-6709 | Email:
  Roy Prior, USDA-RD State Engineer
  (307) 233-6713 | Email:

USDA-RD Websites:

The United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development's utilities program is authorized to provide financial assistance for water and waste disposal facilities in rural areas and towns of up to 10,000 people. This program is intended for Non-profit corporations and public bodies such as municipalities, counties, and special purpose districts and authorities. Priority is given to entities serving less than 5,500 people with preference given to small, low income communities.

Funding may be obtained through Rural Development only when the applicant is unable to secure funding from other sources at reasonable rates and terms. The applicant must have legal capacity to borrow and repay loans, to pledge security for loans and to operate and maintain the facilities. The applicant must be financially sound and able to manage the facility effectively as well as have a financially sound facility based upon taxes, assessments, revenues, fees or other satisfactory sources of income to pay costs of operating, debt service and reserve. Grants are also available and are used to supplement loans to reduce debt service where necessary to achieve reasonable user rates. Areas with median household incomes above $60,350 are not grant eligible. Assistance is also available on how to assemble information concerning engineering, financing and management of proposed improvements.

Loans and grants may be used to construct, repair, improve, expand or modify rural water supplies and distribution facilities such as reservoirs, pipelines, wells and pumping stations, waste collection, pumping, treatment or other disposal facilities. This assistance may also be used to acquire a water supply or water right or finance facilities in conjunction with funds from other agencies or those provided by the applicant. These funds can be used to pay legal and engineering fees connected with the development of a facility or pay other costs related to development including rights-of-way or easements and relocation of roads or utilities. Loan terms are a maximum of 40 years, State Statute, or the useful life, whichever is less with interest rates based on current market yields for municipal obligations.

USDA Rural Development also guarantees loans to eligible commercial lenders to improve, develop or finance water or waste disposal facilities in rural areas. This guarantee is a warrant to protect the lender and may cover up to 90% of the principal advanced. The guarantee fee is 1% of the loan amount multiplied by the percent of the guarantee. Interest rates will be negotiated between the lender and the borrower.

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Contact:  Mark Hogan, WY State PFW Coordinator
  (307) 332-8719 | Email:

USFWS Website:

Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program (PFW). The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program serves as the primary tool for conservation delivery on privately owned land for the USFWS. The Program provides technical and financial assistance to private landowners and tribes on a voluntary basis to help meet the habitat needs of federal trust species and conservation partner designated species of interest. The program targets habitats that are in need of restoration or enhancement such as riparian areas, streams, wetlands and grassland. Field biologists work one-on-one with landowners and partners to plan and implement a variety of projects including grazing lands management, sage steppe enhancement, stream habitat improvement and fish passage, invasive species removal and wetland establishment.

Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR). The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR) works with states, insular areas and the District of Columbia to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, their habitats, and the hunting, sport fishing and recreational boating opportunities they provide. The Division of Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program provides oversight and/or administrative support for the following grant programs: Wildlife Restoration Grant Program, Sport Fish Restoration Grant Program, Boating Infrastructure Grant Program, State Wildlife Grant Program, Tribal Wildlife Grant Program, and Tribal Landowner Incentive Grant Program.

Conservation Planning and Assistance Program. The Conservation Planning Assistance program works directly with other Federal agencies and programs, as well as the American public, on infrastructure development projects to protect the environment and preserve our Nation's biological, terrestrial and aquatic natural resources. Field biologists in all 50 States assist project proponents, planners, and agency personnel in developing plans that conserve, restore or enhance fish and wildlife while at the same time accomplishing the objectives of proposed development. This program provides grants to state fish and wildlife agencies to fund projects that bring together USFWS, state agencies and private organizations and individuals. Projects include identification of significant problems that can adversely affect fish and wildlife and their habitats, actions to conserve species and their habitats, actions that will provide opportunities for the public to use and enjoy fish and wildlife through non-consumptive activities, monitoring of species and identification of significant habitats.

Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund/Section 6 Grants. The Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund (section 6 of the ESA) provides grants to States and Territories to participate in a wide array of voluntary conservation projects for candidate, proposed, and listed species. The program provides funding to states and territories for species and habitat conservation actions on non-federal lands. States and territories must contribute a minimum non-federal match of 25 percent of the estimated program costs of approved projects, or 10 percent when two or more States or Territories implement a joint project.

North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) Grant Program. This grant program promotes long term conservation of wetlands ecosystems and the waterfowl, migratory birds, fish and wildlife that depend upon such habitat. Conservation actions supported are acquisition, enhancement and restoration of wetlands and wetlands associated habitat. This program encourages voluntary, public private partnerships. Public or private, profit or nonprofit entities or individuals establishing public/private sector partnerships are eligible. Cost share partners must at least match grant funds with non-federal monies.

National Wildlife Refuge Challenge Cost Share Program. The Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) Challenge Cost Share Program started in 1988 as a way to enhance partnerships with State and local governments, individuals and public and private groups. The program enables the FWS to manage cooperatively its natural and cultural resources and fulfill stewardship responsibilities to fish and wildlife management. Under this program, projects must occur on a refuge or directly benefit a refuge. The program encourages refuge managers to form partnerships and leverage allocated funds to complete the projects. Appropriated funds may be used to pay for no more than 50 percent of the cost of a project. Non-Federal sources, including state/local governments, private individuals/ organizations, business enterprises, and philanthropic and charitable groups provide the matching 50 percent cost share. The cooperator share may be a non-monetary contribution. Cooperative agreements are signed with the cost-share partners.

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Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center

Contact:  John Kilpatrick, Director
  (307) 775-9162 | Email:

USGS - WY-MT Water Science Center Website:

The USGS was established by Congress in 1879 to provide the Nation with reliable and impartial information in order to understand the Nation's natural resources. Today, the USGS is known as a science organization that provides impartial information on the health of our ecosystems and environment, the natural hazards that threaten us, the natural resources we rely on, and the impacts of climate and land-use change. Above all else the USGS is a scientific organization concerned with providing credible, relevant, impartial, and timely information to all. This information can be used by policy makers, resource managers, scientists, and the general public to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.

The USGS Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center focuses our research and data collection programs primarily on water resources issues. Our activities include the operation of long term networks monitoring the quality and quantity of water in Wyoming and Montana's streams, reservoirs, and groundwater systems. We also conduct short-term interpretive investigations of specific water-resources issues on a local, State, regional, national, and international level. Some examples include investigations of the:

  • Effects of abandoned or inactive mine lands on aquatic systems
  • Impact of past and future energy development on water resources in Wyoming and Montana
  • Effects of population growth and land- and water-use changes on water resources in intermontane valleys
  • Changes in stream-channel geomorphology resulting from natural and anthropogenic factors
  • Changes in water quality over time
  • Effects of climate change on water resources
  • Changes in hydrology caused by wildfires
  • Interaction of groundwater and surface-water and other components of the water budget in intermontane watersheds
  • Occurrence of mercury in Wyoming and Montana aquatic systems

The Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center carries out its activities from our main offices in Helena and Cheyenne along with our field offices in both Montana and Wyoming. The Center has a highly trained staff of scientists, technicians, and support personnel committed to providing accurate and timely natural resources information. Additional information about the research and data collection programs of the USGS Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center can be found at:

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