EcoWatch

Alder Environmental Senior Scientist Brian Remlinger and Water/Wetland Scientist Brooke Stallings survey water and stream bed quality in 2016 along Fish Creek in Wilson. The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality recently determined the stream has an E. coli problem.

‘Impaired’ streams study

All of Fish Creek and portions of Flat Creek officially have an E. coli problem, according to the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.

A comment period on the draft “impaired” designation is now open, with thoughts due by Feb. 20. Comments can be submitted at WQ.WyomingDEQ.CommentInput.com.

State environmental regulators made their determination, which was expected, in the draft version of a 2020 report, which rounds up water quality conditions across the Equality State. Teton County’s two prized streams actually constitute two-thirds of all the new “impaired” listings documented since the last DEQ report was completed two years ago.

The only other newly impaired stretch of Wyoming water that DEQ’s draft report identified was Lander Creek, which flows from the Wind River Range and also is being listed due to dangerous levels of E. coli bacteria.

Statewide, Wyoming’s waterways and lakes are in pretty good shape, especially relative to more developed and peopled parts of the country. Approximately 7% of 267,294 stream miles and 4% of 487,948 lake acres have been assessed. Only 6% of assessed stream miles and 2% of the assessed lake acres are currently listed as impaired.

CWD group to meet

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s chronic wasting disease working group meets today and Thursday in Casper to make updates to the draft CWD Management Plan.

The meeting will begin at 1 p.m. in the Hilton Garden Inn. The public is invited to attend the working group proceedings, which precede the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission voting on the plan at its March meeting in Cody.

Game and Fish Director Brian Nesvik appointed 31 people from varied backgrounds, professions and interests from across the state to the working group.

Forest thinning proposed

The Bridger-Teton National Forest proposes to allow a commercial logger to remove dead and dying trees in the Chall Creek area of the northern Wyoming Range.

The project would permit activity on no more than 250 acres, including a half mile of temporary road construction. Chall Creek is a tributary of the Green River located in the Merna area.

Comments are due by Saturday. Email thoughts to Big Piney Ranger District employee Dundonald Cochrane at dundonald.cochraneiii@usda.gov.

Solar farm open house

The Bureau of Land Management is holding an open house on the 66-megawatt Raven Solar Energy Project in Sweetwater County.

The event is set up for 3 to 6 p.m. Feb. 13 at the BLM’s Rock Springs field office.

The 400-acre Raven solar farm would include a 3.9-mile underground 34.5-kV generation tie power line in a 30-foot- wide right of way. The system would include a battery bank, access roads, a substation and switchyard and a maintenance building.

The project is being scoped and comments are due in by Feb. 27. Find related documents and instructions for commenting online at go.USA.gov/xdbxD.

Call project contact Crystal Hoyt for more information at 307-352-0322.

Shoshone to take bids

The Shoshone National Forest is looking to permit new outfitting and guiding services near the communities of Cody, Dubois and Lander.

Activities that are potentially open include mountaineering, sport climbing and ice climbing in the Wild Iris, Sinks Canyon, Little Popo Agie and Gannett Peak areas in the Wind River Ranger District. There are also commercial climbing opportunities in the South Fork of the Shoshone River corridor and the Clarks Fork area. Other non-motorized commercial activities being considered include mountain biking, trail running, day-use fishing, paddle boarding, kayaking and canoeing.

Additional activities may be considered beyond those listed above.

For information on the solicitation process call Paul Rau at 307-578-5140 or Mike LaFrentz 307-578-5117.

Proposals will be due in by March 9.

Stargazing sets speakers

Wyoming Stargazing has announced its 2020 speaker series, “The World above the Tetons.”

The first event of the year was last week, when Ryan Prouty gave a talk about cooperation in space.

Coming up: Mike Adler will talk about astrophotography on March 7; Danielle Carroll will present about human health in space on March 29; last, Mike Brotherton will speak on cosmic storytelling on April 27.

All the speaker events are at 7:30 p.m. at the Center for the Arts. Tickets for children and students are free; adults pay $25.

See WyomingStargazing.org/speaker-series for more information and to buy tickets.

— Mike Koshmrl

Contact Mike Koshmrl at 732-7067 or env@jhnewsandguide.com.

Mike has reported on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's wildlife, wildlands and the agencies that manage them since 2012. A native Minnesotan, he arrived in the West to study environmental journalism at the University of Colorado.

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