Let the state of Wyoming know you value clean water

The state of Wyoming wants to allow substantially higher levels of E. coli in more than three-quarters of its streams. What can you do?

Click here to take action.

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Photo: Scott Kane

Last summer, the state of Wyoming made a decision—we think it’s a bad one—that would allow up to five times more E. coli than was previously permissible in more than three-quarters of the state’s surface waters. This includes thousands of miles of streams on national forests and other public lands.

Families, youth campers, hikers, and anglers routinely use many of the affected streams for recreation. Across Wyoming, our livelihoods and our lives depend on clean water.

The Wyoming Outdoor Council worked hard this winter to give the Environmental Protection Agency the information and feedback it needs to disapprove this decision by the state, and many of you helped with that effort.

Now we need you to show your support for clean water in Wyoming again: on June 5, 2015, the EPA informed the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality that it must hold a public hearing and reach out to recreational groups before the EPA can approve the new, higher permissible levels of E. coli. Find the public notice here.

Based on your own personal experiences, we are asking for your help to submit comments, or, better yet, to attend this meeting and make the point to the DEQ that primary contact recreation (i.e. swimming, bathing, and similar activities involving a high degree of contact with the water) can and does often occur on these low flow streams in rural and undeveloped areas.

Public Hearing for Categorical Use Attainability Analysis
5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 16
Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Basko Building
2211 King Boulevard, Casper, WY

If you can’t make it to this event, click here to send a letter to the DEQ. Furthermore, if you can provide personal photos of recreation in these low flow streams as shown in light blue on this map, please consider including copies of your photos along with your letter.

Your comments and photos will serve as evidence that people do, indeed, participate in primary contact recreation in these streams where higher levels of E. coli are would be allowed.

Click here to take action and to learn more.

Posted in *All posts, Public Health & Environmental Quality
2 comments on “Let the state of Wyoming know you value clean water
  1. Susan Marsh says:

    Before considering a sweeping rule change to relax water quality standards, DEQ needs to be aware that many small backcountry streams within the Bridger-Teton and other national forests are used for recreation, and yes, there is contact with the water, since nearly none of these streams have foot bridges on them and one must ford. One also steps into the stream to cool feet, fish, take photos, and enjoy being in a pristine setting. Further, a number of the streams in the Snake River watershed are eligible or have been designated under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The water quality of these streams and their tributaries must not be degraded, according to law. A list of these streams within the Bridger-Teton NF follows.

    Atlantic Creek_wild, 7.4 miles
    Bailey Creek_wild, 6.9
    Big Fall Creek_scenic, 4.9
    Big Sandy River_scenic, 9.7
    Big Sandy River_wild, 3.4
    Blackrock Creek_scenic, 21.7
    Box Canyon Creek_wild, 3.5
    Buffalo Fork_scenic, 14.1
    Buffalo Fork_wild, 5.2
    Cliff Creek_scenic, 7.8
    Cliff Creek_wild, 9.2
    Corral Creek_recreation, 5.0
    Corral Creek_wild, 2.5
    Crow Creek_wild, 1.6
    Crystal Creek_scenic, 4.7
    Crystal Creek_wild, 14.3
    Dell Creek_wild, 5.6
    East Whetstone Creek_wild, 4.5
    Granite Creek_scenic, 10.6
    Granite Creek_wild, 12.3
    Green River_scenic, 25.2
    Green River_wild, 16.2
    Greys River_recreation, 9.7
    Greys River_scenic, 57.5
    Gros Ventre River_scenic, 43.2
    Gros Ventre River_wild, 16.5
    Hoback River_recreation, 16.9
    Hoback River_wild, 7.6
    La Barge Creek_recreation, 28.2
    Little Greys River_recreation, 18.1
    Little Greys River_wild, 7.6
    Marten Creek_wild, 4.1
    Middle Piney Creek_scenic, 6.3
    Middle Piney Creek_wild, 2.6
    North Buffalo Fork_wild, 26.2
    North Fork Crow Creek_wild, 2.9
    North Piney Creek_scenic, 11.6
    Open Creek_wild, 13.4
    Pacific Creek_scenic, 6.8
    Pacific Creek_wild, 22.4
    Pine Creek_wild, 9.9
    Roaring Fork – N. Piney_wild, 3.3
    Roaring Fork_wild, 15.1
    Salt River_recreation, 1.3
    Salt River_wild, 11.5
    Sheep Creek_recreation, 7.8
    Sheep Creek_wild, 4.0
    Shoal Creek_wild, 16.9
    Smiths Fork_recreation, 15.3
    Snake River_recreation, 29.4
    Snake River_wild, 6.9
    Soda Fork_wild, 12.0
    South Buffalo Fork_wild, 27.0
    South Fork Crow Creek_wild, 4.8
    South Fork Fontenelle Creek_scenic, 1.4
    South Fork Fontenelle Creek_wild, 11.9
    Swift Creek_recreation, 3.4
    Swift Creek_wild, 5.7
    Thorofare Creek_wild, 25.5
    Tosi Creek_scenic, 6.1
    Tosi Creek_wild, 13.6
    West Dell Creek_wild, 8.9
    West Whetstone Creek_wild, 3.8
    Whetstone Creek_wild, 3.2
    Willow Creek_wild, 21.0
    Wolf Creek_wild, 7.0
    Yellowstone River_wild, 21.5
    total miles BTNF, 796.0

  2. Ted Lapis says:

    Clean water is essential, not a luxury. Swimming holes provide healthy outdoor activities, especially important for a generation that needs to unplug from electronics, and enjoy wild wonderful Wyoming.

    The Bighorn Mountains also have many miles of streams that would be harmed by relaxing these standards, but streams throughout Sheridan, Johnson, Big Horn, and Washakie Counties (Not just those with headwaters in the Bighorn Mts.) will be adversely affected by this rule change.

    State and Federal leasees often enjoy spectacular savings on below market value (Compared to private leasing deals) for grazing on public lands. They should not be allowed to degrade our recreational water.

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