The Crow Creek Watershed is located in Laramie and Albany Counties in Southeastern Wyoming. Crow Creek (HUC 10190009 – South Platte River Basin) consists of a diverse cross section of Class 2 perennial streams, municipal-use water reservoirs and a number of intermittent streams.
Laramie County Conservation District is sponsoring the South Platte River Watershed Study. It is being funded by the Wyoming Water Development Commission, and Dahlgren Consulting, Inc., is doing the study work. For more information, click the link below:
The Laramie County Conservation District works with local stakeholders to develop and implement the Crow Creek Watershed Plan. This locally-developed management plan addresses water quality impairments in Crow Creek and recommends Best Management Practices that can be implemented on private and public lands. The plan underwent a public comment period and was approved by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality in March 2004. Implementing the recommendations in the plan involves voluntary efforts from the community. A printed copy of the watershed plan is available in the Laramie County Conservation District office.
The Upper Crow Creek Watershed Steering Committee developed the Amendment to the Crow Creek Watershed Plan to address water quality issues in the upper portion of the watershed located upstream of Granite, Crystal and Upper North Crow Reservoirs. The Amendment was completed in February 2007 and was signed by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality in December 2007 following public review. Printed copies are available from the Laramie County Conservation District.
The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is charged under the Clean Water Act to develop Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for streams that are not meeting state water quality standards. The TMDL is a framework for restoring polluted waters by calculating the maximum amount of a pollutant a water body can receive and still meet water quality standards. The calculated pollutant load is then distributed among the various sources contributing to the water quality impairment.
Several TMDLs have recently been completed along portions of Crow Creek through the Cheyenne area including a selenium TMDL (approved 2013), an E. coli bacteria TMDL (approved 2014), and a sediment TMDL (awaiting final EPA approval). The City of Cheyenne and LCCD were heavily involved in development of these documents, helping to ensure that the assumptions, calculations, and restoration measures were both reasonable and accurate.
In addition to the 3 above TMDLs, DEQ has also recently initiated TMDL development for an E. coli bacteria impairment on portions of Middle Fork Crow Creek flowing through the Pole Mtn. unit of the Medicine Bow National Forest. LCCD is again working cooperatively with other stakeholders to ensure the most accurate and up-to-date information is used in the development of this document. Members of the public that are interested in this process are encouraged to participate in the public meetings as they are scheduled.
Information concerning the TMDL process and public notices can be accessed on the Wyoming DEQ website, DEQ, or you may contact the Laramie County Conservation District (LCCD) for additional information at 772-2600.
Best Management Practices (BMPs) – (DEQ BMP Documents)
Best Management Practices, or BMPs, are methods that prevent or reduce pollution from reaching water sources. Structural and non-structural projects as well as changes in management or cultural practices are all considered BMPs. Usually a combination of these types of practices is needed to impact nonpoint source pollution.
Riparian buffers– Vegetation along stream channels improves bank stabilization and filters storm water runoff before it enters the stream. Much of Crow Creek already has natural riparian buffers of willows, sedges and grasses. Buffers are most useful in places where they can intercept water from rain events or snow melt. Planting willows and sedges along stream banks or allowing grass to grow tall along the banks are good ways to create buffers.
Grazing management – The district’s Range & Wildlife Specialist assists landowners in developing grazing management plans. Management plans address overgrazing issues, bare soil, weed invasion, manure management, erosion control and animal health.
Animal Feeding Operations – The Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts (WACD) developed a brochure to educate producers on laws & liabilities, potential pollutants, best management practices and other issues related to confined livestock operations. Included in this brochure is a producer self-evaluation that can be utilized to determine if the operation has the potential to impact water quality. For more information, please visit the WACD website at www.conservewy.com.
Infiltration Trenches – Infiltration trenches have been installed in two areas of urban Cheyenne to help storm water runoff infiltrate into the soil. Trenches are dug in areas that normally receive runoff from storm events and the trenches are filled with gravel to allow the runoff water to penetrate the soil surface.