LAND USE

 

SERCD participates as a cooperating agency in federal decision-making processes related to federal plans, policies, and programs that will impact local land use, management of natural resources, the citizens, and the local tax base.

The District has adopted specific policies for those priority issues of concern within the list of resource categories below.  Refer to the Long Range Plan for further details.

• Agriculture
• District Operations/Education
• Ecosystem Services
• Energy Development & Mining/Minerals
• Private Property Rights
• Socioeconomics

  • Soils
  • Vegetation – General, Conservation Forestry,
    Rangeland Health and Management
  • Water Resources
  • Wildlife
  • Wild and Feral Horse

On-going Planning Activities

Click on any all CAPS word to access more information.

WYOMING PIPELINE CORRIDOR INITIATIVE

The Wyoming Pipeline Corridor Initiative is a proposal from the State of Wyoming to designate almost 2,000 miles of pipeline corridors across private, state and BLM-managed lands in Wyoming. Approximately 1,150 miles of the proposed corridors are located on BLM-managed lands. The project would designate a statewide pipeline corridor network for future development of pipelines associated with carbon capture, utilization and storage, as well as pipelines and facilities associated with enhanced oil recovery. The project will not authorize any new pipelines or construction but will amend several BLM Resource Management Plans across the state to make future analysis of project specific proposals more efficient.

The comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) released on April 17th closed on July 16, 2020. The BLM will review comments and incorporate changes as appropriate before releasing the Final Environmental Impact Statement later this year.

___________________________________________________________________________________

Waters of the United States (WOTUS ) Rulemaking

On April 21st, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army (Army) published in the FEDERAL REGISTER the final rule defining the scope of waters that are federally regulated under the Clean Water Act(CWA). The Navigable Water Protection Act went into effect on June 22, 2020 in Wyoming.

The Navigable Waters Protection Rule identifies four categories of waters that are Federally regulated under the CWA:

−       Territorial seas and traditional navigable waters, like the Atlantic Ocean and the Mississippi River

−       Perennial and intermittent tributaries

−       Certain lakes, ponds, and impoundments

−       Wetlands that are adjacent to jurisdictional waters

The following waters are not subject to Federal control under the CWA:

−       Water features that only contain water in direct response to rainfall

−       Groundwater

−       Many ditches, including most farm and roadside ditches

−       Previously converted cropland

−       Farm and stock watering ponds

−       Waste treatment systems

The EPA says the Navigable Waters Protection Rule respects the primary role of States and Tribes in managing their own land and water resources.

The Clean Water Act, U.S. legislation enacted in 1972 to restore and maintain clean and healthy waters, is the primary federal law regulating water pollution in the United States.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army are the federal government agencies tasked with implementation of the law. Over the years, many other laws have changed parts of the Clean Water Act. These agencies have the authority for rulemaking to implement the Clean Water Act. The definition for Waters of the United States has and continues to undergo changes to what waters are under federal jurisdiction based upon the rules made. The Conservation District plays an active role in commenting on any proposed changes.

________________________________________________________________________________________

Landscape Vegetation Analysis (LaVA) Project

The Medicine Bow National Forest moved into the implementation phase of the Medicine Bow Landscape Vegetation Analysis project, known as LaVA on August 13, 2020 when the final Record of Decision was signed. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents can be found on the MEDICINE BOW-ROUTT NATIONAL FOREST WEBSITE or for more project specifics, you can view the LaVA PROJECTS PAGE. The project provides an environmental foundation to improve forest conditions using a wide range of tools on a maximum of 288,000 acres, spread over a 15-year period, beginning in 2020

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project

This project represents the largest onshore wind energy facility in North America. When fully operational, the project will be capable of generating up to 3,000 megawatts of power. The first phase of the project was authorized in January 2017. The infrastructure and first phase of the project are in construction. The most recent activity is a December 2, 2019 decision for PHASE II TURBINE DEVELOPMENT EA3 .