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.

CARBON COUNTY Natural Resource Management Plan

The Carbon County Board of County Commissioners (County) is in the process of developing a draft Natural Resource Management Plan (Plan) for the county. The County has hired Y2 Consultants and Falen Law Offices to work with a County appointed steering committee to develop the Plan following the guidelines set forth by the Wyoming Governor’s Office and the Wyoming County Commissioner’s Association. The County is developing this Plan as a tool which allows a local government to have a substantive impact on federal decisions, plans, policies, and programs. Further information on the Plan process and opportunity for public comment can be found HERE or by calling 307-328-2614.

___________________________________________________________________________________

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.

The Mullen fire last fall had an impact on part of the LaVA analysis area. As a result, a Supplemental Information Report (SIR) is being prepared and will be finalized soon. A SIR is often prepared after a decision has been signed and a changed condition that has the potential to result in effects that may not have been within the bounds of the original analysis has occurred. In these situations, it is incumbent upon the responsible official to determine whether the original analysis is sufficient to address the changed condition or if a supplemental NEPA analysis is required.  A SIR is NOT a NEPA analysis but rather a recommendation analysis. The document is scheduled to be signed no later than then end of March.

A memo releasing areas that were wholly unaffected by the Mullen Fire is ready for signature. This will allow management to recommence within the analysis area away from where the fire occurred.

_____________________________________________________________________________________