Public Meeting to Address Wildfire Risk in Municipal Watershed
The Wyoming Water Development Commission (WWDC) is inviting the public to attend an informational meeting regarding the upcoming Sheridan Municipal Watershed Wildfire Hazard Mitigation Assessment. The meeting will take place Tuesday, Jan. 29, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Inner Circle at Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library.
The goal of the assessment is to create a watershed management plan that outlines specific forest management treatments that will prevent or minimize impacts to municipal supply reservoirs and other water infrastructure for the City of Sheridan.
According to Sheridan Area Water Supply (SAWS) Project Manager Dan Coughlin, the Sheridan County Fire Warden has conducted similar studies in the past, but nothing this in depth.
In 2013, Governor Mead’s Task Force on Forests focused on wildfire and led to an allocation, through the WWDC, for an assessment of Buffalo’s Clear Creek watershed.
The WWDC then opened up the possibility for other municipalities to apply for assessments.
“We applied right away,” Coughlin said.
Coughlin explained that the Goose Creek watershed will be evaluated at a sub-parcel level, taking into account temperature, wind, moisture, geology, and many other factors. The final assessment will inform the Forest Service’s management of the watershed.
Wildfires can pose a range of risks to a watershed, including changes to soil chemistry and accelerated erosion.
Representatives from the WWDC, SAWS, the City of Sheridan, and the project consulting team will be available to answer questions and listen to the public’s comments on wildfire mitigation related to Sheridan’s municipal water supply.