Flat Creek Watershed Management Plan Revision
Teton Conservation District recently revised the Flat Creek Watershed Management Plan. The purpose of the revised 2019 plan is to restore water and habitat quality in Flat Creek and its tributaries by reducing contaminant loads, enhancing aquatic habitat, and improving fishery and recreational potential. Alder Environmental LLC facilitated the revision process.
Background & Purpose
Flat Creek has been designated as an ‘impaired stream’ by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality since 1996. In response to that listing, which identifies stormwater runoff and habitat alteration as root problems, the original Flat Creek Watershed Management Plan was drafted in 2006. This stakeholder- and community-driven effort established a baseline understanding of the issues facing Flat Creek and identified a series of actionable projects to address those challenges. Since 2006, twenty of the twenty-two objectives outlined in the Watershed Plan were completed, making the original plan outdated. With a grant from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Teton Conservation District led an effort to bring the Flat Creek Watershed Management Plan up to date. The 2019 revised plan includes new project ideas, a list of accomplishments, summarizes existing data, and sets discrete goals for water quality and stream health in Flat Creek.
This 2019 Plan Revision sets goals for the watershed. Three of the goals were developed by the original watershed committee. The current committee added two goals, bringing the total to the following five:
– Water Quality: Restore water quality in Flat Creek to meet the state’s designated uses for the waterbody.
– Riparian Habitat: Protect and restore riparian habitat along Flat Creek and its tributaries.
– Aquatic Habitat: Improve aquatic habitat in Flat Creek to maintain native trout populations.
– Human Use: Balance human use interactions with the Flat Creek corridor’s ecological functions Winter Flooding (new).
– Winter Flooding: Minimize winter ice formation and flooding where structures and human use are negatively impacted (new).