Last week, the Bureau of Reclamation approached the State of Wyoming with an ultimatum: withdraw from the State’s water budget or risk dewatering 4.5 miles of Wild and Scenic Snake River below Jackson Lake Dam.
There is no doubt that managing water across the Upper Snake River Basin is a challenging task. That task was made more difficult by two years of regional drought and an atypical snowpack in 2023. However, we must not let unpredictable climate and poor water balancing beget catastrophic drawdowns on the upper reaches of the Snake.
The Snake River Fund is grateful for the State of Wyoming’s decision to step in and keep flows at the bare minimum: 280 cfs. However, the clock is still ticking. Wyoming’s water budget will not cover the projected drawdowns into June. In reality, the meager 280 cfs isn’t a win for the ecosystem. Flows out of the Dam should resemble a natural hydrograph as closely as possible.
The events of the past week have highlighted the unsustainability of the current management paradigm in the Upper Snake River Basin. We must encourage our elected officials and the agencies they oversee to build a collaborative framework that balances the need of downstream irrigators and the health of one of our nation’s most prized stretches of river.
Please take a minute to join us in reaching out to the Wyoming Delegation to ask for their support in these unprecedented times.
A form letter to be sent to Senator John Barrasso can be downloaded BY CLICKING THIS LINK.
Once signed and personalized (see below), please submit the letter AT THIS LINK.
Keep in mind that personalized letters always carry more weight than form letters. Please feel free to use the talking points in the form letter above to craft your own statement of concern complete with personal anecdotes of why the Snake matters to you. Any questions or comments can be directed to Orion Hatch at firstname.lastname@example.org or (307) 734-6773.
Are you a small business owner whose livelihood could be affected by this proposal? If so, please take a second to add your signature by CLICKING THIS LINK.