A small creek trickles down a hill on a forested hill.

BLM Wyoming Water Program

Water resources include surface water and groundwater sources. Water of sufficient quality and quantity is necessary for managing public lands. Clean and adequate supplies of water are necessary to promote healthy watersheds, provide fish and wildlife habitat, maintain drinking water sources, allow safe recreational use of our surface water, and maintain healthy plant communities and wildlife habitats.

BLM Wyoming’s Water, program leads efforts to assess and restore water quality conditions, and to manage water resources on public lands. These activities include water quality measurement, remediation of water bodies not meeting state water quality standards, implementation of best management practices to improve water quality, contracting with laboratories for analyses, and data interpretation and analysis.

Project Story

Ten members of Boy Scouts of America Troop 49, ages 12 to 18, used shovels, crow bars and muscle to help Kemmerer Field Office (KFO) staff build a steel jack fence exclosure to protect Shadow Spring, a half-acre critical water source and its surrounding riparian habitat to provide a better quality, reliable water source for wildlife while limiting livestock use.  

In order to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, a scout needs to do a service project and this one-day fencing project fit the bill for Sean Star. Sean had contacted the KFO to see if there was a project he could lead, plan and develop and personnel from the KFO suggested the Shadow Spring exclosure.  

Sean worked with personnel from the KFO to complete project planning and Sean supervised actual construction. The crew of scouts and others tackled the steel jack fence construction which required installing 220 three-rail jacks, four corner-rail jacks and 660 12-foot rails. Steel jack fencing is more expensive than standard wire fence but requires little to no maintenance, does not disturb the ground and lasts for 50 years.

Shadow Spring is located 35 miles northwest of Kemmerer, Wyo., and is in the Lost Creek-Ryan Creek Cooperative Management Area within the Lost Creek Allotment (Tunp Mountain Range).  The area is used by the public mainly during the summer months for hiking and camping but also in the fall during hunting season. It is crucial winter wildlife habitat, a major migratory route for elk, deer, moose and pronghorn and home to many species including elk, deer, moose, pronghorn and Greater Sage-Grouse. It is also within a winter range closure which does not allow motorized vehicles from January 1 to April 30 each  year to protect wintering big-game species.

Three boys work on a pole fence enclosure in a  riparian area amidst bushes and tall grass.