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Rawlins Field Office
Release Date: 06/10/10
Contacts: Lorraine Keith/Beverly Gorny    

BLM Office Provides Assistance to Flooded Areas

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Rawlins Field Office (RFO) has several personnel who live in Saratoga, Wyo., volunteering their time and efforts to help fill approximately 60,000 to 70,000 sand bags to stop the North Platte River’s raging flood waters.

According to weather records, this is some of the highest flood waters in Carbon County, Wyo., since 1917. The National Weather Service in Cheyenne, Wyo., is forecasting the North Platte River at Sinclair, Wyo., to rise to 12.2 feet by this afternoon.

“We are prepared to provide shovels, pumps, heavy equipment and manpower to fill sand bags and anything else that is needed to help prevent the flood waters from doing any more damage,” said Patrick Madigan, BLM RFO manager. “Not only are we concerned about the areas we manage, but the health and safety of our employees and community neighbors as well.”

According to Annette Treat, BLM legal instruments examiner who lives in Saratoga, the city has been buying sand from the Wyoming Department of Transportation to fill the sand bags needed to fight the river’s crest.

Brian Smith, BLM outdoor recreation planner, says the Dugway Campground, Bennett Campground and the Encampment picnic areas are all underwater based on his inspections for flooding. At the Encampment picnic area, trees are blocking the bridges that cross the river. At least 1.5 feet of water is encroaching on the picnic area as well as half of the hiking trail. The lower camp sites at the Bennett Campground are under water and all of the boat ramps are unusable. The Prospect Mountain River Access near the Wilderness Study Area is under approximately 3 feet of water. Local recreationists have tried to drive through all three campsites and were turned back by the flood waters.

According to Smith, several of the local outfitters that provide river tours, float trips, fishing trips and raft trips on the river have shut down because of the flooding.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Rawlins Field Office   1300 North Third      Rawlins, WY 82301  

Last updated: 06-10-2010