The Sheridan County Conservation District is seeking a consultant to assist in an assessment of the Tongue River channel and its floodplain for about five miles upstream of the town of Dayton.
Proposals are being accepted now from companies interested in the project. Carrie Rogaczewski, SCCD district manager, said Aug. 23 is the deadline for submission of proposals, and the conservation district board of directors, in consultation with Sheridan County commissioners, hope to award the bid next month.
Plans for the survey of the Tongue River channel began in summer 2011 when the Sheridan County Public Works Department received requests from landowners concerned with erosion of the Tongue River's banks and property damage as the river flows through Tongue River Canyon.
After meetings with landowners in November 2011, the SCCD applied for funds from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality and the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Rogaczewski said the DEQ awarded $40,000 for the project in November last year, but the money was only received last month.
The money is a matching-funds grant, requiring the SCCD to provide an additional $10,000.
Rogaczewski said the assessment will focus on the physical characteristics of the river channel and floodplain. She said information from the study will not result in new projects, but will be used to prioritize and coordinate current and future landowner requests for assistance. She elaborates on the goals of the study.
Rogaczewski said if a consultant can be brought on board next month, the survey could begin as early as this fall.
The survey will include both existing data and collection of additional field data. Rogaczewski said the consultant's task will be to gather data and assist with the technical aspects of the project. The SCCD also will work with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service.
The Sheridan County Conservation District is one of 34 conservation districts organized under laws passed by the Wyoming legislature in 1941. Organized as a local branch of state government, the district was initially formed in 1972 through a consolidation of the Dutch-Clear Creek, Cloud Peak and Tongue River conservation districts.
It was originally called the Clear Creek Conservation District but, because of confusion over district boundaries, was renamed the Sheridan County Conservation District in 1993. The district's purpose is to provide studies and assistance with issues involving natural resources in Sheridan County.