Emergency Watershed Protection on the Pogo Agie River
In mid-July of 2011, NRCS was called to investigate some flooding issues on the North Fork of the Popo Agie River. An area of the river bank was over topping and threatening to breach. If so, the main channel would follow, and the new river course would be flowing through an old river channel. If this occurred, an irrigation head gate a few hundred feet downstream on the opposite side of the river would have been left without a water supply. This would have affected a dozen landowners and several hundred acres.
In addition, an historic old structure adjacent to an Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) project was in jeopardy. At one point during the summer, part of the North Fork of the Popo Agie River flowed through a corner of this building. NRCS , through funds from EWP, was able to save the structure as well shore up the riverbank and prevent the river from entering the old river channel. The livelihood of a dozen landowners was protected and an historic structure was saved.
On the Wind River, downstream from Riverton, Wyo., an earth fill closing an old oxbow was being washed around the ends of an existing dike, threatening five homes and 17 people, including elderly residents and children. The breach of the fill would also take out the access road to the homes. This was a limited resource area on Shoshone-Arapahoe Reservation lands. NRCS, through EWP, was able to rip rap the dike just hours before it would have failed. The project prevented the river from entering the old oxbow and saved all five homes and their access road from the flood.
In 2011, 17 EWP projects in six Wyoming counties totaling nearly $279,000 were completed to protect and save irrigation structures, homes, a subdivision, private bridges and access roads to homes, and irrigation canals.
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