Tongue River splash
Tongue River Tongue River © Justin Sheely

Stories in Wyoming

Healthy Waters

Protecting and Restoring Wyoming Waters

Water is the lifeblood of all living things and in the arid West, it is an especially cherished commodity. In Wyoming, The Nature Conservancy has made Healthy Waters a top priority.

Wyoming holds the headwaters of the Colorado, Missouri, and Columbia Rivers, as well as the Great Salt Lake. Yet, as elsewhere in the West, the growing demand for clean and abundant water – for drinking, irrigation, wildlife, and recreation – has never been more pressing. With climate change increasing the severity of drought, decreasing snowpack, and altering precipitation patterns, protecting and restoring the source of our water is increasingly urgent priority.

Actions

That’s why The Nature Conservancy is hard at work preserving and restoring Wyoming’s streams, rivers, and wetlands.

  • On the Tongue River in Sheridan County, we are working with our partners and generous volunteers to improve water quality, decrease erosion, and rejuvenate wetlands, filtering runoff before it enters the Yellowstone River.
  • We’re using our nature preserves as living laboratories to test restoration tools such as structures that mimic beaver dams to replenish groundwater, expand wetlands, and hold more water in streams during the hot, dry summer months.
  • On the Popo Agie River, we’re part of the community-led Healthy Rivers Initiative, implementing a long-term plan to improve water quantity and quality in and around Lander.
  • In the Upper Green River Valley, we are partnering with agencies and ranchers to implement nature-based solutions to restore degraded streams, increasing the land’s resilience to drought and a changing climate.
  • We are supporting the State of Wyoming’s efforts to evaluate methods that will help the state withstand restrictions in the face of water shortages in the Colorado River Basin.
  • On the Shoshone River in Park County, we are working with our partners to measure and reduce the volume of sediment flowing into the river from the area’s extensive canal system, preserving both fishery health and irrigation systems.   

And that is only a snapshot of our water work around the state.

How You Can Help

To meet the demands of conservation, we need your help. Your support of our conservation efforts allows us to be a powerful force in preserving a legacy of healthy waters in our great state for which we are deeply grateful.

Make a donation today.