BTNF seeks public comment on Middle Piney Dam Project
by Bridger-Teton National Forest
November 20, 2015
BIG PINEY – The Big Piney Ranger District of the Bridger-Teton National Forest is looking for comments on a proposed Middle Piney dam reconstruction project.
Currently the Middle Piney dam is rated as a high hazard structure and does not meet State and Federal safety standards. The proposed project would bring the existing Middle Piney dam into compliance with Federal and State safety standards and this project would be done in partnership with the Wyoming Water Development Commission. "Right now, the dam isn't holding the full permitted water right and we would all benefit from addressing some of the broader control structures that would be incorporated into a refurbished dam for overall safety of the structure and the protection of downstream infrastructure which includes a road, campground, and summer home area," said Big Piney District Ranger Mike Thom. "Additionally, the recreational benefits this project can bring to the Forest will be a real asset to the community and those who have discovered the opportunities the Middle Piney Reservoir affords," he said. The Middle Piney Reservoir is near the Sacagawea campground, as well as several summer recreational residences on the Forest. "If we don't address the issues with this old dam, there is a potential that the road leading to the campground could be washed out," said Thom.
Part of the proposed work to go along with refurbishing the dam would be to install a new and improved boat ramp for the Middle Piney Lake. "This is the only boat ramp in the Wyoming Range and the improved access will be a great benefit to fisherman and those who paddle this scenic lake," Thom said.
The Forest would have to limit vehicle access on the road to the dam while the construction is occurring and close the day-use area at the lake. "If the project goes forward, we will be able to have the work done on the dam and boat ramp without closing the Sacagawea campground," Thom said. The project would be analyzed through May 2016 and a contract could be awarded as early as the fall of 2016. "The work is expected to take at least two summers and while the area itself would be closed, and that is indeed an inconvenience, the benefits to recreationists would be worth the wait" he said.
Comments should be sent to District Ranger Mike Thom at PO Box 218, Big Piney, WY 83113 or electronically to comments-intermtn-Bridgerfirstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information on this proposed project visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/btnf/projects or contact hydrologist Trevlyn Robertson at 307-886-5317.