Fish Creek and the Snake River Westbank aquifer are an important resource to the community of Jackson Hole in Teton County, Wyoming. Unfortunately, in recent years there is greater evidence of nutrient pollution that threatens local water sources and their ecosystems.
The available evidence points to a number of sources for this nutrient contamination including a combination of agricultural runoff, landscape fertilizer, individual septic system waste, as well as treated wastewater. Currently, the US Geological Survey is engaged in a study to more comprehensively determine the source and extent of these nutrient flows. This study is scheduled to be completed in late 2016.
Jackson Hole is looking for a scientific partner or partners who can take the currently available data and work with local stakeholders in assessing best practice in managing these nutrient flows. The community wishes to have this input ready for when the full nutrient loading study is released to ease the transition into stakeholder consensus and action.
A scientific partner will work with available data and resources to make a series of suggestions and advisory reports to local stakeholders with regard to a given component of the nutrient load system. A collaborative effort is desired to put together a full best practices plan before the end of 2016.
Jackson Hole is seeking scientific input throughout the course of 2016.
The Fish Creek Stakeholders Group has recently begun to organize an internal scientific advisory committee. The goal of this group is to provide scientifically based opinions to inform remediation options for Fish Creek. Carlin Girard anticipates that Bill Elliot will be formally invited to be a part of this panel, seeing as his expertise and external perspective will add validity to the project. By the time the United States Geological Survey (USGS) releases their study of Fish Creek in July, the City of Jackson hopes to have the review panel assembled. Bill and Carlin are set to discuss the logistical details of what this would entail, including possible travel and other expectations.
Carlin Girard is the Water Resource Specialist for Jackson, WY. Coming from a diverse background in natural resource management and research, his experience working for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in Jackson led him to a Master’s degree in Aquatic Resource Management at the University of Wyoming. His aquatic work experience has focused on native fisheries, aquatic and riparian habitat, and water quality.
Dr. William Elliot’s current research focuses on making complex watershed tools useful to watershed managers. He believes that a better understanding of watershed processes will enable provision of abundant clean water for people in the U.S. and throughout the world. His professional experience as a research civil engineer and his work with the USDA, US Forest Service, and Rocky Mountain Research Station have allowed him to contribute to that understanding.
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