Welcome to the Natrona County Conservation District's Website. NCCD has been around since 1946 working collectively with other agencies such as Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Farm Services Agency (FSA), Natrona County Weed & Pest, University of Wyoming, Natrona County, the City of Casper, as well as many other city, county and state agencies to work on local conservation issues.
Board of Supervisors
Natrona County Conservation District is led by an elected Board of Supervisors, which consists of three (3) rural representatives, one (1) urban representative and one (1) at-large representative, as required by state statutes. This ensures that both City and County residents get representation when making decisions on District projects. Our board meetings are always open to the public, so if you have an interest in local conservation efforts, you are always welcome to attend!
NCCD is not funded by a mill levy, as many of the conservation districts in Wyoming and around the country are funded. Instead, NCCD is funded through the generous contributions of the Natrona County Commissioners, the City of Casper, and the Wyoming State Department of Agriculture. Natrona County Conservation District is a benefit for all residents of Natrona County, whether urban or rural. NCCD actively seeks out and applies for grants that provide funds for the improvement of our watershed.
Watershed Health & Geology
Due to the geological make-up of Natrona County, the prime concern for the Natrona County Conservation District is the health of our watershed. Why the geology? Natrona County is situated largely on Cody Shale, a remnant of the Cretacious Period, millions of years ago. The Cody Shale layer beneath us possesses high levels of naturally occurring selenium, which then is transported into our waterways through excessive irrigation and storm water runoff. Consequently, Natrona County is home to nine (9) waterbodies listed on Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality's 303(d) list for selenium impairment, including four ponds or reservoirs (Rasmus Lee Lake, Goose Lake, Illco Pond, and Thirty-three Mile Reservoir (also known as Bressler Reservoir)), four drainages or creeks (Poison Spring Creek, Oregon Trail Drain, Poison Spider Creek, and Casper Creek), and the North Platte River. For more information on selenium, please see our "Why Selenium" page.
Natrona County Conservation District has worked diligently over the years to improve the water quality in the North Platte River Watershed. The board has worked closely with City and County officials, local landowners, farmers and ranchers to limit the concentration of selenium that enters our waterways. Over twelve years of water quality data, obtained by NCCD, has shown a definite decline in the levels of selenium. This decrease shows a strong, negative correlation with Best Management Practices (BMPs) that have been implemented in our watershed with the assistance from grants received by NCCD for "on the ground" work.
Level I Watershed Study - Middle North Platte River Subwatershed
In 2011, NCCD requested funding from the Wyoming Water Development Commission (WWDC) to complete a Watershed Study on the Middle North Platte River Watershed. While many "studies" are just studies that collect dust in someone's office, this Level I Watershed Study will culminate with a document that lays out a plan for watershed improvements over the next decades, along with potential costs and funding sources for these projects. The study was recommended by the WWDC to the Wyoming State Legislature for funding, and the study was approved. In May 2012, consultants were hired to complete this project. Please see our Level I Watershed Study page for more information.
North Platte River Watershed TMDL Implementation Plan
From 2009 through 2011, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) hired consultants to compile a Total Daily Maximum Load (TMDL) for the Middle North Platte River Watershed. Based upon the findings of the TMDL, NCCD applied for a grant through DEQ to continue watershed work with the goal of getting the North Platte River removed from the 303(d) list. A grant in the amount of $735,430 was awarded to the District to utilize for improvements to waterways, irrigation improvements, and continued water sampling. A huge portion of this grant is strictly for "on the ground" work! Please see our North Platte Project page for more information.
Through education and outreach, NCCD works with Natrona County residents and landowners to implement surface water and land best management practices (BMPs) to lower the selenium levels in creeks, drainages, and the North Platte River.