Dry Creek Water Augmentation Project
The Dry Creek Water Augmentation Project was a partnership between the BLM Cody Field Office, Marathon Oil Corporation and Friends a Legacy (FOAL), dedicated toward finding additional sources of water to feed the Dry Creek drainage which runs through the McCullough Peaks Wild Horse HMA (Herd Management Area). The project was launched just after the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality required Marathon Oil to reduce the amount of produced water it released into Dry Creek.
Phase I of the project began in 2014 and included the identification of water supply development (reservoir enhancement, groundwater wells, guzzlers, etc.) and implementation of plans to capture, contain or conserve the available surface water. This was accomplished by installing a shallow groundwater well on BLM property (within yards of the FOAL property) that could supply an adequate quantity and quality of groundwater - to be contained within a water guzzler, with the overflow pouring into Dry Creek. In addition, five reservoirs were cleaned out in the HMA, which were critical for capturing spring snow melt.
Phase II was completed in late 2015.
Wells, boss tanks, water guzzlers, enclosure areas, and over 25,000 feet of pipe were installed to distribute water to the “La Commode” and “Magpie” reservoirs for all creatures living within the HMA.
This includes antelope, deer, sage grouse, eagles, and of course the wild horses. Water distribution contributes to more even-grazing in the HMA and therefore supports a healthier range overall.
Memorandum of Understanding with the Bureau of Land Management
In 2006 FOAL was granted non-profit 501(c)(3) status by the IRS and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the BLM for “…coordination and cooperation between the BLM and FOAL on opportunities for public education, to enhance the habitat for all creatures living within the McCullough Peaks Wild Horse HMA, and to assist the BLM in managing the wild horses in the McCullough Peaks herd.”
Activities between FOAL and BLM have included reservoir restoration, fence and sign repair, noxious weed spraying, PZP darting, adoption assistance, untouched horse training clinics, McCullough Peaks tours, Wyoming Mustang Days, Natural History Days, and other educational opportunities.