WyomingELI State Wetland Protection Status, Trends, & Model Approaches
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Original Wetland Acreage Remaining Wetland Acreage Acreage Lost % Lost
2,000,000 1,250,000 750,000 -38%

Wyoming Wetlands: Palustrine wetlands occur throughout Wyoming and include emergent wetlands such as seasonally flooded basins or flats, fresh marshes, fresh meadows, saline marshes, and playas; forested wetlands such as swamps; scrub-shrub wetlands such as shrub swamps and bogs; unconsolidated bottom wetlands such as small stock ponds. Lacustrine wetlands are limited to the shallows of reservoirs and naturally occurring lakes. Riverine wetlands associated with high-gradient streams are concentrated in the mountainous areas, whereas wetlands associated with low-gradient streams and intermittent streams are more prevalent in basins and plains.

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Summary Features Regulation Water Quality Standards Mitigation Monitoring and Assessment Restoration Public/Private Partnerships





Overall Program:

Some measure of protection for wetlands is provided by several statutes including the water quality protection program and a recent wetland act requiring state notification for certain drainage activities and authorizing mitigation banks (effective 1996).

The drainage provisions became effective in 1996.

The legal banking provisions became effective on July 1, 1991 but the bank has not yet been implemented. 

Innovative Features and New Programs/Initiatives:


State Wetland Conservation Plan

The Game & Fish and State Recreation Commission has completed a SCORP. 

No Net Loss/Net Gain Goal

There is not a no net loss goal in statute, but is the basic premise for the wetland bank. 



Wetland Regulatory Statutes and Administrative Rules

WS 35-11-301 to WS 35-11-313. We established in 1996, State notification program for draining wetlands over 5 acres.

WY Stat. ## 89-849 to 89-862. State identifies areas of critical concern; local governments must adopt regulations consistent with state guidelines for these areas or the state may adopt a land use plan for the area. 

Wetland Definition and/or Delineation; Comparability With Federal Definition

Yes, a working definition has been adopted. 

Evaluation Methodology

One has been developed in a multi-agency memorandum of understanding specific to highway construction. 

Regulated and Exempted Activities

The wetland statute only regulates certain types of drainage. 

Special Provisions for Agriculture and Forestry


Penalties and Enforcement

Violations of water quality regulations can be assessed up to $10,000/day. The penalty has not been enforced for wetlands to date. 

Permit Tracking

The state doesn't issue permits. All enforcement to date is by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (404 program). 

State General Permit (PGP or SPGP) for 404


Assumption of Section 404 Powers

Assumption has been explored. Twice, once in 1981, again in 1991. It was rejected both times by the state legislature. 

Joint Permitting

Joint 401/401 application and public notice procedures are implemented in the state. 

Special Area Management Plans and Advanced Identification Plans


Role of Local Governments

Local government can establish zoning and setback ordinances. Conservation districts are active in promoting education and demonstration projects. 

Staffing (Regulatory Staff)

Currently, one full-time position.   

Water Quality Standards

Wetlands and Water Quality Standards

WS 35-11-301 to WS 35-11-313. State notification program for draining wetlands over 5 acres.

WY Stat. ## 89-849 to 89-862. State identifies areas of critical concern; local governments must adopt regulations consistent with state guidelines for these areas or the state may adopt a land use plan for the area.  

Wetland Definition


Designated Uses


Narrative and/or Numeric Criteria


Antidegradation Policy




Staffing (Wetland Water Quality Staff)



Mitigation Policy

Mitigation is generally not required by state water quality regulation unless impacts to water quality are demonstrated. Mitigation is almost totally federally driven. However, mitigation is required in some instances for drainage pursuant to a new law. 

Mitigation Banks

Yes. A wetland law specifically authorizes mitigation banks. 

In Lieu Fee Program


Ad Hoc Arrangements


Mitigation Database


Staffing (Mitigation Staff)


Monitoring and Assessment

Mapping /Inventory

The National Wetland Inventory “NWI” is partially complete.

Preliminary work is beginning to integrate NWI maps into a state GIS system. 

Wetland Classification and Assessment


Overall Wetland Gain and Loss Tracking System


Staffing (Monitoring and Assessment Staff.)



Program Description


Restoration Program Goals


Eligibility Criteria


Restoration Database


Staffing (Wetland Restoration Program Staff.)


Public/Private Partnerships

Acquisition Program


Public Outreach/Education


Tax Incentives


Technical Assistance


Other Nonregulatory Incentives for Private Landowners


Wetland Training and Education


Watershed Planning


Special Problems

Selenium concentrations occur in some areas. Water development, degraded riparian areas, and coal mining impact wetlands. There is pressure to develop in Teton County. 


None identified. 

Contact Person(s)

Jeremy Lyon
Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality
Water Quality Division
Herschler Building
122 West 25th Street
Cheyenne, WY 82002
(307) 777-7758

Contact Points

No website/links identified. 

Guidebooks, Brochures, Websites, Other Educational Materials

None identified.