From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 3, Number 24 - September 11, 2003
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Instream flow questions answered

by Cat Urbigkit

The Wyoming Attorney General's office presented the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission and WG&F Director Brent Manning with a written opinion on instream flow issues during an executive session Monday morning in Casper, according to WG&F's Terry Cleveland.

At the WG&F Commission meeting in Lusk in June, the commission decided to request an Attorney General's opinion on whether the commission can delegate to its department the responsibility to make recommendations for instream flow segments.

But in an interview Tuesday, Cleveland said two questions were asked of the Attorney General. One was the delegation of authority question, but the other was whether the commission could consider instream flow recommendations in executive session rather than in open, public sessions. Cleveland said he did not know who had proposed this question to the Attorney General. It was not discussed at the WG&F Commission meeting in June.

Cleveland said the Attorney General's response was that the commission may indeed delegate to the department its responsibility to make instream flow recommendations, but instream flow issues could not be considered in executive session.

Cleveland said he was not authorized to release to the Examiner a copy of the written Attorney General's opinion, that only Manning was authorized to release the opinion. Manning is out of state for the next week.

In other instream flow news, John Barnes of the Wyoming State Engineer's office said that the public comment period is now closed for the two instream flow applications for Pine Creek through Pinedale. With a deluge of water permit applications related to coalbed methane development, Barnes said he couldn't predict when State Engineer Pat Tyrrell will issue the decision for Pine Creek.

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