JACKSON, Wyo. — Construction of a wastewater facility at the headwaters of the Fish Creek watershed on Wyoming State Lands has been halted due to a stay issued by the court. The facility is part of the dome-style “glamping” sites project off of Moose-Wilson Road.
On June 24, 2022, the Office of State Lands and Investments (OSLI) issued a temporary use permit to Mountain Ventures/Basecamp Hospitality, LLC (“Basecamp”) to develop a geodesic dome hotel complex on state trust lands in Teton County. On Oct. 6, 2022, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ) authorized the construction and operation of a commercial wastewater system.
On Nov. 28 2022, Protect our Waters Jackson Hole challenged the WDEQ in the 9th Judicial District Court of Teton County, WY for review of agency action.
On Jan. 31, 2023, the court issued a motion for a stay of enforcement with the WDEQ not opposing this action halting all construction of Basecamp’s operations.
Although Fish Creek is classified as Class 1 Waters and is normally afforded the greatest regulatory protection by the Environmental Protection Agency and the WDEQ, that did not happen with the construction of this commercial wastewater system in this watershed.
In addition, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department ranks the most critical coldwater recreational fisheries and assesses the relative potential impacts of proposed development projects to streams. Their classifications are one of the most important forms of protection for our streams.
Wyoming streams are ranked according to the number of pounds of trout per mile measured in the stream segment. With 300 to 600 pounds per mile, Fish Creek ranks as a Red Ribbon stream with “state-wide importance.” With greater than 600 pounds per mile, the Snake River ranks as a Blue Ribbon with “national importance.”
“The bottom line is that this is absolutely the wrong location for a commercial wastewater system,” said Meghan Quinn, executive director of POWJH.
While the WDEQ has revoked this wastewater permit, they can still reissue a revised wastewater permit.
In December, The State of Wyoming Board of Land Commissioners filed a complaint in the Laramie County District Court against Teton County over the county’s attempt to require the two development projects on state trust land to comply with county land development regulations (LDR’s). This suit is ongoing.