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Tongue River Watershed

Tongue River originates in the Bighorn National Forest (BNF) on the eastern side of the Big Horn Mountains south of the Dry Fork Ridge, flows downstream through the towns of Dayton and Ranchester, and eventually becomes a tributary of the Yellowstone River in Montana.


Land uses within the watershed include irrigated hay and crop lands, dry land pasture, livestock grazing, wildlife habitat, various types of recreation, and the urban areas of Dayton and Ranchester.  The Bighorn National Forest (BNF) encompasses the upper portion of the watershed, and also supports wildlife habitat, livestock grazing, logging, recreation, and other uses.

Tongue River Watershed Plan

The Tongue River Watershed Plan is under the direction of the Tongue River Watershed Steering Committee (TRWSC) and the Sheridan County Conservation District (SCCD) in partnership with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and funded in part by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WDEQ) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) through Section 319 of the Clean Water Act (CWA).


The plan:

  • Identifies impaired waters within the project area;

  • Characterizes the subwatersheds within the project area;

  • Quantifies existing pollutant loads from previous monitoring efforts;

  • Develops estimates of the load reductions required to meet water quality standards;

  • And develops effective management action items to reduce pollutant loads. 

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