Man with the data the ranchers fear, will speak at Teton County Library-

Jonathan Ratner, whose data gathering efforts to test for e. coli contamination in Wyoming creeks indirectly caused the Wyoming legislature to pass their draconian “data trespass law,” will speak tomorrow, Sept. 10 at the Teton County Library in Jackson, Wyoming at 6 pm.  He will talk about water quality, which has become a raging issue in Wyoming as the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality moves to downgrade the standards for contamination by fecal coliform bacteria in creeks.

Ratner is the Wyoming director of the Western Watersheds Project.

There would be a change of status for 87,775 miles of creeks in Wyoming (those with an average flow of less than 6 cubic feet a second — 76% of the state’s waters). The rationale is that the waters of streams with this low a flow do not come in contact with people enough to be considered primary waters meriting a primary e. coli standard. Instead they are secondary and only have to meet a seccondary standard, which is 5 times weaker (dirtier). This is obviously false with all of the remote wilderness creeks in the state. A creek with less than 6 cps can be extremely important for recreation, not to mention fish and wildlife.

Meanwhile Angus M. Thuermer Jr. of WyoFile has written a lengthy article describing recent events in this controversy. The EPA has rejected Wyoming’s changes so far, though only because they have not held a proper public hearing where everyone has notice and records are kept. Read “Water hearing to be held under protest.”  Wyoming DEQ is arrogantly claiming a public hearing does not need to be held, but the EPA is forcing them.

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

5 Responses to Jonathan Ratner to speak tomorrow, Sept. 10 in Jackson, Wy

  1. monty says:

    Deny, deny, deny! What hope is there for a civilization that ignores reality and buries or ignores information that is essential to life?

  2. Nancy says:

    How did the meeting go Jonathan?

  3. Ralph Maughan says:


    This week’s issue of the Jackson Hole News and Guide has a sidebar article on Ratner’s talk.
    See: Water-quality activist slams DEQ

    • Nancy says:

      Thanks for the update Ralph.

      What are the procedures if one wants to check on the water quality in their local streams, creeks, say in Montana?

      • Randy Fischer says:

        While walking through our national forest, A random step placed on a cow pie (in a minefield of pie)leads one to believe that the effort to clean the minefield is outnumbered. It has been said, nothing worthwhile happens in the brevity of a lifetime, “so we have hope”.


September 2015


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey