DOINews: BLM Buffalo Field Office Partners with Wyoming Conservation Corps, Devon Energy for Sage-Grouse Habitat Restoration in Powder River Basin

Last edited 09/05/2019

Devon employee Clay Elliott thinning and removing juniper trees from sage-grouse habitat
Devon employee Clay Elliott helps thin and remove juniper trees from sage-grouse habitat during a joint workday with Wyoming Conservation Corps students and the Bureau of Land Management. Photo by BLM.
BLM employee Jack Kelley thinning and removing juniper trees from priority sage-grouse habitat.
Bureau of Land Management employee Jack Kelley works on thinning and removing juniper trees from priority sage-grouse habitat. Photo by BLM.

The Bureau of Land Management's Buffalo Field Office, the Wyoming Conservation Corps and Devon Energy recently came together for a nine-day preservation, restoration, and education project to restore sage-grouse habitat in the Powder River Basin. This is the seventh year that Devon, WCC, and the BLM have partnered to improve Wyoming's public lands.

“We are thrilled to continue our efforts alongside the Wyoming Conservation Corps and Devon Energy, building on the many initiatives we've completed in the past,” said Buffalo Field Office manager Duane Spencer. “These activities are essential to the BLM's success and truly benefit the entire community."

Team members focused on sage-grouse habitat improvement in an area called Burnt Hollow, thinning and removing 550 juniper and ponderosa pine trees that had invaded 160 acres of priority sage-grouse habitat on BLM-administered lands. This year's work was part of a multi-year effort to remove invasive trees from sage-grouse habitat across the northern Powder River Basin.

“Each year our staff works side-by-side with the Wyoming Conservation Corps and Bureau of Land Management to preserve the land and protect habitats in our key areas of operation,” said Kevin McAulay, Devon's production superintendent in the Powder River Basin. “We're proud of our partnership and are dedicated to being good stewards of the land.”

Devon Energy also hosted an educational day for WCC students, BLM leaders, and educators from Wright's Cottonwood Elementary and Wright Junior/Senior High School. Students took a field and drilling rig tour and learned about safety protocol, the area's geologic formations, how oil and gas are produced, and how to work with the federal government on public lands.

"Devon Energy and the BLM continue to invest in our members and contribute to their knowledge base of natural resource conservation across Wyoming,” said Patrick Harrington, WCC project coordinator. “Our program would not be possible without the support of these partners and their commitment to providing experiences for generations of Wyoming Conservation Corps leaders and members."

Story by: Lesley A. Elser, public affairs specialist, BLM

Dec. 8, 2014

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