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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
Worland Field Office
 
Release Date: 09/28/09
Contacts: Sarah Beckwith 307-347-5207    

Partnership Improves Rattlesnake Butte Area


The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Worland Field Office, in partnership with Devon Energy, made improvements to a popular recreational area during a workday on Sept. 23. Both BLM and Devon Energy staff planted native riparian trees and grasses, cut Russian olive, and hung birdhouses at Rattlesnake Butte, northwest of Worland, Wyo.

Chicago Botanic Garden Intern Betsy Verhoeven and volunteer Rachel Hellesto from Corvallis, OR, plant a Ribes shrub near one of the ponds.

Chicago Botanic Garden Intern Betsy Verhoeven and volunteer Rachel Hellesto from Corvallis, Ore., plant a Ribes shrub near one of the ponds.

Partners (L-R): Chicago Botanic Garden Intern Betsy Verhoeven, volunteer Rachel Hellesto (Corvallis, Ore.); Bill Skelton (Devon); BLM Natural Resource Specialist Eve Warren; and Collin Burns (Devon).

Partners (L-R): Chicago Botanic Garden Intern Betsy Verhoeven, volunteer Rachel Hellesto (Corvallis, Ore.); Bill Skelton (Devon); BLM Natural Resource Specialist Eve Warren; and Collin Burns (Devon).

Eve Warren, BLM natural resource specialist and project leader, showed the group how to carefully remove the seedlings from their containers, dip them in a mycorrhizal mix, and place them into holes dug to the perfect depth. "The mycorrhizal mix helps the roots form relationships in the soil which increase nutrients to the plant, increasing its chance of surviving," Warren said. The newly-planted seedlings are topped-off with a sprinkle of sugar to skew the carbon-nitrogen ratio in their favor and a cage is placed around them for protection against nibbling animals.

"Devon has enjoyed the opportunity to work with the BLM on this project," said Bill Skelton of Devon Energy. "It's cool that this is getting restored to a more natural area. It will provide better wildlife habitat and will be a great place for people from Worland to go for a walk." Halfway through the day, famished workers enjoyed a barbecue lunch provided by Devon.

This is not the first time the BLM and Devon have teamed-up in the Rattlesnake Butte area. During a workday last fall, the area was made cleaner and safer for the public as staff removed old pipe, cement and trash. Continued efforts like these will also result in improved habitat for birds, deer, and other wildlife.

The Rattlesnake Butte area was used as an oil field camp by the Pure Oil Company where workers and their families lived between 1948 and 1960. The tract was classified for retention in public ownership in 1961 and Devon Energy currently retains a right-of-way for an existing water well and an access road. The BLM is keeping water in two ponds and plans to make a walking path between them, complete with restored riparian vegetation including native flowers, shrubs, and grasses.

Note to media: Click on the thumbnails to download full-size images suitable for print.

BLM Archeologist Marit Bovee cuts Russian olive.BLM Hydrologist Jared Dalebout and Alice Emerson of Devon plant riparian vegetation.BLM Hydrology Technician Emily Hake broadcasts native grass seeds.Bill Skelton of Devon constructs a protective cage around a newly-planted seedling.

BLM Archeologist Marit Bovee cuts Russian olive.

BLM Hydrologist Jared Dalebout and Alice Emerson of Devon plant riparian vegetation.

BLM Hydrology Technician Emily Hake broadcasts native grass seeds.

Bill Skelton of Devon constructs a protective cage around a newly-planted seedling.

Chicago Botanic Garden Intern Betsy Verhoeven gives a plot of seedlings a helping hand with some handfuls of sugar. BLM Range Management Specialist Mike Peck is on his way with water from the pond.

Chicago Botanic Garden Intern Betsy Verhoeven gives a plot of seedlings a helping hand with some handfuls of sugar. BLM Range Management Specialist Mike Peck is on his way with water from the pond.

Devon employees Bill Skelton, Alice Emerson and Lana Hanson hang one of the birdhouses that Alice built.

Devon employees Bill Skelton, Alice Emerson and Lana Hanson hang one of the birdhouses that Alice built.



The BLM manages more land - 256 million acres - than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.
--BLM--

Worland Field Office   101 South 23rd      Worland, WY 82401-0119  

Last updated: 09-28-2009