U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Wind River/Bighorn Basin District Sage-Grouse Conservation Initiatives
Cody Field Office
Heart Mountain Sage-Grouse Habitat Enhancements:
YU Bench Habitat Enhancement:
Fidelity Exploration & Production Company: In order to install overhead power to supply four new wells in the Silvertip Oil Field, discussion were held with BLM, Rocky Mountain Power, and Fidelity to discuss potential impacts to sage-grouse. To maintain sage-grouse connectivity within the area and prevent perches for raptors, the discussion turned from overhead to buried power. Due the estimated costs to bury the power for the four wells, $42,309.00 (which is almost 10-fold of the original overhead cost), Fidelity opted to bury power to the first well at a cost of $13,052.00 ($8,093.00 more than the overhead at $4,959.00) and re-route overhead power to supply the other three wells at a cost of $14,939.00. Total additional incurred costs to Fidelity to maintain sage-grouse habitat was $18,703.00.
Bighorn Basin Bentonite Companies (Bentonite Performance Minerals, American Colloid Company, M-I LLC, and WyoBen Inc.): Provided a representative who worked on the Bighorn Basin Local Sage-Grouse Working Group. Starting in 2007, bentonite companies worked with Shell Valley Consulting to design and implement test plots to increase establishment of sagebrush on bentonite reclamation areas by planting sagebrush seedlings and using an experimental, inexpensive drip irrigation system(s).
Develop reservoirs, wetlands, or other water sources as part of reclamation of mined lands in areas with limited water. (ongoing)
Companies now include sagebrush seed in all revegetation mixes where appropriate.
Lander Field Office
Government Draw vegetative treatment project: Devon Energy provided funding and support for vegetative treatments in an area of heavy sage-grouse use. The information obtained from the project is planned to be used to evaluate different vegetative treatment methods that would benefit sage-grouse habitat.
Fentan Road wildlife water well development project: Marathon Oil Company contributed money for a project to develop a water well for wildlife use. Funding was used for solar panels, pumps, and auxiliary equipment to enhance sage-grouse habitat use. The project also benefits antelope and mule deer in the Fentan Pass Road area.