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Kemmerer Field Office
Release Date: 05/15/09
Contacts: Lorraine Keith 307-352-0399    
  Marion Burgin 307-828-4543    

BLM and USDA Study Soil Carbon Sequestration in Southwestern Wyoming

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Kemmerer Field Office announced today a cooperative effort with the USDA Agricultural Research Service and the University of Wyoming to study soil carbon sequestration in the big sagebrush ecosystems of southwestern Wyo.

"Scientific analysis is needed to address a multitude of questions," said Marion Burgin, BLM Natural Resource Specialist for the Kemmerer Field Office. "For example, increasing soil carbon may not only reduce the rise of carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere that contributes to global warming, but it may also provide improved soil quality and increased water infiltration capacity. Unfortunately, scientific information regarding soil carbon sequestration, especially in areas with big sagebrush, is lacking," he added.

Collection of soil samples from big sagebrush ecosystems will take place the week of May 18, in the Cow Hollow and Fontenelle areas of Lincoln County, from nine sites with different plant communities and management histories. A total of 180 soil samples will be collected using a hydraulic machine that collects a 4.6 cm wide by 60 cm deep core (2" x 24").

Subsequent laboratory analyses of soil carbon and nitrogen will provide needed scientific information regarding big sagebrush ecosystems. The findings of this research will be published in a scientific journal and presented to the Chicago Climate Exchange for potential inclusion into the Rangeland Soil Carbon Offset Program (http:\\\).

The lead researchers for this study are Justin Derner and Jerry Schuman of the USDA Agriculture Research Service, High Plains Grasslands Research Station, in Cheyenne, Wyo., and George Vance of the University of Wyoming, Renewable Resources Department.

For more information, please contact Marion Burgin at 307-828-4543.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Kemmerer Field Office   312 Highway 189 North      Kemmerer, WY 83101  

Last updated: 05-15-2009