Devon Energy Donates Support Vehicle to Wyoming Conservation Corps
The Wyoming Conservation Corps (WCC) received a major boost recently from Devon Energy, which donated a new GMC Sierra 1500 truck to be used to support the program's service projects on public lands across Wyoming.
Devon Energy has been a partner of the WCC since the program's inception in 2007. This is the third truck Devon Energy has donated to the program, in addition to providing funding support and collaborating with the WCC and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on student-led projects designed to enhance habitat for Wyoming's wildlife resources.
The WCC is part of the University of Wyoming's Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) Program and relies on sponsors, partnerships with land management agencies and private donations to fulfill its mission.
"Providing students with public service leadership opportunities has always been the foundation of our mission, and thanks to the long-term support of Devon Energy, our students are better equipped to fully carry out their field work on public lands," says Kendall Peacock, WCC project coordinator. "We haul a lot of gear -- chainsaws, fencing, tools -- driving out to some fairly remote and difficult-to-access field locations. Large reliable trucks are critical to the work of the WCC."
With this donation, the WCC will save more than $4,500 in the annual costs associated with a field support vehicle. Devon Energy presented the truck to the WCC this month in Cheyenne at an event that included representatives from Wyoming as well as from the main corporate office in Oklahoma.
"Our company is a proud supporter of the WCC because we believe that providing hands-on field opportunities leads to students having a better understanding of natural gas development in Wyoming, and for how to conserve other natural resources such as wildlife and their habitats," says Devon Energy spokesman Nick Agopian.
Last year, the WCC partnered with Devon Energy and the BLM's office in Rawlins to build wildlife-friendly fences in wetland areas frequented by migrating big game species.
WCC will again partner with Devon Energy for the 2011 field season, with projects scheduled with BLM field offices in Buffalo and Lander. In Buffalo, crew members will mark fence segments that pose a risk to sage grouse populations. In Lander, they will work on a project to build a riparian enclosure to aid in the reintroduction of beaver to Sage Hen Creek and will also relocate a fence around Castle Gardens, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Devon Energy has also developed a fence training course for the WCC. In April, WCC students will participate in a two-day training to gain skills in removing old fence and building wildlife fencing.
In May, the WCC will begin its summer fieldwork throughout Wyoming. This season includes six crews, 48 students and 36 projects, with a goal to provide more than 32,000 hours of service for projects covering energy development, wildlife, recreation, grazing, timber and water resource management and maintaining Wyoming's cultural and historical heritage.