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August 14, 2014 — Members of the Wyoming Conservation Corps (WCC) recently volunteered, alongside State Lands’ staff members, for a 10-day conservation and resource management project sponsored by Devon Energy in Crooks Creek, Middle Cottonwood and Cooper Creek, all located within Fremont County.
This was the seventh year Devon has sponsored the WCC to support preservation, restoration and education projects in Wyoming.
The partnership’s goal is to help preserve and protect public and state lands while providing University of Wyoming students with a hands-on learning experience about the diversity of management activities handled by the State Board of Land Commissioners (SBLC), as well as energy development throughout Wyoming.
“Devon Energy is dedicated to operations excellence in Wyoming and everywhere else we do business,” says Bill Skelton, Devon’s senior superintendent of production for the Wind River and Big Horn basins. “Land preservation is vital to this commitment. We are proud to partner with the WCC and the State Board of Land Commissioners on conservation projects that protect state lands.”
Projects throughout the 10-day volunteer program included:
-- Crooks Creek: Conifer trees increase the intensity of fires, which can damage riparian areas. State Lands’ employees and WCC volunteers helped to remove a conifer encroachment from Crooks Creek prior to a prescribed burn by the Bureau of Land Management.
-- Middle Cottonwood: To preserve and protect state trust lands, camping is prohibited in designated areas. State Lands’ employees and WCC volunteers constructed a fence along the Green Mountain Loop next to Middle Cottonwood Creek to prevent camping and to protect riparian areas from damage caused by camping.
-- Cooper Creek: In an area that suffered a wildfire in the 1970s, State Lands’ employees and WCC volunteers gathered to thin a lodgepole stand to prevent stunted growth and to reduce the chances for a fire in the future.
-- Devon Energy Education Day: Devon Energy hosted its annual education day July 11 for WCC volunteers, which included a hands-on field tour in Fremont County and classroom discussion about energy development throughout the state.
About the Wyoming Conservation Corps
Founded in 2006, the WCC builds on the long legacy created by the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s and the Youth Conservation Corps of the 1970s. The WCC continues this legacy by carrying out the highest caliber of service for Wyoming’s public lands. At the University of Wyoming, WCC strives to instill the value of education into its students by providing class credits and extended learning opportunities throughout the program year. Participation in the WCC program provides members with an opportunity to learn firsthand the complexity involved with current natural resource management decisions in Wyoming.
About the Wyoming Office of State Lands and Investments
Through the 1890 Wyoming Act of Admissions, Congress granted two sections of land in every township to support public schools and other designated state institutions. The State Board of Land Commissioners, consisting of the state’s five elected officials, is responsible for managing state trust lands to preserve and protect trust lands and optimize revenue for its trust beneficiaries. The SBLC administers approximately 3.5 million surface acres and 3.9 million sub-surface acres.
About Devon Energy
As a top operator and producer of oil in Wyoming, Devon strives to be a good neighbor by supporting youth and education, civic organizations and emergency responders. Devon operates with respect for the environment and displays a steadfast dedication to ensuring the health and safety of employees and neighbors. Devon's environmental stewardship includes supporting and facilitating annual habitat reclamation projects in Wyoming in partnership with the Wyoming Conservation Corps, UW, the Bureau of Land Management and the Office of State Lands and Investments.
This article originally was released by Devon Energy.
University of Wyoming Conservation Corps students work on conservation-based projects throughout the state. (WCC Photo)