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Research Accomplishments

Wyoming Reclamation and Restoration Center

Academic Year 2008-09

P.D.Stahl, G.F. Vance and S.V. Huzubazar: Completed research project entitled "Mechanisms for stabilization and accumulation of organic carbon in reclaimed mine land soils." Funded by the Abandoned Mine Land Research Program, 2005-2008. Submitted Final Report to Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, which was accepted by the Land Quality Division Director, Rick Chancellor.
J. Frouz, K. Tajovsky, V. Kristufek and P.D. Stahl: Continued collecting data at the Belle Ayr Coal Mine for an international study examining "Recovery of soil biota on post Mining Sites in USA and Europe." Funded by KONTAKt, Czech Ministry of Education, 2008-2012.
A.F. Wick, P.D. Stahl, L.J. Ingram, and L. Vicklund: Completed a study on soil aggregate and organic carbon dynamics in short term topsoil stockpiles at the Belle Ayr Coal Mine in Campbell County. Paper has been accepted for publication in an international journal: Soil aggregation and organic carbon in short-term stockpiles. Soil Use and Management: in press.
J. Norton: Selection and sampling of natural gas well pad topsoil stockpiles and adjacent undisturbed areas in the Wamsutter, Jonah and Pinedale Anticline production areas in collaboration with BP, Encana and Questar. Analysis for soil quality and soil organic matter dynamics. This collection and analysis was done four times this summer and will continue after reclamation for three years. Will include vegetation monitoring starting next spring.
J. Norton: Preparation for evaluating controlled livestock impact after reclamation seeding at specific sites. Livestock treatments will entail 25 cattle on 0.25 acres for 24 hours and will occur this September and October after seeding in collaboration with local livestock owners/grazing permitees from each area. Contacts for site selection of "extensive" component to extend concepts from stockpiling and respreading studies above in both space (other elevations and plant communities) and time (sites reclaimed for 10 years or more).
S.E. Williams: Development and identification of rhizobiaceae and fabaceae symbioses for enhancing biological inputs of nitrogen in reclamation of disturbed lands. This project was completed during the summer of 2008.
J. Beck: Presented paper and published proceedings entitled "Impacts of oil and natural gas on prairie grouse: current knowledge and research needs." Pages 66-87 in R.I. Barnhisel, editor. 2009 Joint Conference: 26th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Mining and Reclamation and 11th Billings Land Reclamation Symposium, Billings, Montana, USA.
J. Beck: Published paper entitled "Recovery of greater sage-grouse habitat features in Wyoming big sagebrush following prescribed fire." In Restoration Ecology 17:393-403. Submitted annual reports for 3 field restoration projects being conducted in Wyoming by graduate students.
J. Beck: Initiating a study evaluating the influences of wind energy development on pronghorn wintering on crucial winter range in southeastern Wyoming. Funding will be provided by PacifiCorp Energy but paperwork not signed yet.
J. Beck: Initiating a study to evaluate crucial winter range for greater sage-grouse with Rawlins BLM Field Office.
M. Andersen and R. Coupal: Submission and acceptance of a paper to the ASMR/Billings Conference and published in the Proceedings: "Economic issues and policies that affect reclamation decision making."
M. Andersen and R. Coupal: Submission and acceptance of a paper to the Western Agricultural Economics Association publication "Western Economic Forum": "Economic issues and policies of reclaiming orphan gas wells and implications for currently active wells."

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