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The Wyoming Conservation Corps (WCC) has received a $11,500 donation from Devon Energy to support a wildlife conservation project completed this summer in conjunction with the Bureau of Land Management's Rawlins Field Office in Carbon County.
The WCC, part of the University of Wyoming's Environment and Natural Resources Program, relies on sponsors and partnerships with land management agencies to conduct public service projects in the field.
"WCC crew members are our future resource managers," says Nick Agopian, regulator and government affairs specialist with Devon Energy. "It is up to us as members of industry to not only help provide them with hands-on experience with projects that benefit natural resources but to also provide them with the opportunity to see firsthand how the energy industry works to develop such resources as natural gas."
Devon Energy has been a major industry sponsor of the WCC for the past four years, and is a champion of projects designed to maintain habitats for healthy wildlife populations while providing educational opportunities for students to learn about natural gas development.
"This project represents a win-win for our resources and providing leadership and education to the WCC crew members," says Tim Sowecke, senior project coordinator for the WCC. "Our crews provide the labor, and with the support of our sponsor Devon Energy and partnership with the BLM, together we can continue to enhance our public lands and work to sustain our natural resources for the long term."
For the 2010 field season, WCC has 48 members on six crews that work in 10-day stints on projects to enhance public lands across the state.
The project in Carbon County involves removing old barbed wire fencing around a riparian habitat known as Little Robber Reservoir and replacing it with a wildlife-friendly exclosure designed to allow deer, antelope, sage grouse, waterfowl, shorebirds and other species access to the habitat while keeping cattle out.
During this project, the crew also toured one of Devon Energy's natural gas projects near the project site, affording students to connect to the state's energy development efforts.