BLM congratulates partners in Sommers-Grindstone Conservation Easement award
by Bureau of Land Management
February 28, 2012
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) extends its congratulations to the many cooperators who made the Sommers-Grindstone conservation easement possible. The 19,000 acre easement encompasses prime fish and wildlife habitat along the Green River in Sublette County, Wyo., and recently won Sunset Magazine’s "Best Ranchland" environmental award for 2011.
The Jonah Interagency (JIO) and Pinedale Anticline Project (PAPO) offices contributed a total of $11 million towards the final $19.7 million cost for the easement. Each office consists of representatives from BLM Wyoming, Wyoming Department of Agriculture, Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality and Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
JIO/PAPO funding is mandated through the environmental impact statement records of decision for the Pinedale Anticline and Jonah Field. Oil and gas operators contribute monies into each office’s mitigation and monitoring fund which is administered by the JIO and PAPO Boards. The boards are comprised of the state directors for each participant agency and a Sublette County commissioner.
After reviewing the easement proposal and the recommendations of JIO/PAPO staff, the JIO/PAPO Boards approved the $11 million contribution as part of mitigation efforts for development in the nearby oil and gas fields. The remaining $8.7 million was funded by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission, Wyoming Stock Growers Agricultural Land Trust, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Landowner Incentive Grant Program, Wal-Mart Acres for America through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative, Doris Duke Charitable Trust through The Nature Conservancy, Turner Foundation, Wyoming Governor’s Big Game License Coalition, Wildlife Heritage Foundation of Wyoming, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Mule Deer Foundation.
BLM Pinedale Field Manager, Shane DeForest, states, "The JIO and PAPO were established to explore and implement innovative mitigation for gas field development. Conservation easements like this are the culmination of good ideas combined with the hard work of many."