Wildlife Federation honors Peabody mine
A voluntary, 3-year research project aimed at protecting sage grouse habitat within the Powder River Basin coal mining fairway earned a Peabody Energy mine the Corporation of the Year Award, bestowed by the Wyoming Wildlife Federation. The environmental team at the North Antelope Rochelle mine identified the bird's favorite vegetation and tracked movements via radio-collar transmitters to define prime areas for sage grouse-specific reclamation.
"Peabody's mission statement commits to leaving the land in a condition that is equal or better then we found it," said Kemal Williamson, the mine's Powder River Basin Group executive. "Our environmental team continues to develop innovative programs to protect wildlife and natural resources that embody these principles and serve as industry models." The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently launched a formal review of whether the sage grouse should be considered for special protection under the Endangered Species Act. A listing could add regulatory stipulations on how coal mines and other mineral developers operate in Wyoming. Peabody's Powder River Basin Coal Co. operates the North Antelope Rochelle, Caballo and Rawhide mines in Campbell County.
BLM awards Fidelity outreach
Fidelity Exploration & Production Co. recently received the Bureau of Land Management's Fluid Mineral Award for its work in community education and outreach related to its coalbed methane gas production in Wyoming.
The BLM specifically highlighted Fidelity's 3-year soil monitoring program for farmers and ranchers along the Tongue River in Montana as an example of the company's outreach efforts. Fidelity started the monitoring program in July 2003 to monitor water and soil conditions for any potential impacts from the discharge of water produced in conjunction with coalbed methane gas. For more information about the soil monitoring program, visit www.tongueriverampp.com.
Belden earns "Reclamationist" honors
Peabody Energy's Scott E. Belden was recently named "Reclamationist of the Year" by the American Society of Mining and Reclamation.
Belden is the environmental and reclamation coordinator for Peabody's Powder River Coal Co. operations in Gillette. Belden's was honored for his ongoing work on joint committees of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality and the Wyoming Mining Association. The committees analyze revegetation and bond release guidelines, which has improved reclamation practices in the state, according to a release.
Belden joined Powder River Coal Co.'s environmental team in 1986.
Also of note
* Devon Energy Corp. donated $2,600 to the Riverton Volunteer Fire Department. It will be used to send a volunteer fireman to Pueblo, Colo., for an 80-hour Hazardous Materials Technician Course.
* Shawn Taylor is the new public affairs manager for Gillette-based Kennecott Energy. He will work from Cheyenne. Taylor formerly worked on state energy policy issues for the Wyoming Business Council, Wyoming Energy Commission and most recently for Gov. Dave Freudenthal.