The Sublette County Journal
Volume 4, Number 5 - 9/30/99
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
Exxon and Mobil recognized for stewardship initiatives.
by Jennifer Binning
In recent months, the Exxon and Mobil operations in Sublette County have garnered environmental awards from the Wyoming Game & Fish.
In August, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department named Mobil Exploration and Producing U.S., Inc. as one of its seven regional "Landowners of the Year." The Game & Fish was "impressed with the wildlife emphasis associated with Mobil's Big Piney operation." The company has provided the equipment to shred and improve over 1,500 acres of sage brush, and also participates in prescribed burns to improve big game winter range. Mobil hired a range rider to keep cattle from over-grazing and damaging sensitive riparian and streamside habitats.
"I think we're just doing the kind of things we ought to be doing," said Lee Shafer with Mobil. "Our employees live here and are concerned about wildlife," he added. "For several years, Mobil has been a real leader in their cooperative efforts to help the Game and Fish manage wildlife," said Bernie Holz of the Pinedale regional WG&F office.
The Game & Fish has also awarded Exxon's employees at the Black Canyon Dehydration Facility, southwest of Big Piney, the prestigious "Oil and Gas Reclamation and Wildlife Stewardship Award," in recognition of Exxon's work with the Sawmill Creek Trout Recovery Pond. The 22-foot deep, 1.2 acre pond will be used to overwinter Colorado River cutthroat trout, and as a growout pond. A log cabin on the site has been renovated for use as a visitor center, and the creation of picnic and play areas and a wheelchair-accessible fishing dock round out the development of the site. Eventually, catch and release fishing using artificial lures will be permitted on the pond.
The Trout Recovery Pond project was conceived by Exxon employees in 1995, and with a two-year, $75,000 pledge from the company the employees of the Black Canyon facility formed a partnership with Trout Unlimited, The Wildlife Habitat Council, and the Boy Scouts of America.
"Exxon has set a standard for what can be accomplished when government agencies and private business work together for present and future generations," said Governor Jim Geringer last year. "The Sawmill Creek Trout Recovery Project will enhance our fisheries and benefit our state by providing needed habitat for the Colorado River cutthroat trout."
The Colorado River cutthroat is the only trout native to Wyoming, and of the six sub-species of cutt, the greenback is now extinct in Wyoming. The Sawmill Creek pond will help to facilitate the efforts of the Game and Fish Department to stabilize the Colorado River cutthroat population in the state.
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