Wyo. Gov. approves easement funding
March 7, 2014
On March 6, Governor Matt Mead signed SF82 into law and with it funding for a wide range of conservation projects. Two conservation easements proposed by the Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust were among the projects recommended to the legislature for funding, the Kroonberg Ranch in Albany County and the Purple Sage Ranch in Carbon County. In addition to being generational family ranch operations, the Kroonberg Ranch encompasses riparian habitat on the Little Laramie River and buffers national forest land in the foothills of the Medicine Bows. The Purple Sage Ranch is within a sage grouse core area and the conservation easement will preclude habitat fragmentation of a species on the brink of endangered species listing. The US Fish and Wildlife Service has stated that they consider perpetual conservation easements are "not only biologically effective in preventing and reducing the habitat fragmentation that negatively affect sage grouse, but also as providing regulatory mechanism we can fully consider in our listing decision."
The citizen board of the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust evaluates many projects over the course of each year, making it a point to visit each proposed project as a component of their in-depth consideration. Projects which have requested $200,000 or more are then sent to the legislature for additional review. The Senate voted unanimously in favor of the bill and the house passed the bill 43-15, with two members excused.
–Wyo. Stockgrowers Assoc.