CHEYENNE — The Wyoming Game and Fish Department recently announced Rocky Mountain Power, a division of PacifiCorp, as the 2021 recipient of the Industry Wildlife Stewardship Award.
The award honors companies whose primary mission is not wildlife-related and make a positive impact through development/improvement for the benefit of fish, wildlife or habitat. Game and Fish Director Brian Nesvik recognized Rocky Mountain Power on March 24 during the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission meeting in Cody.
“It is important to acknowledge industry partners who strive to be responsible stewards of our natural resources and Wyoming’s wildlife,” Nesvik said. “Rocky Mountain Power has been a long-standing partner with the department and exemplifies the kind of wins that can be accomplished for wildlife and habitat when we all work together.”
Rocky Mountain Power serves thousands of customers in Wyoming, supplying the energy to run households, businesses and daily lives.
“We’re leading on this frontier in stewardship in Wyoming, and we’re not being forced through regulatory means to do that,” said Travis Brown, PacifiCorp director of Wind Compliance and Permitting. “This is true stewardship that says we understand operations.”
As a landowner Rocky Mountain Power’s dedication to conservation is robust and varied. PacifiCorp is enrolled in the Game and Fish Access Yes program, which supports public access to hunting and fishing in locations that are popular among community members. Rocky Mountain Power was previously recognized as the 2004 Casper Region Game and Fish Landowner of the Year for supporting wildlife, habitat and access to quality hunting and fish opportunities at the Dave Johnston Power Plant east of Glenrock.
Rocky Mountain Power has worked with Game and Fish on riparian habitat improvement on its property in Wyoming — allowing for Russian olive removal, treating resprouts and planting willows and shrubs. It voluntarily closed access to their property for several years to assist the local Weed and Pest to contain and treat invasive grasses and reopened access when the issue was resolved.
In addition to their land stewardship, company representatives work collaboratively with the department’s Habitat Protection Program on utility and renewable energy development-related projects to find common ground on fish and wildlife concerns as well as industry practices and processes. Rocky Mountain Power takes care to follow important state policies related to sage grouse conservation, and it is actively working with land managers to implement mitigation to offset the unavoidable impacts that occur with putting power and transmission lines on the landscape. The company supports ongoing research related to the impacts of wind energy on pronghorn in the Shirley Basin and has included Game and Fish in key discussions related to minimizing the impacts of wind energy on birds.
“Rocky Mountain Power is spearheading additional conservation by raising its wildlife-related standards for prospective projects that they may purchase from other developers, which is causing those developers to consider wildlife in their project plans,” Nesvik said. “It is taking an industry leadership role in working with stakeholders to discuss and tackle issues in Wyoming.”
About Rocky Mountain Power
Rocky Mountain Power provides safe, reliable and affordable electric service to approximately 147,000 customers in Wyoming. It is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States, serving more than 2 million customers in six states.
Besides being the largest energy producer and electric service provider, Rocky Mountain Power is a major employer and taxpayer in Wyoming, employing more than 1,600 people in the state to operate and maintain a well-run, diverse fleet of resources, including 12 wind facilities, 12 thermal generation units and more than 12,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines supporting customers, local economies and communities.