Biodiversity

Biodiversity plays an important role in our environmental stewardship program. We proactively incorporate measures into our development plans to conserve wildlife habitat. We employ safe and environmentally-sound energy development by preventing, minimizing or mitigating the adverse impacts of our operations on the many different species that inhabit the local ecosystem. We engage with government agencies, local communities and landowners to understand and address specific biodiversity issues in our operational areas.

American burying beetle

In 2015, we began conducting surveys to identify the potential existence of and habitat locations for the American Burying Beetle, prior to initiating surface disturbance activities. More than 12,000 acres were surveyed with only 4,116 acres identified as occupied habitat. As a result, two development project plans were adjusted to avoid the beetles’ habitat. For areas where the occupied habitat could not be avoided, we purchased conservation credits* to offset impacts. This year we purchased 12.6 credits to mitigate over six acres of beetle habitat.

We also conduct monitoring, based on state and federal requirements, to ensure that project designs are successful and ongoing operations continue to protect surrounding habitats. We follow these same guidelines throughout all our operating areas.

*Conservation credits are designed to compensate for biodiversity impacts associated with development and result in an overall biodiversity gain in an alternative location.

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Three Trails Reserve

After earning the Wild Habitat Council's Wildlife at Work conservation certification for our Three Trails Reserve in Utah, we continued our efforts in 2015 to restore and enhance wildlife habitat at the Reserve. This year we continued to advance removal of invasive plants like the Russian olive and tamarisk from dams, spillways and water ditches—increasing existing waterway connectivity and enhancing waterfowl habitat hydrology. Wildlife monitoring efforts were maintained for biweekly surveys of osprey nests and bat boxes, and vehicle traffic was reduced by restricting some back roads access. Future plans for the reserve include increased monitoring of waterfowl nesting sites, improved infrastructure for ponds and introduction of community outreach events at the reserve.

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hooked cactus

Uinta Basin Hookless Cactus

We continue our long-standing tradition of protecting the Uinta Basin Hookless Cactus, a federally-listed plan species, avoiding impact on cacti habitat in areas where the company operates.

Prior to initiating activity on any site, we survey to identify cacti habitat and then avoid contact utilizing a 300-foot buffer zone. In the Three Rivers area, any activity within 25-feet of a cactus habitat requires payment into a cacti mitigation fund.