JACKSON, Wyo. — A natural gas pipeline company, Williams, has been awarded the 2020 Industry Wildlife Stewardship Award by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
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. The award was presented to Williams on Thursday during the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission meeting.
“Successful wildlife and habitat resource management would not be possible without the help of industries that reach beyond their primary mission to contribute to the maintenance, restoration or enhancement of wildlife, their habitat and recreation opportunities,” said Brian Nesvik, director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. “Williams is one such partner who has a vested interest in the State’s wildlife and exemplifies the kind of wins that can be accomplished for wildlife and habitat when we all work together.”
Williams owns and operates more than 30,000 miles of natural gas pipelines system wide – including Transco, the nation’s largest volume and fastest growing pipeline – and handles approximately 30% of the natural gas in the United States that is used every day for clean-power generation, heating, and industrial use.
Over the years, Williams has worked closely with the Game and Fish. Williams’ plan of operations has consistently included reaching out to the Department early in project development to identify opportunities to reduce impacts to wildlife. Notably, Williams has enacted wildlife-friendly practices for natural gas delivery, particularly to reduce disturbance and impacts to habitat in Wyoming’s sensitive sagebrush steppe. Williams has protected core habitat for the Greater Sage-grouse with careful project siting and worked closely with the Department to understand and comply with the Sage-grouse Executive Order when developing projects.
“Driving the clean energy economy includes preserving the environment for future generations while improving standards of living today,” said Chad Teply, senior vice president of Project Execution for Williams. “We look forward to continuing our work with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department this coming year and beyond. I applaud our employees for their commitment and dedication to protecting the areas in which they live and work.”
Williams has more than 160 employees in Wyoming, maintaining nearly 5,000 miles of pipeline and three compressor facilities. The company operates district offices in Opal, Wamsutter, Green River, Big Piney and Kemmerer. Frequently, Williams’ staff in Wyoming will proactively seek opportunities to aid with on-the-ground projects, not only through donations of money and supplies, but also through manpower.
During the fall of 2020, Williams donated supplies and labor to help plant 1,500 sagebrush seedlings on the Chain Lakes Wildlife Habitat Management Area (WHMA) to reclaim disturbed areas for wildlife.
“Over twenty of Williams’ employees spent eight hours in blustery conditions with 60 mph wind gusts, assisting Game and Fish staff in planting seedlings. Williams’ folks stayed until the last seedling was in the ground and asked when they could help again,” said Amanda Losch, supervisor of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department habitat protection program.
Recently, Williams donated funds to the WYldlife Fund for the I-25 Buffalo-to-Kaycee crossing project, which was matched dollar for dollar through Wyoming Wildlife Natural Resources Trust Fund. Williams has also donated funds for projects and supplies to the Wyoming Project Wild program, an award-winning resource and environmental education curricula focusing on wildlife, Department’s Access Yes program and donations both monetarily and in manpower to programs at the Whiskey Mountain Conservation Camp.
“Williams is a great partner in Wyoming, and we’re glad to recognize their efforts for wildlife conservation,” Nesvik said.