SCLT Receives Grant that Will Help Complete Conservation Easements

The Sheridan Community Land Trust has received a grant that will help complete two conservation easements. (Photo from Sheridan Media files)

The Sheridan Community Land Trust has been approved for a grant of $235,000 that will be used to help complete two voluntary conservation easements totaling a little over 550 acres.

The award, authorized Tuesday, is from the Wyoming Wildlife Natural Resource Trust. Brad Bauer, executive director of the land trust, said the authorization lays the groundwork for the final phase of completion on two properties that conserve key migratory habitat and safeguard clean water while ensuring that important range and hay ground remains in production.

Bauer said one property includes two miles of Clear Creek that, once complete, will become the easternmost voluntary conservation agreementg in Sheridan County.

He said that property will aid in rehabilitation efforts for the greater sage grouse, as the tract of land is contained within the bird’s migratory corridor. He said that stretch of Clear Creek also serves as key seasonal habitat for a number of migratory birds like cranes and ducks while the surrounding riparian area is home to many songbirds that nest in the willowed oasis surrounded by a sagebrush and grassland sea.

Bauer said the second property safeguards seasonal wetlands utilized by a plethora of birds, frogs and turtles within the Tongue River watershed. He added that the property can attain water quality targets identified by the Tongue River Initiative, a collaborative working group which includes the Sheridan County Conservation District, The Nature Conservancy in Wyoming and SCLT.

He added that both properties include important native upland habitat and are home to many mule deer.

He said SCLT will now work with the Natural Resource Conservation Service to complete the final phase of the conservation projects, a process that typically takes between 18 and 24 months.

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