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U.S. Forest Service Honors Arch Coal and Peabody Energy for Preserving Wyoming Grasslands
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(Douglas Wyo) March 26, 2003 – The Powder River Basin’s two largest coal operators are being honored as the nation’s top stewards for preserving grassland habitat and supporting wildlife conservation on Wyoming lands, according to Norman Wagoner, Douglas District Ranger, Thunder Basin National Grassland.

The Prairie Partner Award has been presented to Peabody Energy’s Powder River Coal Company and Arch Coal’s Thunder Basin Coal Company, recognizing each for their decade-long support of the Forest Service’s land adjustment programs in the Douglas Ranger District.

“The Prairie Partner Award recognizes external partners who have demonstrated resource stewardship, a willingness to provide funding and other resources to Grassland projects, and have produced innovative practices and results,” Wagoner said.

The Award is presented annually from the National Grasslands Council, an interagency (USFS and NRCS) committee dedicated to the promotion and coordinated management of the Forest Service's 20 National Grassland units.

Among the initiatives recognized were efforts to help consolidate tracts of federal lands so that they can be better managed to achieve forest service goals. The companies completed cultural resource surveys for about 20 land exchanges involving nearly 70,000 acres of federal lands. These joint efforts enabled the Forest Service to obtain more than 21 miles of key riparian wildlife habitat in Antelope Creek and the Cheyenne River, bringing significant amounts of threatened, endangered and sensitive species habitat under U.S. Forest Service management.

“National grasslands are rich in mineral, oil and gas resources and are managed for sustainable multiple uses as part of the national forest system,” said Wagoner. “Arch and Peabody are demonstrating a commitment to protect wildlife and endangered species by facilitating best management practices of Wyoming grassland habitat.”

Peabody’s North Antelope Rochelle, Caballo and Rawhide mines provide more than 100 million tons of coal annually, enough energy to keep the lights on for 14.5 million American homes.

Its coal products fuel more than 9 percent of all U.S. electricity generation and more than 2 percent of worldwide electricity generation.

Arch Coal, the nation’s second largest coal producer, provides the fuel for approximately 6 percent of the electricity generated in the U.S. through its subsidiary operations in West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah.