Energy Development

Saratoga Encampment Rawlins Conservation District

Last Modified on September 8, 2018

Photo: ©

"During the fall of 2007, the BLM proposed to offer 13 parcels totaling about 28,000 acres for lease for oil and gas development around the Encampment/Riverside area.  The Encampment Area Watershed Study, funded by a grant from the Federal Natural Resources Policy Account, is an effort toward responsible energy development.  The purpose of the Study was to assess the adequacy of the BLM Rawlins Field Office Proposed Resource Management Plan and corresponding Final Environmental Impact Statement in protecting the social, economic, ecological, and physical resources in and around the Encampment area from potential impacts, particularly associated with prospective energy development.  For a copy of the Study you may either download it from this site or come by or call the Conservation District office."

Wind Energy & Transmission Lines in Carbon County

The SER Conservation District is currently participating, as a cooperating agency, with the Bureau of Land Management in one wind energy development project (Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Farm Project) and three transmission line projects (TransWest Express, Gateway South, and Gateway West Transmission Lines).  As a cooperating agency we participate with the BLM in taking the project through the NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) process.  NEPA is a planning and decision-making process, signed into law in 1970.  It mandates consideration of the potential physical, biological, economic, and social effects of an action, by a federal agency, on the quality of the human environment.

There are numerous other potential wind energy and transmission line projects in various stages of planning in Carbon County, most of which involve public lands.  Until the project enters the NEPA process the general public usually doesn’t hear about it.  For more information on potential wind projects please visit the National Integrated Land System web site


The University of Wyoming has conducted a study titled “The Impact of Wind Development on Local Economies-Preliminary Wage Findings” by Dr. Rob Godby, Chair, UW Department of Economics and Finance and Dr. Roger Coupal, Head, UW Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics

The following was taken from the UW web page



“Initial Highlights from the Study:

· Information about economic impacts remains anecdotal until the wind industry has matured.

· Consideration should be given to fiscal structure of counties; central and eastern Wyoming will see the most fiscal impact.

· Communities must be viewed as not just a structure of the industries there, but are also represented by the structure of the natural environment around them.

· Economic impacts can be assessed by considering employment in two main phases: construction and operations and maintenance.

· During construction, roughly 100 people are employed in a wind development project, the majority of which are imported labor.

· Specialized labor will come from out-of-state.

· Local labor are in lesser paying skill sets.

· Construction laborers in wind development will not be spending as much money locally as oilfield workers.

· Permanent (maintenance) workers are typically 10 people per 100 megawatt (MW) farm.

· Permanent salaries are reasonable, at above the state average.

· A relatively new wind farm might pay the same amount of total property taxes as a subdivision of 50 houses.

· Impacts to property values are of economic concern.”



Conservation districts in southeast Wyoming sponsored the development of “Commercial Wind Energy Development in Wyoming, A Guide for Landowners”, which was published in May of 2009.

(This is an 89 page Adobe file and could take several minutes to download.)

There is now a second edition to the “Commercial Wind Energy Development in Wyoming, A Guide for Landowners (Second Edition).” (this is a 36 page Adobe file), which was published in June of 2011.


The Laramie Rivers, Medicine Bow, and Saratoga-Encampment-Rawlins Conservation Districts contracted with the University of Wyoming’s William D. Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment & Natural Resources to produce the document.  The “Guide” identifies key considerations for landowners to think through prior to entering a wind energy lease agreement. The original document contains some additional material, (such as check sheets) that is not in the second edition.

This web site shows ‘approved’ and ‘pending’ application locations for meteorological (met) towers. A met tower is used at a potential project site to assess the wind resource. Generally a met tower will have anemometers, wind direction vanes, temperature and pressure sensors, and other measurement devices attached to it at various levels above the ground.