The Association generated sufficient interest, funding support, and volunteer time to become a recognized non-profit organization in 2002. It currently has over 200,000 acres of private land included in its membership. It has held numerous membership meetings. It established an Advisory Committee comprised of a diverse group of professionals with the credentials to assist the Association in meeting its objectives, and has held a number of meetings with this group.

The Association has conducted workshops on identification of wildlife species of interest and invasive weeds, and hosted a workshop on incentive programs available to assist private landowners with conservation initiatives. It has conducted informational meetings for diverse audiences about their on-going efforts. Attendees have included state and federal agencies, companies, media personnel, representatives of elected officials, and other interested parties. The Association has conducted field trips that examined ecological conditions and economic activities with attendees from all of these groups.

Cow Creek Buttes in the Thunder Basin Grasslands of eastern Wyoming

The Association organized and hosted a public symposium in September 2001 that addressed the history, ecology, and economy of the Thunder Basin Prairie Ecosystem. This symposium included 25 technical presentations as well as discussions on what additional information was needed for developing an ecosystem management plan. A second symposium was held in 2004.

The Association has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the US Forest Service for both information exchange and control of invasive plant species. They are completing a memorandum of understanding with the Bureau of Land Management. They also have a Cooperative Agreement with the US Fish & Wildlife Service for work on an ecological assessment.

Through all of these activities, the membership of the Association has learned more about the needs and issues in their landscape. They have also learned about the various approaches, methods, and tools available to them to address management concerns. The result of this knowledge has helped the Association develop a consensus view on how to proceed in their efforts to meet their objectives.

Cheyenne River basin from the Red Hills in eastern Wyoming

The members of the Association recognized that they needed to complete an ecological assessment to help inform the on-going ecosystem management planning process.  The Association initiated an ecological assessment of the planning landscape with significant field data collection in 2003 through 2005.  The final report is available in the Library section.  The information collected for the assessment highlighted the need for  more comprehensive monitoring to gather additional baseline information and address the performance of on-going treatments.  Vegetation and wildlife monitoring are conducted annually as the Association continues to adaptively manage various habitat types and locales.

The Association has acquired funding support from a number of sources to conduct the activities completed to date.  These sources include the members of the Association, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Wyoming Governorís Office, Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust, Wyoming Game & Fish, Bureau of Land Management, Thunder Basin Coal Company, Triton Coal Company LLC, Powder River Coal Company, Cloud Peak Energy, Bradley Fund for the Environment, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Converse County Commissioners, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Leopold Stewardship Fund, Sonoran Institute, and USDA Forest Service among others.

Sunset in the Thunder Basin National Grassland of eastern Wyoming

Copyright 2003-2013 Thunder Basin Grasslands Prairie Ecosystem Association
Updated: 04/13/2013