Landscape Stewardship Certificates of Appreciation - 2016

Bill LeBarron, PLF Wyoming State Representative, presents Maureen Oedekoven with 20 16 Landscape Stewardship Certificate of Appreciation.

The Public Lands Foundation presents Jason and Maureen Oedekoven and family with its 2016 Landscape Stewardship Certificate of Appreciation and this Citation. The Foundation grants this recognition to honor private citizens and organizations that work to advance and sustain community-based stewardship on landscapes that include, in whole or in part, public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

The Oedekoven family purchased their ranch property about 15 years ago, which includes portions of the Bitter Creek drainage and areas of pine/juniper hills and badlands. The creek was in poor functioning condition due to past livestock operations, with rubbish and debris embedded into the banks and pastures. Jason and Maureen and their young children worked tirelessly to restore the creek. Eventually, they fenced the creek from livestock to improve habitat for mule deer and other wildlife. That was the start.

Since then, Jason became interested in the heavy juniper growth in the upper drainages, and how it might be affecting water availability and riparian vegetation, as well as contributing to heavy fuels for wildfire. Jason and his family also recognized the value of a healthy landscape and how it benefits not only the ranch operation, but mule deer populations, wildfire management, and the conservation of the forest and woodlands.

Jason has influenced other ranchers with these values. In northeastern Wyoming, the complex land ownership patterns and access issues introduce complexity in project development and implementation, and may even prevent a project from being initiated. It is collaborative efforts with ranchers like the Oedekovens that truly affect landscape health.

Because of the Oedekoven family’s contacts and sharing of information, there has been increased interest for forest management opportunities on private lands in the county, so much so, that numerous agencies are currently working together to create a forest management strategy for the county.

The Public Lands Foundation is pleased to present Jason and Maureen Oedekoven and Family with its 2016 Landscape Stewardship Certificate of Appreciation and this Citation for invaluable contributions to the stewardship of America’s public landscapes.

Signed: Edward W. Shepard, President
September 15, 2016