Forestry Conservation Program
Wyoming Honor Conservation Camp
Wyoming State Forestry Division
#40 Pippin Road
P.O. Box 160
Newcastle, WY 82701
307-746-4436, ext. 227
WYOMING FORESTRY CONSERVATION PROGRAM
Wyoming State Forestry Division utilizes inmate crews to provide state trust land management, fire management, and community assistance projects.
Background and Operations: (1964- Present) Wyoming State Forestry Division and the Board of Charities and Reform (later incorporated into the Department of Corrections) have combined efforts and resources in the development and support of a Forestry Conservation Camp Program manned by inmates from a Wyoming Department of Corrections facility. Prior to the authorization of the Wyoming Honor Conservation Camp by the legislature, the Wyoming State Forestry Division, in conjunction with the Board of Charities and Reforms, operated fire and conservation camps in the Black Hills area as early as the 1960’s and in the 1980’s in the Snowy Range area. These camps were manned by a forestry technician, one correctional officer, and six inmates from the Wyoming State Penitentiary.
The present Wyoming Honor Conservation Camp was constructed on state land north of the town of Newcastle. The Wyoming Department of Corrections operates the facility and the State Forestry Division supervises the inmates assigned to the forestry crews. Current operations employee 7 Forestry Supervisors, a Site Manager and the Program Manager. The Forestry Conservation Crews work year-round to complete project work assigned.
FORESTRY CONSERVATION CREW USE:
State Trust Land Management: The majority of crew time, during the year, is performing forestry management activities. This includes pre-commercial thinning, timber stand improvement, salvaging cut wood for posts, firewood or saw logs; slash burning, tree planting, seed collection, wildlife habitat improvement and forest health projects.
Fire Management Activities: The second area of use for the Conservation Crews. The “Wyoming Smokebusters” are a handcrew organization. The program can employ up to 63 inmate crew members; trained to National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) standards for Initial Attack, Extended Attack, and Mop-up on fires; as well as prescribed / controlled burns. When fully staffed, making available 3 – Type 2 Handcrews to assist on Federal, State, and County fires throughout Wyoming and the Blackhills of South Dakota.
Community Assistance Projects: The third area of use. Projects can be completed for any State, City, Federal or County agency. The work must not compete with private enterprises and should be of public benefit with emphasis to natural resources if possible. Agencies must fill out a “Project Proposal” application for scheduling of a crew. These projects include general maintenance for city and county agencies; hazardous waste clean-up and living snow fence planting; and maintenance for conservation districts.