Wyoming State Forestry Division
The Wyoming Honor Conservation Camp system is a joint effort between the Wyoming Department of Corrections and the Wyoming State Forestry Division. This mutual affiliation has been operational, in one form or another, since 1964. The Wyoming Department of Corrections operates the facility and the State Forestry Division supervises the inmates assigned to the forestry crews.
Jobs and/or projects completed by the forestry work crews, while under the direct supervision of Wyoming State Forestry crew supervisors, fall into four categories. These categories are 1) forestry projects, 2) firefighting projects, 3) community service projects, and 4) federal projects.
1) Forestry Projects are conducted on state lands and are overseen by the State Forestry Division. These projects typically follow the timber/state land management activities. They include pre-commercial thinning; salvaging of cut wood into posts, firewood, or saw logs; slash burning; erosion control; tree planting and transplanting; pine seed collection; and insect and disease suppression including biological control of leafy spurge.
2) Firefighting Projects can be divided into two categories. The first is wild land firefighting. Our trained inmates can currently fight any wild land fire inside the state of Wyoming and in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Firefighting activities can be provided to any State, County, or Federal agency.
The second category is controlled/prescribed burns. This includes management burning on state and federal lands. Inmates trained and utilized to fight fires are called “Smoke Busters”. This is a program that holds a lot of respect and pride in our community. It provides experience for the inmates that can carry over into a career upon their re-entry into society as well as gives them a sense of accomplishment while imprisoned.
3) Community Service Projects can be for any State, City or County agency. The work must not compete with private enterprises and should be of public benefit. These projects include general maintenance for city and county agencies; hazardous waste clean-up and living snow fence planting; and maintenance for conservation districts, etc.
4) Federal Projects can be for any federal agency. The State is reimbursed for all project costs including personnel, vehicles, equipment, and material.
The Forestry Program, when at capacity, can employ up to 63 inmates at the WHCC. The forestry work crews have been widely accepted in the local communities.
Basic Forestry Program Statistics
From March 1990 through June 30, 2008 a total of 2,207 projects were completed to assist 51 agencies. For more information concerning the Forestry Department at WHCC please go to http://slf-web.state.wy.us/forestry/camp.aspx