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PINEDALE, WYO., June 10, 2021 – The American Society of Reclamation Scientists (ASRS) today named Jonah Energy Reclamation Specialist Josh Sorenson as its “Reclamationist of the Year.” Sorenson is the first recipient from the oil and gas industry in the 37-year history of the award.
The annual award recognizes individuals who demonstrate outstanding accomplishments in the practical application or evaluation of reclamation technology, as well as individuals responsible for implementing innovative practices or designs for new reclamation strategies. It was presented as part of the ASRS 2021 annual business meeting held today. Sorenson was selected for developing and advancing the reclamation process on oil and gas well sites and right of ways in the Jonah Field, located in Sublette County, Wyo. He implemented a management program to control invasive plant species, while reducing pesticide applications and increasing native pollinator plants.
As a result of Sorenson’s work, hundreds of acres of land have been fully restored and enhanced over a decadent sagebrush community. The reclaimed land now has greater vegetative diversity and production, which provides a more suitable habitat for wildlife in the unique and challenging sage brush steppe environment. This success is documented by federal and state agency recognition of habitat restoration with thousands more acres in the reclamation process.
“We are proud of the work Josh has done and this award is recognition of the innovation and professionalism he brings to the important work of reclamation and habitat conservation,” said Jonah Energy President and CEO Tom Hart. “Josh’s work is an important component of our responsibly produced gas program, which focuses on environmental sustainability across our operations. It’s great to see a pro like Josh get the recognition he deserves.”
“I’m honored to receive this award and proud to work for a company that supports strong reclamation and recognizes its importance in the overall planning and production of resources in the Jonah Field,” Sorenson said. “We have an obligation to minimize our impact and preserve & enhance habitat so wildlife and future generations can enjoy it.”
Prior to his work for Jonah Energy, Sorenson spent time as a rangeland and natural resource specialist with the U.S. Forest Service. He holds a BS degree from the University of Wyoming and a master’s degree from Texas A&M University.
Jonah Energy is an oil and gas exploration and development company operating in the Jonah and Pinedale Fields in Sublette County, Wyoming. The company is one of the largest privately held natural gas producers in the US and focuses on producing natural gas in an environmentally responsible manner.
The American Society of Reclamation Sciences (ASRS) is a professional society of international prominence, including members from 20 countries. ASRS's professional interests include all aspects of land reclamation and the protection and enhancement of soil and water resources, regardless of the source of the disturbance.