Coordinating a fleet of planes to heal mountainsides after forest fires. Saving a reservoir for a thirsty town. Reclaiming oil and gas pads for our energy clients. We have the technical expertise, trained staff, policy knowledge, and specialized machinery to get the job done. We have a soil scientist, a range scientist, and a registered landscape architect on staff. We collect baseline soils and vegetation data and prepare comprehensive revegetation and erosion control plans. We restore land and help our clients reimagine environments.
For 37 years Western States Reclamation has lived up to its name of successfully reclaiming and restoring land in the Western United States and beyond.
Western States has completed a significant number of pipeline restoration projects. In the early years, our founder, Dave Chenoweth, was directly supervising the projects and to this day, Dave’s commitment to quality influences every pipeline project we do.
Our first pipeline project was for AMOCO (now BP) for the Rickman-Painter Pipeline near Evanston, Wyoming – over 100 miles long. We finished the pipeline in 3 weeks which was ahead of the client’s desired schedule. The U.S. Forest Service was very happy with the vegetative cover the following season. One of AMOCO’s Environmental Coordinator’s who hired us to complete this pipeline went onto form his own pipeline permitting company named PIC.
Western States became the “go to” restoration contractor for PIC in the mid 90’s. Our first project with them was the Northwest Pipeline Expansion which ran from Kemmerer, Wyoming up through Washington into Canada. We were initially given a segment of the pipeline that ran from Kemmerer, Wyoming up to Lava Hot Springs, Idaho. The initial phase of the pipeline was a disaster for PIC and Northwest Pipeline Company, due to the fact that pipeline contractors were forced to work into the winter until snow pack forced a winter shut down. Very little erosion control and restoration efforts were completed before the winter shutdown.
We were asked in February by PIC to mobilize to Lava Hot Springs and provide on call erosion control services whenever weather condition allowed our crews to work. We were tasked with protecting numerous river crossings, several of which had salmon fisheries that were at risk to mudslides and washouts. As we entered the spring revegetation period we started revegetating our segment of the pipeline and continued on with on-call erosion control efforts. We dedicated enough crews to the project and were exceeding the acreage on a daily basis that was previously expected of us.
PIC and Northwest Pipeline Company pulled the contracts for several smaller restoration contractors that could not keep up with the daily demand of work to be completed and awarded all of the work to WSR.
When it was all said and done, we completed segments of pipeline from Kemmerer, Wyoming up through the state of Idaho. Our work covered cleanup of mudslides, washouts, traditional seeding/mulching, and aerial seeding/straw mulching of pipeline segments that could not be negotiated with track or rubber tired equipment. Our aerial revegetation efforts were so successful on a critical area of the pipeline in Idaho that we were given a pipeline segment in Oregon to complete with helicopters the following year. In all, we had crews living in Wyoming and Idaho for over nine months.
During the mid 90’s we completed the CENEX Crude Oil Pipeline that ran from Cutback Montana to Laurel, Montana. The project had a late start for the restoration work (mid October) and we were able to complete all restoration work by mid December.
Again, from the mid 90’s to the current date we have been Xcel Energy of Colorado main restoration contractor. A major reason we have been able to establish this long term relationship is due to the fact that our sister consulting company, Chenoweth & Associates has written the restoration and erosion control specifications and plans for the bulk of the pipelines we have completed for Xcel Energy followed by completing the actual restoration and erosion control work.
To date, Western States has completed several major pipelines for Xcel Energy that covers the eastern plains of Colorado through the mountain west. Our work has included everything from earthwork, Right-Of-Way timber clearing, drill seeding, straw mulching, aerial seeding/mulching, woody plant installation, annual monitoring, and maintenance services.
While several of these pipelines stand out as being unique with their own set of challenges, the Table Mountain project was particularly unique. Xcel’s pipeline came across Table Mountain and ran adjacent to one of the Coors Family Homes and the Rolling Hills Golf Club (a very exclusive golf course).
We were tasked with stabilizing a two dimension slope above the golf course and Coors residence from potential mudslides and providing woody vegetation cover that would eventually mask the scar created by initial clearing and grubbing of a beautiful shrubland community within the ROW. We hauled plant material to the slope by helicopter and completed all seeding and hydromulching by helicopter. We were the only contractor that Xcel trusted to do the project. Everyone was happy with the final results and most importantly the Coors Family.
Dave Chenoweth has acted as a liaison to Xcel for issues involving restoration planning and adequate restoration with state and federal agencies, and he has also served as an expert witness for Xcel on three court cases involving natural source damage claims.
Our relationship with Xcel Energy of Colorado yielded referrals to Xcel Energy of New Mexico. We have completed 3 major pipeline projects in New Mexico since 2001.
WSR established a relationship with ONEOK in the mid 2000s. Since that time we have completed ONEOK’s Overland Pass Project and the Niobrara and Douglas Pipeline laterals in Wyoming in the fall of 2014.
Liz Chenoweth decided that she wanted to start her own union pipeline restoration contracting company in 2012 which she named WSRII. WSRII completed the APEX Pipeline outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. WSRII was a subcontractor to Barnard Pipeline Company. This pipeline is now considered by many to be the most difficult mountain terrain pipeline in the Western U.S. The bulk of our work had to be completed by fairing crews, materials and equipment into mountainous areas where no access existed for track or rubber tired equipment. We started restoration work in May of 2013 and averaged over 100 union employees by July.
By mid August we informed Barnard Pipeline that the quantities of remaining work were more than double what we had contracted for. Barnard had a hard date of mid October to finish the pipeline, including all restoration work, or face hefty liquidated damages on a daily basis. WSRII ramped up to over 200 union employees and completed all work 3 days ahead of schedule even with impacts of snow storms that shut operations done for a few days in October.
The central theme that exists with our companies is a “can do attitude”, complete projects to the clients satisfaction and ahead of schedule, deliver value engineer ideas when requested and of course quality workmanship. Also, most of our relationships with Pipeline Company owners and pipeline contractors consist of repeat business for as long as 20 years.