The use of mediation for a wide variety of energy development related issues, such as trespass easements, reclamation agreements, development contracts and mitigation agreements will assist landowners and industry in resolving disputes at the local level. The Mediation Program, with fifteen experienced mediators, partners with other natural resource agencies to provide workplace mediators, facilitators for meetings and more. A training program for mediators, which includes classroom workshops and monthly webinar sessions is currently in place for providing up-to-date information. The program was limited by its unique funding mechanism which is a reimbursement agreement by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Historically, the program has been able to offer training and mediation/facilitation services for a myriad of issues as a reimbursable expense. Very recently, USDA significantly narrowed the scope of reimbursable activities to disputes directly involving USDA or agricultural credit. However, the program has received requests for mediation assistance from landowners who are having difficulty negotiating with energy development companies. The legislature approved the Department of Agriculture’s request to use state appropriations to fund mediation services for energy development, freeing the program to provide services the USDA no longer allows. The Mediation Program will work with partners to increase outreach to landowners and industry on the use of mediation as an alternative dispute resolution tool and the benefits of the approach. The Program will also provide specific energy development training to certified mediators and recruit trained and experienced mediators in energy development.
Established policy for requesting mediation for energy development disputes and the development of an outreach and education strategy.
Wyoming Department of Agriculture
Wyoming Agriculture & Natural Resources Mediation Board, Industry partners, mediators