Sorenson makes oil and gas history

PINEDALE – A Jonah Energy reclamation specialist was recently awarded Reclamationist of the Year by the American Society of Reclamation Scientists. By doing so, he became the first recipient from the oil and gas industry in the 37-year history of the award.

Josh Sorenson earned the distinguished honor. He was selected for developing and advancing the reclamation process on oil and gas well sites and right of ways in the John Field. He implemented a management program to control invasive plant species while reducing pesticide applications and increasing native pollinator plants.

“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,” he said. “We have an obligation to minimize our impact and preserve and enhance habitat so wildlife and future generations can enjoy it.”

Sorenson’s efforts have helped contribute to the full restoration of hundreds of acres, as well as the enhancement over sagebrush. That reclaimed land has greater vegetative diversity and production, providing a more suitable wildlife habitat in unique and challenging sagebrush steppe environment. This 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,” Tom Hart, Jonah Energy president and CEO, said. “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.”

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.

The award was presented as part of the American Society of Reclamation Scientists 2021 annual business meeting on June 10.

Before working at Jonah Energy, Sorenson spent time as a rangeland and natural resource specialist with the U.S. Forest Service. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming and a master’s degree from Texas A&M University.