The Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Wyoming office has mismanaged at least $14 million in easement payments, and employs supervisors who lack the knowledge to properly administer easement programs in the state. That’s according to a report from the Office of Inspector General. Easements are used to permanently retire a piece of land for conservation purposes.
Associate Chief for Conservation with the NRCS, Leonard Jordan, says a team is reviewing easements that have already been completed and taking a look at open applications, too.
“They found that there were some deficiencies in some of the information that had been collected that could bring into question whether those applicants were eligible to participate or not,” says Jordan.
Jordan says that so far, once more information is provided, the closed easement contracts do tend to check out. But the report says nearly $63 million in open easement obligations in the state might be at risk.
The NRCS has extended its review of the Wyoming office to include other programs and will evaluate accountability measures once all reports are completed.