On October 18, Peabody Energy earned the 2011 Director’s Award from the U.S. Department of the Interior for outstanding achievement in land and habitat restoration at the company’s former Big Sky Mine in Colstrip, MT. The Director’s Award–the Department of Interior’s highest honor–is presented each year to one coal producer for demonstrating the best environmental practices in the United States. The award was presented at Interior’s Excellence in Surface Coal Mining Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.
The U.S. government recognized Peabody for using grading techniques to create sustainable watersheds and superior wildlife habitat throughout a 2,200-acre region of gently rolling hills and stream valleys in Montana. The team delivered dramatic improvements to erosion control, rangeland productivity, water supply, and wildlife habitat when compared to native range.
The Interior Department credited Peabody’s team of environmental scientists and operations personnel with establishing a diverse mix of native trees, shrubs, and grasses in the area. This sustainable landscape offers unique ranching and wildlife benefits, supporting livestock and ecologically important species such as the sharp-tailed grouse.