WEST celebrates 30 Years

WEST is celebrating 30 years of success this month! From a modest two-person company, WEST has grown to be an industry leading environmental and statistical consulting firm with over 350 employees spanning the US and Canada. Follow #WEST30years to keep up with WEST history, fun facts, and project milestones as we celebrate!

WEST’s Founders

WEST was founded in the summer of 1990 by its two principals, Dr. Dale Strickland and Dr. Lyman McDonald. Over the course of many years of friendship, Dale and Lyman combined their biological and statistical expertise to create a unique environmental consulting firm.  “The two friends had no grandiose long-term plans except to have a […]

WEST’s First Project – Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

In March of 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker struck a reef in Prince William Sound releasing millions of gallons of oil. Considered one of the worst oil spills in the world, the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (EVOS) affected 1,300 miles of shoreline throughout Prince William Sound and other parts of southwest Alaska.  WEST’s first […]

WEST’s First Employee – Wally Erickson

A large project like Exxon Valdez Oil Spill was a great way to start a company and led to WEST’s first hire, Wally Erickson, in May 1991, after finishing his M.S. under Lyman. Wally first joined the field crews on the Pacific Star in Prince William Sound and then worked on other project research vessels […]

WEST the early years – FIFRA project

Lyman and Dale recruited Greg Johnson to come work for WEST in late 1991, to build on work for which Lyman was involved in with data analysis for field projects conducted under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). After much discussion among Dale, Lyman, and Greg, WEST accepted a contract from Miles Corporation […]

WEST’s First Wind Project – Foote Creek Rim

A watershed WEST project was the comprehensive wildlife studies for the Foote Creek Rim wind project in southeast Wyoming. Foote Creek Rim was WEST’s first wind project and fit well with Dale and Lyman’s vision for the company: combining statistics and field ecology. Beginning in 1994, WEST became involved in the project through review of […]

WEST’s Next Hires

The comprehensive studies on WEST’s first wind project, Foote Creek Rim, and other projects soon required more staff to conduct fieldwork. This led to the hires of Clayton Derby, Jamey Eddy, and Rhett Good all of whom are still with WEST and have filled several roles for the company over the last 30 years. Jamey […]

WEST’s First Habitat Conservation Plans

The endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) became one of the most prominent issues facing wind energy development throughout the Midwest and eastern US in 2009, resulting in additional scrutiny for wind projects throughout Indiana bat range. WEST developed proposals and signed two contracts to develop Habitat Conservation Plans (HCP) in application for Incidental Take Permits […]

Migratory Corridor

Seasonal migrations of ungulates are increasingly threatened by various forms of anthropogenic disturbance, including roads, fences, and other infrastructure. Wyoming has some of the longest wildlife migration routes in the US, and protecting these routes is important for maintaining healthy populations. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has worked to develop a strategy for conserving […]

Solar Energy & Wildlife

WEST has taken their vast experience in understanding wind and wildlife interactions and have been the pioneers in developing techniques for studying the impacts and benefits solar energy can have on wildlife and natural resources. WEST has designed the initial study methods and helped identify the key natural resource uses, and are participating in research […]