Mike Smith, Greensmith PR, 703-623-3834
Kim Clewis, IP, 843-545-2692
Cheryl Irwin, NFWF, 202-857-0166
SHREVEPORT, La., October 15, 2013—The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and International Paper (NYSE: IP) announced today $200,000 in grants to support forestland restoration throughout the Piney Woods of Louisiana and Texas. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and The Nature Conservancy will receive grants through the Forestland Stewards Initiative, a partnership of NFWF and International Paper.
Through the Forestland Stewards Initiative, International Paper is committing $7.5 million over five years to restore native forests, strengthen important fish and wildlife populations and protect watersheds in eight states across the Southeastern United States. These conservation efforts complement the company’s long-standing commitment to responsible wood sourcing, helping create the economic driver for the existence of many millions of acres of forests across the United States and the world.
Teri Shanahan, Vice President of Sustainability for International Paper, said of the grants, “As part of International Paper’s ongoing dedication to protect and conserve southern forestland, we are pleased to support the restoration work of The Nature Conservancy and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, allowing for the sustainable harvest of timber while continuing the protection of ecologically important areas.”
Established in March 2013, the Forestland Stewards Initiative is a pioneering partnership created to conserve and restore southern forestlands representing some of America’s most iconic landscapes, critical habitats for endangered wildlife and economic opportunities. The initiative also highlights the critical role working forests play, especially in the United States, where 68 percent of all forests are working forests. NFWF and International Paper are working with a variety of stakeholders—private landowners, government agencies and conservation groups—to develop science-based conservation business plans guiding the restoration of more than 200,000 acres of southern pine, oak and woodlands and their associated freshwater systems. In addition, the partnership will assist landowners in improving commercial and environmental management practices for working forests. The initiative supports conservation projects in three regions: the Piney Woods on the Louisiana-Texas border, the Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama and Georgia, and the low country of North and South Carolina.
“Our exciting new partnership with International Paper is advancing conservation in some of the most biologically diverse and culturally iconic landscapes in America,” explained David O’Neill, Vice President for Conservation Programs at NFWF. “The grants announced today reflect International Paper’s commitment to healthy forests, and they will lead to on-the-ground improvements that benefit fish and wildlife and the habitats on which they rely.”
“Prior funding from NFWF has allowed us to bring members of the conservation community, including public and private groups, local governments, and landowners, together in the past few years to create plans to more effectively restore longleaf pine,” said Rick Jacob, Director of Conservation Forestry for The Nature Conservancy Louisiana, a group that has continuously supported restoration of the region’s longleaf pine ecosystem.
“Now that International Paper has partnered with NFWF, the capability to restore the longleaf ecosystem in this region has grown tremendously,” said David Breithaupt of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, recipient of a $100,000 grant. “Our organization, along with many other partners, now has the resources needed to put collaborative plans into action.”
Title: Private Lands Enhancement in LouisianaPartner Organization: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Objective: Restore longleaf pine and build place-based project capacity in the Fort Polk/Kisatchie area.Award Amount: $100,000
Project Description: The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the West-Central Louisiana Ecosystem Partnership will greatly expand the sound management of open pine ecosystems, benefitting a large suite of native plant and animal species, by supporting prescribed burning on at least 4,000 acres of land owned or managed by Resource Management Service, LLC, Plum Creek Timber Company, and other forest management firms. Initial emphasis will be placed on existing longleaf stands, followed by burning in mid-rotation loblolly stands. These sites are in close proximity to the Kisatchie National Forest and within a region identified as significant for longleaf pine ecosystem restoration and management.
Project Partners: Plum Creek Timber Company, Resource Management Service, LLC, and West-Central Louisiana Ecosystem Partnership which includes The Nature Conservancy - Louisiana, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Forest Service Southern Research Station, US Army, National Wild Turkey Federation, Louisiana Forestry Association, Farm Service Agency, Louisiana Society of American Foresters, Kisatchie National Forest, Louisiana State University AgCenter.
Title: Advancing Longleaf Restoration in East Texas Partner Organization: The Nature ConservancyObjective: Conduct longleaf restoration activities on private conservation landsAward Amount: $100,000
Project Description: The Nature Conservancy will advance the range-wide goals of America’s Longleaf Restoration Initiative by implementing important longleaf restoration work in two Significant Geographic Areas (SGAs) in East Texas. In the Big Thicket National Preserve SGA, the project will conduct reforestation, prescribed burning, and woody mid-story control on the Roy E. Larsen Sandyland Sanctuary. Work will include 185 acres of longleaf regeneration, mid-story control on 545 acres, and prescribed burning of 3,200 acres. In addition, a Texas Longleaf Program Coordinator will advance coordination of the public and private efforts for longleaf conservation in east Texas.
Project Partners: Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Natural Resources Conservation Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Forests & Grasslands of TX, Texas Institute of Renewable Natural Resources, USFS Southern Research Station, Texas A&M Forest Service, National Wild Turkey Federation, and The Campbell Group
Learn more about Forestland Stewards at: www.nfwf.org/forestlandstewards.
Established by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) sustains, restores and enhances the nation's fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 4,000 organizations and committed more than $2.1 billion to conservation projects. Learn more at www.nfwf.org.
International Paper (NYSE: IP) is a global leader in packaging and paper with manufacturing operations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Russia, Asia and North Africa. Its businesses include industrial and consumer packaging and uncoated papers, complemented by xpedx, the company's North American distribution company. Headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., the company employs approximately 70,000 people and is strategically located in more than 24 countries serving customers worldwide. International Paper net sales for 2012 were $28 billion. For more information about International Paper, its products and stewardship efforts, visit internationalpaper.com.