Georgia Power receives 2001 Forestry for Wildlife Partnership award for the third year

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. – Gov. Roy Barnes today recognized Georgia Power, International Paper, Mead Coated Board, Temple-Inland and Weyerhaeuser as the 2001 Forestry for Wildlife Partners (FWP).

The program was created when corporate forest landowners joined the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) and several conservation organizations to develop a formal, comprehensive wildlife conservation partnership program.

This is the third consecutive year Georgia Power has received full partnership status.

“As more and more forest land is developed in Georgia each year, we become increasingly dependent on private land management practices to conserve our state’s natural resources. To become a Forestry for Wildlife Partner, companies must consistently perform management activities that are beneficial to wildlife and that go above and beyond current regulatory and industry certification standards,” said Gov. Barnes. “Each year, we have seen an increase in the number of partners, as well as in the number of acres of land that are being managed to benefit wildlife and the citizens of Georgia. These five companies have incorporated wildlife management practices into their overall operations, and as a result we should feel better about the future of wildlife on more than 2,360,000 acres of industrial timber lands in Georgia.”

Forestry for Wildlife Partners is an annual program that is voluntary, flexible, non-competitive and participant driven.

The program promotes blending wildlife conservation into corporate forestry practices and offers a variety of wildlife enhancement choices from which corporate forest landowners can build a program compatible with their forest management objectives.

“The Department of Natural Resources applauds these companies for their proactive approach to natural resource management on privately-owned land because ninety-two percent of the land in Georgia is privately owned,” said DNR Commissioner Lonice Barrett. “We have set the bar very high for natural resource conservation in Georgia and many corporate forest landowners have responded by participating in this innovative Forestry for Wildlife Partnership.”

“We are pleased and honored to be recognized as a partner in this worthwhile program”, said Ben Harris, vice president of Georgia Power’s land department. "This partnership validates our stewardship with land, wildlife and forestry resources that we own, use and manage.”

WRD recognizes Georgia Power, International Paper, Mead Coated Board, Temple-Inland and Weyerhaeuser as Forestry for Wildlife Partners for the integration of wildlife conservation practices into their forest management programs. Some of these practices include:

Preparing wildlife conservation plans detailing natural resources inventories and outlining the management strategies for blending forest management with wildlife management.

Providing internal training opportunities for employees on how to blend forestland management with “wildlife friendly” practices for multiple natural resource benefits.

Incorporating wildlife management techniques into current land-use planning and timber management practices.

Providing valuable data for Wildlife Resources Division research projects.

Providing public recreational opportunities on forest lands.

Participating in various partnerships with conservation organizations through programs such as Partners in Flight, the Longleaf Alliance, the Breeding Bird Atlas and the Georgia Herp Atlas.

Managing riparian forests for wildlife use and water quality protection.

All of the conservation enhancement components and reporting procedures are compatible with the American Forest and Paper Association’s Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). SFI is a voluntary approach within the forest industry to maintain high environmental standards on lands managed by corporate landowners.

For more information about Forestry for Wildlife Partners or other private lands initiatives, please contact Mark Whitney at (770) 761-1697.