U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Southeast Region News Release


May 21, 1996                                                

   MEDIA ADVISORY      

WHO: The United States Golf Association, Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt and Kelly

Miller, General Manager of Pine Needles Lodges and Country Club, Inc.



WHAT:     Press Conference in connection with the signing of a Cooperative Agreement to

provide and enhance habitat for the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker.  The U.S. Fish and

Wildlife Service will also present Pine Needles Lodges and Country Club, Inc. with a Certificate

of Inclusion in the Safe Harbor program, that was designed to encourage cooperative

management of red-cockaded woodpeckers throughout the North Carolina Sandhills. It was first

announced in March 1995 by Secretary Bruce Babbitt.



WHERE:    Pine Needles Lodges and Country Club, Southern Pines, North Carolina.



WHEN:     11:00 a.m. Wednesday, May 29, 1996



BACKGROUND

Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt will speak at a press conference May 29, 1996, at the Pine Needles Lodges and Country Club, Southern Pines, NC, in connection with the signing of a cooperative agreement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Pine Needles, to provide and enhance habitat for the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker.

The agreement, which will be signed at a ceremony, co-sponsored by Pine Needles, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Golf Association. The ceremony is taking place at the site of the celebrated annual Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tournament, which tees-off the following day. The agreement, is part of a unique wildlife conservation program designed to encourage cooperative management of red-cockaded woodpeckers throughout the North Carolina Sandhills.

Babbitt first announced the Safe Harbor program March 1, 1996. He noted then that the program offers private landowners an incentive to be good stewards of their land and provide habitat for endangered and threatened species. In exchange," Babbitt said, "they get an ironclad guarantee that they will not be subject to restrictions later on if they succeed in attracting endangered species to their land." Therefore, if the land management activities of Pine Needles result in an increase in the number of red-cockaded woodpeckers on the golf course, the landowners are still only responsible for maintaining the level of habitat and number of species that existed at the time they elected to join the program.

Also in attendance will be some of the landowners who have previously signed Safe Harbor agreements and are presently managing their property for the conservation of endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers.

Media representatives who wish to attend the ceremony should contact Dr. Kimberly Erusha or Marty Parkes of the USGA Green Section at (908) 234-2300 or after May 28 at (910) 693-2231. Media may also call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Vicki Boatwright (404) 679-7288 or Diana Hawkins (404-679-7293). During the ceremony, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service representatives will provide media packets containing 5"x7" color photographs of woodpeckers (color slides or computer graphic files are available upon request only), and B-roll video footage of the red-cockaded woodpecker in Beta and VHS formats for television news crews.

X X X Release #96-30


1996 News Releases

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