FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2000 Contact: Tom MacKenzie 404 - 679-7291
Andy Norman, Texaco 914-253-4068
Al Daily, ESI 925-254-4147
Larry Selzer, Conservation Fund 304-870-2204
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., April 27 - Texaco announced today that it has signed agreements with The Conservation Fund and Environmental Synergy, Inc. (see notes to editors) to fund a 70-year reforestation project in the Lower Mississippi River Valley in Mississippi and Louisiana. The $900,000 project will contribute to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's long-term nationwide goal of reforesting lands that have been cleared for other uses but have now become fallow and of marginal economic value.
"When a major company like Texaco kicks in nearly a million dollars for the environment, it's good news," said Sam D. Hamilton, Southeastern Regional Director. "The combined activities of Texaco, The Conservation Fund, ESI and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will help restore this magnificent environmental treasure."
Commenting on the announcement, Elliott P. Laws, Texaco Safety Health and Environment President said, "The environmental benefits of this project are very strong. Because Texaco is dedicated to playing a positive role in the goal of managing greenhouse gas emissions, we are particularly interested in the project's carbon dioxide sequestration benefits. The project is a clear demonstration of Texaco's commitment to supporting a range of innovative initiatives, which complement our ongoing strategy to manage emissions from our own business operations, to address the important issue of climate change."
As a direct result of the 70-year project, it is estimated that more than 800,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide will be removed from the atmosphere, helping to reduce the potential for global warming. Other environmental benefits will include reduced soil erosion, the reduction of agricultural runoffs and bio-diversity enhancement.
The project will involve the planting of 450,000 seedlings of tree species indigenous to the region on 1,000 acres of public lands and 500 acres of private lands in Mississippi and Louisiana. The Conservation Fund will acquire the private lands, while Environmental Synergy, Inc. will be responsible for the reforestation activities. As the project moves forward, management responsibility for the replanted lands will be transferred to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Environmental Synergy, Inc. is an ecology-based company with an objective to restore natural ecosystems using a watershed management approach. ESI offers a carbon sequestration program that is simultaneously dedicated to meeting the carbon offset objectives of its clients, to contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gases globally, and to restoring biodiverse ecosystems through the recreation of native forest habitat.
The Conservation Fund is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to creating partnerships between industry, nonprofit organizations and government agencies to advance land and water conservation in America. The Fund is a non-membership, non-advocacy organization.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 93-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses more than 520 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 66 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
Release #: R00-015