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Plum Creek and Fish and Wildlife Service Sign Agreement to Protect Endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 7, 2006


Contacts:
USFWS - Russ Watson, (337) 291-3116
USFWS - Tom MacKenzie, (404) 679-7291
Plum Creek - Tara Darrow, (206) 467-3647


Plum Creek and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to manage 6,000 acres of Plum Creek forestlands in Louisiana as a conservation area for the red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW), a federally-listed endangered species. In coordination with the recent signing of the MOA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service granted Plum Creek a research permit to study the effectiveness of translocating (or relocating) adult RCWs.

“We are excited about this innovative research which may improve the long-term survival of this red-cockaded woodpecker population,” said Russ Watson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Ecological Services supervisor in Lafayette, Louisiana. “But even more important are its potential benefits to recovery of the species across its entire range.”

“Plum Creek is committed to managing and preserving wildlife habitat on our lands, including habitat for those species that are threatened and endangered,” said Rob Olszewski, vice president of Corporate and Environmental Affairs for Plum Creek. “We are pleased to continue those efforts as we work cooperatively with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on this important study that will further efforts to protect the red-cockaded woodpecker and its habitat.”

Plum Creek has been a leader in the recovery of the RCW. Operating under a Habitat Conservation Plan, Plum Creek previously created and manages a 3,000-acre conservation area in Arkansas and Louisiana dedicated to RCWs. That conservation area currently supports 23 RCW groups. As part of the newly-signed MOA, Plum Creek has committed to create and maintain 6,000 acres within the newly-established conservation area that will support up to 60 additional RCW groups. This conservation area is located on Plum Creek land adjacent to the Upper Ouachita River National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana.

Translocation activities began in April 2006 and will continue through 2008. For more information, visit: http://www.fws.gov/southeast/news.

Plum Creek is the largest and most geographically diverse private landowner in the nation, with more than 8 million acres of timberlands in major timber producing regions of the United States and 10 wood products manufacturing facilities in the Northwest. Plum Creek maintains Habitat Conservation Plans that provide management guidelines for federally-listed endangered species on more than 2 million acres throughout the United States.

The 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 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which includes 546 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 81 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. Visit the Service’s website at http://www.fws.gov/southeast.

 


For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, visit our home page at http://www.fws.gov/southeast or http://www.fws.gov/.



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