NWTF’s Energy for Wildlife Program certifies partners

The National Wild Turkey Federation’s Energy for Wildlife program announced another electrifying milestone with the certification of three new members.

Wolverine Power Supply, Cinergy Corporation and Utilities District of Western Indiana REMC were certified during the NWTF’s 28th Annual Convention and Sport Show, held Feb. 20-22 in Columbus, Ohio. Each of these companies attained the highest level of membership in this program by implementing plans for the management of vegetation on rights-of-way and other property.

Corporate partners are very important to the NWTF, and some have gone the extra mile to provide habitat for the wild turkey and many other species of wildlife.

“The certification of Wolverine Power Supply, Cinergy Corporation, and Utilities District of Western Indiana REMC shows the commitment that these utility companies have made to benefit wildlife while providing safe, reliable and affordable energy to their customers,” said Jay Jordan, NWTF’s Energy for Wildlife coordinator.

Cinergy, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, is the largest company that has gained certification with the Energy for Wildlife program. The company owns or has interest in almost 140,000 acres of land and manages an additional 155,000 acres of rights-of-way in three states. To earn certification they established native warm season grasses, hosted educational programs for the public and expanded their vegetation management program to rights of way. Cinergy is also funding the return of native hardwoods to marginal farmland, and then conveying much of this property to public ownership.

Wolverine Power Cooperative, of Cadillac, Mich., controls 1,558 miles of electric transmission lines on which they supply power to its four owner cooperatives. Wolverine consults with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources on issues such as native plants and rare species management and raptor nesting habitat on its rights-of-way throughout Michigan.

Utilities District of Western Indiana is headquartered in Bloomfield, Ind., and provides power to its customers through 2,539 miles of distribution lines. Even though these rights-of-way are narrow, the utility plants beneficial grasses and legumes for wildlife and erosion control. They are working with national and state forests on management plans for their rights-of-way and to identify any threatened or endangered species that may live along their lines.

Energy for Wildlife is a membership-based certification program for all energy companies with the primary goal of enhancing wildlife habitat on company managed, owned or influenced lands, including power line and gas rights-of-way, plant sites, forestlands and other properties. To become certified, companies must write and implement a vegetation and wildlife management plan.

Energy for Wildlife was created by the NWTF in response to the utility industry’s need for assistance in managing the millions of acres of rights-of-way and other land that could potentially provide ideal habitat for a number of wildlife species. Several species that are currently at risk due to loss of open habitat could also benefit from the program.

NWTF’s Energy for Wildlife program staff worked directly with these energy companies to integrate wildlife management activities into their land management programs.

Any company that is involved in the production, transmission, or distribution of energy is eligible to become a member of the Energy for Wildlife program.

About the NWTF

In 1973 when the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded, there were an estimated 1.3 million wild turkeys and 1.5 million turkey hunters. Thanks to the work of wildlife agencies and the NWTF’s many volunteers and partners, today there are 6.4 million wild turkeys and approximately 2.6 million turkey hunters. Since 1985, more than $183 million NWTF and cooperator dollars have been spent on over 26,000 projects benefiting wild turkeys throughout North America.

The NWTF is a half million-member grassroots, nonprofit organization with members in 50 states and 12 foreign countries. It supports scientific wildlife management on public, private and corporate lands as well as wild turkey hunting as a traditional North American sport.

For more information on the National Wild Turkey Federation, call (803) 637-3106, check out our web site at www.nwtf.org or e-mail questions to nwtf@nwtf.net.


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