red-cockaded woodpecker and Georgia-Pacific

nigel allen nigel.allen at
Thu Apr 15 21:23:17 EST 1993

Here is a press release from the U.S. Department of the Interior.
I do not work for the U.S. government or for Georgia-Pacific Corp.
If you would like more information, please call the contact numbers
listed below.

 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Georgia-Pacific Launch Landmark
Endangered Species Agreement
 To: National Desk, Environment Writer
 Contact: Jay Ziegler, 202-208-6416 or Georgia Parham,
          202-208-5634, both of the Department of the Interior

   WASHINGTON, April 15  -- Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt 
today announced a first-of-its-kind agreement which balances
sound timber management and strong conservation measures to protect
an endangered species.
   The agreement with Georgia-Pacific Corp. outlines measures to help
assure protection of the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker.  At the
same time, the accord allows for reasonable harvests of the
southeastern pine forests which comprise the bird's habitat.
   Under the agreement, Georgia-Pacific will conserve the
woodpecker's habitat on approximately 4 million acres of the
company's forest land in the southeastern United States while
conducting forest management activities, including timber harvesting,
to avoid damaging the species.  The company will also actively
implement conservation measures wherever woodpecker populations are
found on company lands.
   "In the past, our government has rarely provided guidance to
corporations about what they need to do to comply with the Endangered
Species Act," said Secretary Babbitt.  "They've forced corporations
to guess, with the only enforcement tool being the threat of
a lawsuit.  But with some government leadership, we can move
forward to protect species and avoid costly and unpredictable
lawsuits.  That's the course set by this agreement."
   "Georgia-Pacific has committed to very strict protection measures
in this accord." Secretary Babbitt said.  "But in return, they gain a
predictability that is helpful to their business.  All of us, in
turn, gain greater habitat conservation for the red-cockaded
   This agreement to preserve the red-cockaded woodpecker builds upon
Babbitt's efforts to encourage ecosystem planning and conservation
techniques in southern California to protect the gnatcatcher.
   "This is another example of how we intend to make the Endangered
Species Act work for people and the environment," Secretary Babbitt
said.  "This accord reflects good resource economics and sound
conservation techniques."
   The Endangered Species Act prohibits "take" of endangered species,
which includes killing, harming, or harassing listed species and, in
some cases, destroying their habitat.  Under its agreement with
the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Georgia-Pacific
has committed to forest practices which will "avoid take" of
the species.
   "For years, private landowners have asked for direction on
how to 'avoid take,' and our government has failed to resond,"
said Secretary Babbitt.  "This agreement provides a breakthrough
in establishing cooperative public and private efforts to save
an endangered species."
   In addition to protecting the more than 100 red-cockaded
woodpecker groups (family units) found on its land in Arkansas,
Louisiana, South Carolina, and Mississippi, Georgia-Pacific is
enhancing woodpecker habitat.  Company personnel will locate and mark
all active clusters (cavity trees used by groups), maintain and
protect buffer zones, prohibit road construction in sensitive areas
and provide adequate foraging habitat for the bird.  Georgia-Pacific
lands support roughly 20 percent of the known red-cockaded woodpecker
groups found on private land.
   "Georgia-Pacific is the first major landowner to develop a
proactive plan to conserve the red-cockaded woodpecker," said Fish
and Wildlife Service biologist Ralph Costa, the recovery coordinator
for the red-cockaded woodpecker.  "The company's willingness to
commit to this program will help speed up recovery of the species."
   Georgia-Pacific's President and Chief Operating Officer, A.D.
"Pete" Correll, said, "We always are focused on how our forest
management activities affect the land and wildlife on it.  This
agreement confirms that through innovation and leadership, we are
balancing the need to provide wood and paper products to consumers
with responsible wildlife conservation practices."
   The red-cockaded woodpecker ranges from Texas east to Virginia and
nests and roosts exclusively in cavities in older, living pine trees.
The species declined as its habitat was altered for a variety of
uses.  The species was listed in 1970 as endangered.  The current
population is estimated at 10,000 to 14,000 birds in nearly 4,000
groups within 12 southeastern states.
Canada Remote Systems - Toronto, Ontario

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