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New Acres for America Grant to Conserve Habitat in Northern California
Roseville, Calif. – December 12, 2007 – Through their landmark Acres for America program, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., (NYSE: WMT) announced today a grant to The Conservation Fund that will help this organization acquire 16,300 acres of working forest along the Northern California coast. The grant was selected through a competitive process managed by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and will conserve land along the Big River and Salmon Creek properties near Mendocino. Today’s award brings the total amount of land permanently conserved through the Acres for America program to nearly 400,000 acres across the United States.
“This Acres for America grant conserves important habitat for fish and wildlife, helps sustain rural economies such as sustainable forestry, preserves valuable water resources, and protects outstanding scenic resources,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
"Wal-Mart has a strong commitment to balancing economic and environmental objectives," said Larry Selzer, president and CEO of The Conservation Fund. "Our work in the Big River and Salmon Creek watersheds, with support from the Acres for America program and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, is the clearest demonstration yet of how these magnificent forests can be managed to protect the incredible natural resources and livelihood of North Coast communities."
The Redwood region of California’s North Coast is a biologically rich – and threatened – ecosystem that is home to keystone species such as the northern spotted owl and marbled murrelet. The goal with the acquisition of this property is to sustainably manage the forest through limited and targeted harvests, while also protecting the fish, wildlife, and plant resources.
“Preserving land and managing natural resources falls in line with our larger goal to bring sustainability into the communities we serve,” said John Menzer, vice chairman of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “The Acres for America program helps us improve these communities and our country by protecting critical habitat for future generations.”
“Wal-Mart’s Acres for America program is an important step in protecting California’s natural resources not only for this generation, but for generations to come,” said Mike Chrisman, California Secretary for Resources. “This public-private partnership is a model for others to follow.”
In 2005, NFWF launched the Acres for America program with founding corporate partner Wal-Mart. The company’s primary goal was to permanently protect one acre of important wildlife habitat in the United States for every acre of land developed for a Wal-Mart store. Pledging $35 million over 10 years to the project, Wal-Mart committed to protecting enough land to account for its stores’ current land-use and development through 2015. In just three years, the partnership has already surpassed Wal-Mart’s goal by conserving three times the amount of acreage originally planned. Wal-Mart is the first major retail store to offset its land development footprint with permanently protected conservation lands.
Through the Acres for America program, Wal-Mart has helped permanently conserve land in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, and Oregon. NFWF manages a semi-annual, competitive process for selecting projects to be funded through the Acres for America program. To learn more about Acres for America, visit, www.nfwf.org or www.walmartfacts.com.
About the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)
A nonprofit established by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation sustains, restores and enhances the Nation’s fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Through leadership conservation investments with public and private partners, NFWF is dedicated to achieving maximum conservation impact by developing and applying best practices and innovative methods for measurable outcomes. Since its establishment, NFWF has awarded nearly 9,500 grants to over 3,000 organizations in the United States and abroad and leveraged – with its partners – more than $400 million in federal funds into more than $1.3 billion for on-the-ground conservation. For more information, visit www.nfwf.org.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, more than 127 million customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America or log on to its online store at www.walmart.com. The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $270 million to local communities in the United States. To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmartstores.com, or www.walmartfoundation.org.
About Conservation Fund
The Conservation Fund is the nation’s foremost environmental nonprofit dedicated to protecting America’s land and water legacy for current and future generations. Seeking innovative conservation solutions for the 21st century, the Fund works to integrate economic and environmental goals. Since its founding in 1985, the Fund has helped its partners safeguard wildlife habitat, working landscapes, community "greenspace," and historic sites totaling nearly 6 million acres. With 1% fund raising costs and 97% program allocation, The Conservation Fund is recognized as the nation’s top rated environmental nonprofit by both the American Institute of Philanthropy and Charity Navigator. www.conservationfund.org