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Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Conservation of forests areas and wildlife receive $10M funding


International Paper and The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) have renewed their Forestland Stewards Partnership for the next five years, with IP committing $10 million to wildlife and working forest conservation.

The Forestland Stewards Partnership (FSP), one of the most successful public-private forest conservation efforts in the United States, will continue to catalyze targeted investments that benefit wildlife, people, and the environment. Now in its second decade, FSP has funded 156 projects in twelve states that, when completed, will restore, enhance, or protect more than 1.2 million acres of forest habitat.

Previous projects in the United States focused on four specific landscapes: the coastal plain forests of North and South Carolina; the Cumberland Plateau region in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia; the piney woods on the Louisiana-Texas border; and the seven-state Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley region, which includes Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee. The answer is yes.

These forests were chosen because they provide habitat for many at-risk, threatened, and endangered species, including the red-cockaded woodpecker, the gopher tortoise, the swallow-tailed kite, the red-headed woodpecker, songbirds, freshwater mussels, and rare plants, as well as game species like the northern bobwhite and wild turkey. Furthermore, these forests provide a significant source of wood products that are vital to local economies.
“Sustainably managed forests are the starting point for stewardship values at IP,” said International Paper Chairman and CEO Mark Sutton.

“As we look at all we have accomplished in partnership with NFWF in the last decade, I am confident that this expanded collaboration will continue to promote responsible forest stewardship and ensure healthy and productive forest ecosystems for future generations.”

The Forestland Stewards Partnership began in 2013, when International Paper committed $7.5 million over five years to restore, protect, and enhance Southern pine, oak, and savanna woodlands in eight southern states. In 2017, NFWF and International Paper announced the Partnership's renewal, with International Paper pledging to increase its contribution to $10 million over the next five years. This new pledge brings the company's total pledge to $17.5 million over ten years.

FSP will exceed its original ten-year goal, with more than 1.2 million acres restored, enhanced and protected once all projects are completed. With this third five-year agreement, International Paper and NFWF will have helped conserve over 1.8 million acres of wildlife habitat across the Southeast.

“The Forestland Stewards Partnership is a model for landscape-scale forest conservation in the United States,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF.

“The significant forest habitat and wildlife improvements achieved over the past decade are a testament to the staying power of International Paper’s commitment, and the impact of this long-standing public-private partnership. Renewing this ten-year partnership for another five years enables NFWF to confidently approach additional partners, achieve more impactful outcomes and support working forests and local economies.”

FSP collaborates with private landowners, government agencies, and conservation groups on strategic forest restoration through tree plantings, habitat enhancement strategies such as prescribed burning, and the protection of critical tracts of land within priority wildlife areas from land use conversion. FSP pools conservation investments to benefit fish and wildlife while also assisting landowners in improving forest management practices around "working" forests, giving landowners more management options and frequently becoming a critical variable in keeping forests as forests. FSP has also leveraged International Paper's investment for a total conservation impact of approximately $192 million through its competitive grant process.

For additional information on the Forestland Stewards Partnership, please click here.