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Innovative Public-Private Partnership Creates America’s Newest Wildlife Refuge

Published 08-26-02

Submitted by Entergy Corporation

NATCHITOCHES, Louisiana – At a dedication ceremony highlighting the market-based approach used to create the nation’s newest wildlife refuge, Entergy Corporation (NYSE: ETR), The Conservation Fund and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today unveiled a carbon sequestration project that will offset the environmental impacts of fossil fuel emissions, provide new fish and wildlife habitat and bring recreation-driven economic benefits to this region of northwest Louisiana along the Red River Valley in Natchitoches Parish near Shreveport.

Interior Secretary Gale Norton, U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu and U.S. Representative Jim McCrery, whose district includes the refuge, addressed the success of this public-private partnership at the dedication ceremony attended by representatives of Entergy, The Conservation Fund and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Interior Secretary Notes Benefits of Cooperation

"The dedication of Red River National Wildlife Refuge represents a triumph of cooperation and partnership in the service of conservation," said Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton. "Thanks to the contributions of Entergy and The Conservation Fund, the new refuge will provide habitat for fish and wildlife while offering the citizens of Louisiana recreational opportunities. At the same time, the restoration of the bottomland hardwood forest will remove 240 tons of carbon from the atmosphere each year, providing cleaner air"

"Together we are restoring the rich biological diversity of the floodplain forest that once characterized the Red River Valley as a legacy for future generations of Americans to enjoy," she said.

The Conservation Fund purchased 600 acres of non-productive agricultural acreage along the Red River with financial assistance from New Orleans-based Entergy Corporation. After reforestation, the corporation plans to donate the property, along with a management endowment, to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This gift will become the first tract of land in the Red River National Wildlife Refuge. This arrangement illustrates recent strides by businesses and environmentalists, who are increasingly forming strategic alliances for their mutual benefit.

Committed to Sustainable Development

Entergy, in partnership with Environmental Synergy, Inc., has already planted more than 180,000 native trees on the property. Over the next 70 years, the trees will sequester (trap) 275,000 tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide, as well as provide important bottomland hardwood habitat benefiting migratory birds, turkey, white-tailed deer and other wildlife.

“This powerful public-private partnership represents a breakthrough in using voluntary and market-driven approaches to address two of the nation’s top environmental concerns -- climate change and habitat protection,” said Lawrence A. Selzer, president of The Conservation Fund. “We applaud the leadership of Senator Landrieu and Congressman McCrery and the commitment of Entergy in balancing economic goals with environmental principles.”

“Entergy is working toward sustainable development that creates value and provides safe, reliable, affordable, clean energy with a constantly shrinking environmental impact,” noted Curt Hebert, Entergy’s executive vice president of external affairs. Hebert added that Entergy’s management is acutely aware that societal and environmental issues will become more important globally, nationally and especially within the regions here in the U.S. where the company operates.

Carbon sequestration takes advantage of the fact that as plants grow, they incorporate carbon from the atmosphere into their structure through the process of photosynthesis. Sequestration programs encourage corporations and governments to plant trees to offset the impact of carbon emissions. As the trees reach maturity, and their growth slows, they also need and “trap” less carbon.

The Red River Valley represents a historic corridor for migratory birds funneling out of North America to the Gulf Coast. An important tributary of the Mississippi River, the Red River is one of the most degraded watersheds in Louisiana. Eventually, the refuge will encompass 50,000 acres and in addition to protecting wildlife habitat and enhancing air quality, will offer public recreation opportunities such as hunting, fishing, hiking and educational outreach programs.

Paul Dickson: Refuge is Third Carbon Sequestration Project

"The Red River National Wildlife Refuge restores to the citizens of our region a face of the Red River that was hidden long ago," said Paul Dickson, chairman of the Friends of the Red River Refuges. "Thanks to this remarkable partnership, the future of the Red River, its people and its wildlife is brighter than ever."

Entergy is a major global energy company with power production, distribution operations and related diversified services. Entergy owns, manages, or invests in power plants generating more than 30,000 megawatts of electricity domestically and internationally, and delivers electricity to about 2.6 million customers in portions of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Through Entergy-Koch, L.P., it is also a leading provider of wholesale energy marketing and trading services. Entergy’s online address is

The Conservation Fund

The Conservation Fund, the only national environmental organization to receive the top ratings from both the American Institute of Philanthropy and Charity Navigator, acts to protect the nation's legacy of land and water resources in partnership with other organizations, public agencies, foundations, corporations and individuals. 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, community "greenspace" and historic sites totaling more than 3 million acres throughout the U.S. Headquarters are in Arlington, Virginia.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect and enhance
fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American
people. As the only agency of the U.S. Government with those primary missions, the Service helps protect a healthy environment for people, fish and wildlife, and helps Americans conserve and enjoy the outdoors and our living treasures. The Service’s major responsibilities are for migratory birds, endangered species, certain marine mammals and freshwater and anadromous fish.

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Entergy Corporation

Entergy Corporation

Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.9 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

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