BALTIMORE, MD- Employees at Kinder Morgan’s Holt Release Site received international recognition for their contributions to wildlife habitat conservation at the Wildlife Habitat Council’s (WHC) 19th Annual Symposium, The Value of Green. Kinder Morgan demonstrates its commitment to environmental stewardship and increasing native biodiversity by achieving Wildlife at Work certification at the Holt Release Site.
“For 20 years, the Wildlife Habitat Council has led ground-breaking initiatives on more than two million acres of land for the benefit of wildlife and conservation education,” said Robert Johnson, WHC President. “WHC members embrace their role as leaders in environmental stewardship at the local, national and global level, voluntarily managing their lands to support sustainable ecosystems and sustainable societies. Congratulations to Kinder Morgan for stepping up to meet the challenges of creating a healthy and biodiverse natural world.”
The Holt Release Site lies near sea level on Middle Roberts Island. Located near the vast oak woodlands of central California, the site covers one acre, and half of it is available for wildlife habitat. The area around the site was historically an extensive natural wetlands system, and now most of the surrounding land is cultivated for agriculture. The site contains a large fresh to brackish water pond that supports wetland plant species such as broadleaf cattails.
Using native trees that provide food and cover for wildlife, employees aim to restore the site to its native state and improve its value to the community. Prior to the establishment of the habitat program, the site was virtually devoid of vegetation, with only limited occurrences of willow along the borders. A diversity of animals, including the desert cottontail, striped skunk, raccoon and red-winged blackbird inhabit the site. Bird counts show increasing numbers.
Many native shrubs and trees were planted on site. A strict program of monitoring and managing involves irrigation, nonnative plant control, and replacement of trees that are lost. Future projects include creation of brush piles to provide small mammal habitat and planting of gardens for butterflies and hummingbirds.
The Holt Release Site was one of 173 sites recognized at the 2007 Symposium for creating a Wildlife at Work program. In addition, 69 Corporate Lands for Learning programs reach thousands of learners from schools and scout groups to master gardeners and university researchers. Since 1990, WHC has certified 432 programs worldwide. The certification program recognizes outstanding wildlife habitat management and environmental education efforts at corporate sites, and offers third-party validation of the benefits of such programs. Certification requirements are strict and require that sites apply for periodic renewal.
Celebrating 20 years in conservation, the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) is a nonprofit, non-lobbying organization dedicated to increasing the quality and amount of wildlife habitat on corporate, private and public lands. WHC devotes its resources to building partnerships with corporations and conservation groups to create solutions that balance the demands of economic growth with the requirements of a healthy, biodiverse and sustainable environment. More than 2.4 million acres in 46 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 16 other countries are managed for wildlife through WHC-assisted projects. To learn more, visit www.wildlifehc.org.