AGL Resources Supports National Wild Turkey Federation Habitat Program
January 22, 2004
ATLANTA - January 22, 2004 - AGL Resources Inc. (NYSE:ATG), parent of Atlanta Gas Light Company, is the first natural gas company in the nation to join the National Wild Turkey Federation's Energy for Wildlife, a program devoted to enhancing wildlife habitat on property owned, managed or influenced by energy companies such as pipeline and power line rights-of-way and plant sites.
Through the Energy for Wildlife program, the NWTF staff will work directly with AGL Resources to integrate wildlife management activities, especially for wild turkey habitat, into the company's land oversight programs. Through its subsidiary, Atlanta Gas Light Company, AGL Resources has approximately 1,500 miles of natural gas pipeline in Georgia.
"This partnership with the NTWF is part of our mandate to be a good steward of the environment," said Lindsay Thomas, senior vice president of governmental affairs and an avid outdoorsman. "This allows us to encourage the growth of a fascinating native American bird, the wild turkey. And by encouraging turkey habitat, we will be providing habitat and food source for species of both game and non-game wildlife such as our native song birds."
In the early 1930s, wild turkeys were on the verge of extinction, but thanks to wildlife agencies and conservation programs such as the NWTF's Energy for Wildlife, the birds have made a dramatic comeback. The NWTF estimates that the population has grown from only about 30,000 turkeys 70 years ago to more than 6 million today.
According to the NWTF, a varied habitat of both open and covered area is essential for wild turkey survival. Wild turkeys prefer open areas for feeding and mating, a requirement met by land along pipelines and power lines. The wily birds use forested areas nearby as cover from predators and as roosts at night.
The NWTF created Energy for Wildlife in response to the utility industry's need for assistance in managing the millions of miles of rights-of-way and other land that could potentially provide ideal habitat for a number of wildlife species. Many energy companies have existing vegetation management plans for their properties, but these plans often lack specific elements that benefit wildlife. When participating companies add a wildlife component to their land management plans, they receive a "seal of approval" from the NWTF.
"The partnership with AGL Resources is a stepping stone for partnerships with other natural gas companies," said Jay Jordan, NWTF's Energy for Wildlife coordinator. "This shows the commitment that AGL Resources has made to benefit wildlife, while providing safe, reliable and affordable energy to its customers."
According to Jordan, managing open land along pipelines and power lines provides habitat for many plant and wildlife species in addition to wild turkeys. Several species that are currently at risk due to loss of open habitat also benefit from Energy for Wildlife.
AGL Resources supports another wildlife-enhancement program in Georgia, Project WINGS, which works with individual landowners to encourage wildlife habitat.