ITC Holdings Receives International Habitat Conservation Award
NOVI, Mich., Dec. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — ITC Holdings Corp. (NYSE: ITC) today announced it received international recognition for the company’s contributions to wildlife habitat conservation at the Wildlife Habitat Council’s (WHC) 21st Annual Symposium, Evergreen: A Celebration of Conservation in a Changing World. ITC demonstrated its commitment to environmental stewardship and increasing native biodiversity by achieving Wildlife at Work(SM) certification at the ITC transmission corridor at Stony Creek Metropark in Shelby Township, Michigan.
“The Wildlife Habitat Council believes that collaboration among all stakeholder groups is critical to addressing the complex issues facing the sustainability of the planet,” said Robert Johnson, WHC president. “WHC members take a leading role in connecting community stakeholders through wildlife habitat enhancement, community outreach and conservation education. Congratulations to ITC for its commitment to a healthy natural world and connected communities.”
Stony Creek Metropark, located in the Metro Detroit area, occupies more than 4,000 acres and serves as a multi-use recreation park with a nature center and more than 30 miles of trails. ITC’s high-voltage transmission line corridor occupies 25 acres across the northern portion of the park, of which 20 acres are actively managed for wildlife.
A prominent feature of the wildlife program is the removal of invasive woody and herbaceous species. A number of tall trees growing under the electric conductors that could have interrupted electrical service were removed along with several species of invasive brush and shrubs. Trees selected for girdling were retained as snags, and woody debris collected from plant removal was placed along the transmission corridor to provide cover for wildlife. Prescribed burning was conducted by Metropark staff to maintain low-growing prairie vegetation within and around the corridor. To support its educational goals, native trees and shrubs were planted near the nature center to create a demonstration arboretum, and interpretive signs were designed to educate visitors about the ecosystem and its management.
Michael McNulty, environmental manager for ITC, said the updates are both esthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly.
“The project is a win-win situation for the community and the local habitat,” McNulty said. “Our partnership with the Metroparks and WHC resulted in a safer environment that is also beneficial to native wildlife. In fact, a professional botanist who examined the site determined that more than 40 species of plants native to Michigan have naturally germinated as a result of this project, providing food and cover for various mammals, birds, turtles and pollinator species.”
The ITC transmission corridor at Stony Creek Metropark was one of 238 sites recognized at the 2009 Symposium for creating a Wildlife at Work program. In addition, 47 Corporate Lands for Learning(SM) (CLL) programs were recognized, reaching thousands of learners from schools and scout groups to master gardeners and university researchers. Since 1990, WHC has certified 560 Wildlife at Work and 113 CLL 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.
About Wildlife Habitat Council
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. WHC-assisted wildlife habitat and conservation education programs are found in 48 states, the District of Columbia and nine other countries. To learn more, visit www.wildlifehc.org.
About ITC Holdings Corp.
ITC Holdings Corp. (NYSE: ITC) invests in the electricity transmission grid to improve electric reliability, improve access to markets, and lower the overall cost of delivered energy. ITC is the largest independent electricity transmission company in the country. Through its subsidiaries, ITCTransmission, Michigan Electric Transmission Company (METC) and ITC Midwest, ITC operates contiguous, regulated, high-voltage transmission systems in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula and portions of Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois and Missouri, serving a combined peak load in excess of 25,000 megawatts. ITC is also focused on new areas where significant transmission system improvements are needed through subsidiaries ITC Grid Development, ITC Great Plains and ITC Panhandle Transmission. For more information, please visit: http://www.itctransco.com (itc-ITC).
SOURCE ITC Holdings Corp.; Wildlife Habitat Council