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Walmart’s 2012 Acres for America program is helping conserve more than 49,000 acres of critical wildlife habitat across the United States. Acres projects connect existing lands to protect migration routes, provide access for people to enjoy the outdoors and help ensure the future of rural economies that depend on forestry, tourism and recreation.
Acres for America is a 10-year, $35 million commitment that began in 2005 between Walmart and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to purchase and preserve one acre of wildlife habitat in the U.S. for every acre of land developed by the company through 2015. To date, Acres for America has invested in projects in 24 states, protecting more than 687,000 acres.
“It is estimated that America loses nearly three million acres of open space each year,” said Jennifer May-Brust, Walmart vice president of realty supplier management and compliance. “Our strategic partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is helping save important wildlife habitats and fits perfectly with Walmart’s larger goal to bring sustainability into the communities we serve.”
In the summer of 2011, Walmart expanded its Acres investments to include urban conservation projects inChicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, D.C. The six awards announced today will support projects in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, North Carolina and Tennessee.
“With these new projects, Acres for America extends into five additional states to protect vital areas for wildlife and people,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. “These investments will not only benefit endangered species like the Florida panther – they will also expand open space near urban areas and conserve forests and streams along the Appalachian Trail, one of our most treasured natural resources.”
The 2012 Acres for America projects:
Southern Sierra Partnership: Tehachapi Linkage, California
Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge Expansion: Colorado
Panther Crossing Protection Project: Florida
Almo Tract: Fort Benning, Georgia
The Palila Protection Project: Hawaii
Appalachian Trail Habitat Protection Project: North Carolina and Tennessee
Partners: The Conservation Fund, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Blue Ridge Forever and Conservation Trust for North Carolina