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EN13 - Habitat protected or restored

AEP works in partnership with various community groups, conservation groups, and environmental agencies to preserve, restore, and enhance existing habitats.  The following is a list of those activities that support the protection and restoration of wildlife and ecological habitat.

Reforestation/Mine Reclamation

AEP’s commitment to trees and forest preservation is strong and still growing. Since the 1940s AEP has planted over 64 million trees in the United States on land owned by the company or under agreement with others owners. This total includes 15 million trees planted on 20,000 acres of company land between 1996 and 2000 as part of the program. These trees will create a new "carbon sink," which is intended to capture or "sequester" carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, thereby reducing the potential for global climate change.

In 1986, AEP and the Ohio Power Company, an AEP subsidiary aka AEP Ohio, donated nearly 9200 acres of land in southeastern Ohio to the International Centre for the Preservation of Wild Animals or the Wilds. Much of this land had been surface mined and reclaimed, allowing it to be used in a beneficial manner. The land now supports more than 100 rare and endangered animals, including camels, hartebeests, and rhinos.

AEP works in partnership with various community groups, conservation groups, and environmental agencies to preserve, restore, and enhance existing habitats.  The following is a list of those activities that support the protection and restoration of wildlife and ecological habitat.

Reforestation/Mine Reclamation

AEP’s commitment to trees and forest preservation is strong and still growing.  Since the 1940s AEP has planted tens of million trees in the United States on land owned by the company or under agreement with other owners. This total includes 15 million trees planted on 20,000 acres of company land between 1996 and 2000 as part of the Department of Energy’s Climate Challenge program. These trees will create a new "carbon sink," which is intended to capture or "sequester" carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, thereby reducing the potential for global climate change.

International Centre for the Preservation of Wild Animals (The Wilds) – In 1986, AEP and the Ohio Power Company, an AEP subsidiary, donated nearly 9200 acres of land in southeastern Ohio to the International Centre for the Preservation of Wild Animals or the Wilds.  Much of this land had been surface mined and reclaimed, allowing it to be used in a beneficial manner.  The land now supports more than 100 rare and endangered animals, including camels, hartebeests, and rhinos.

ReCreation LandSixty thousand acres of land in eastern Ohio was mined and reclaimed by Ohio Power’s Central Ohio Coal Company, an AEP subsidiary.   The land now has more than 350 lakes and ponds and nearly 380 campsites that over 3.2 million people have enjoyed since 1961. 

Conesville Coal Lands – A portion of the 14,639 acre Conesville Coal Lands have been relaimed  and replanted to trees (approximately 5300 ac.).  Several acres of this property have also been planted with trees for GHG credits, a portion of which was previously reclaimed grass land. 

Simco Wetlands – AEP Fuel Supply and Pennsylvania State University designed a 16-acre wetland in east-central Ohio at the site of an abandoned underground coal mine in 1985.  AEP donated the wetlands and an adjacent wildlife area – totaling 303 acres – to the Ohio Division of Wildlife in 1993.

International/National Projects and Partnerships

The Catahoula Project - Louisiana, USA - AEP, The Conservation Fund and the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Fish & Wildlife Service have joined forces to acquire, protect and restore a bottomland hardwood forest on 18,372 acres near Catahoula Lake in east central Louisiana, a major haven for migratory birds in the Mississippi delta. AEP has restored bottomland hardwood habitat by planting native trees on its property and a portion of the property owned by the USFWS. The entire 18,372 acres will be managed by the USFWS as part of Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), one of 21 refuges in Louisiana, for the benefit of migratory birds, turkey, white-tailed deer and other wildlife.

Nature Conservancy Tall Grass Prairie, Oklahoma - An AEP subsidiary, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, in the early 1990s, helped the Nature Conservancy develop the 37,000 acre Tall Grass Prairie by donating property to the Conservancy for habitat or for use in trading for habitat.

Bahia Grande, Texas - Bahia Grande consists of three shallow basins that were inundated prior to the construction of the Brownsville Ship Channel in the 1930's and the subsequent construction of Highway 48 from Port Isabel to Brownsville.  After construction, the dry and barren basins became a tremendous source of airborne dust in surrounding areas and had no real ecological value.  The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service acquired the Bahia Grande property and re-flooded and restored the 11,000-acre basin.  AEP contributed to the funds for the consultant that helped acquire permits and to excavate the new channels.  The project will re-establish the productivity of this system by providing important nursery grounds for all native coastal species, e.g., shrimp, crabs, and finfish, as well as waterfowl, wading birds and shorebirds.  Plants, including mangroves, are also being re-established. 

2012