International Paper Company (IP), in partnership with National Fish and Wildlife Foundation ("NFWF"), declared its contribution of $2.34 million in grants towards conservation and development of ecologically-important forestlands and coastal savannas in southern parts of the U.S.
The program will prioritize three areas in the southeast region − The Carolina Low Country Forests, Cumberland Plateau of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee and the Piney Woods of Texas and Louisiana.
The Forestland Stewards Initiative – a partnership of NFWF and International Paper – has selected 12 projects that will receive grants under the program. The grants will utilize almost $3.8 million in supplementary funds, together with in-kind support from agency and project partners. The program will eventually set up around 5,300 new acres and develop roughly 58,000 existing acres of longleaf and shortleaf pine and riparian forest territory.
The Forestland Stewards Initiative, created to conserve and restore southern forestlands, was established in Mar 2013. Through the program, International Paper has committed $7.5 million over five years in order to restore forests, support wildlife populations and protect watersheds in eight states across South-eastern United States. These conservation efforts are in sync with the company’s lasting commitment to responsible wood-sourcing and improving commercial and environmental management practices for working forests.
Since 2013, NFWF and International Paper have endowed over $3.3 million in projects through the Forestland Stewards Initiative, and leveraged over $6.7 million in additional funds from grant partners. This translates to more than $10 million being invested for forestland conservation and restoration of wildlife habitat.
This is the second round of grants under the initiative, and will aid in advancing conservation in some of the most biologically diverse and culturally iconic landscapes in the U.S. In addition to fish and wildlife conservation, the program will also strengthen local economies by developing working forests.
International Paper currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the paper and related products industry that are worth considering include Mercer International Inc. (MERC), Neenah Paper, Inc. (NP) and Orchids Paper Products Company (TIS), each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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