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Stewardship & Conservation
Cleco is involved in numerous conservation and public education initiatives relating to environmental stewardship. The following are some of our current projects:
- Acadia Power Prairie - Cleco Power LLC, Acadia Power Partners LLC and the Cajun Prairie Habitat Preservation Society restored and maintain a 14-acre site on Acadia Power Station property near Eunice, LA as Cajun Prairie. About 2.5 million acres of Cajun and coastal prairie existed in the late 1800's. Less than one percent remains today. The loss of this vast endangered eco-system prompted this restoration project in an effort to assist ongoing efforts to re-establish this eco-asset. Project objectives include creation of wildlife habitat, eco-heritage education, and a plant and seed source for new and existing prairie projects.
- Bald Eagle Nest Management Plan - A bald eagle's nest, spotted on Cleco property near Rodemacher Lake in 2004, prompted the company to work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Templin Forestry Inc. and Martco Partnership to create a land management plan to protect the nest. The plan limits timber harvesting within a primary buffer zone around the nesting tree and allows only selective harvesting within a secondary zone. The plan also prevents timber operations in the immediate area during the bald eagle breeding season from October 1 through May 15 each year.
- Bayou Jean de Jean - This bottomland hardwood reforestation project represents Cleco's first voluntary climate change initiative. Comprised of 112 acres, the site is located adjacent to Brame Energy Center and between Bayou Jean de Jean and Rodemacher Lake. Approximately 60,000 hardwood seedlings were planted in 2001 to change the project area from pasture to forest. It continues to be managed as a carbon sink to sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide by converting CO2 into biomass.
- Cleco's Black Bear - Cleco has been an active supporter of the Louisiana Black Bear Conservation Committee (BBCC) since 2004. The BBCC is an organization dedicated to restoring the Louisiana Black Bear to its historic range. Cleco provided funding for the relocation costs of a female bear and four cubs from the Tensas Wildlife Refuge in Northeast Louisiana to the Lake Ophelia National Wildlife Refuge in central Louisiana and became the first corporation to adopt a bear in the repatriation program which is administered by LSU wildlife research teams and the BBCC.
- PowerTree Carbon Company - Established in 2004 and dissolving in 2015, PowerTree Carbon Company and its 25 U.S. power companies committed more than $3 million to establish six bottomland-hardwood reforestation projects in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas. These projects will remove from the atmosphere and store more than 2 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) over the projects' 100-year lifetime. PowerTree Carbon Company created new forests on marginal agricultural land by restoring natural ecosystems while improving water and soil quality. In addition, these projects have restored habitat for a vast variety of wildlife, including migratory birds and waterfowl species, threatened and endangered species like the least tern and Louisiana black bear, as well as resident species like turkey and deer. For more information, visit PowerTree Carbon Company.
- Transmission Line Habitats - Cleco has developed two projects to increase the turkey population and give other wildlife a boost by providing food and habitat plots along its transmission lines rights of way. Cleco and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries joined efforts to enhance the habitat of its transmission rights of way that run through the West Bay Wildlife Management Area near Elizabeth, La. Cleco donated seed and fertilizer, and the LDWF provided the labor to plant three miles of food plots. The company later worked with the Louisiana Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) and the USDA Forest Service to plant 10 acres of food plots along two miles of a transmission line right of way in the Catahoula Ranger District of the Kisatchie National Forest at Camp Livingston. Cleco cleared unwanted vegetation in its rights of way and donated the seed and fertilizer. The USDA Forest Service prepared the area for planting and seeded the plots. They also agreed to maintain the site, a total of 57 acres. The NWTF purchased gates and signage to protect the site and inform the public.
- UtiliTree Carbon Company - Established in 1995, Cleco joined with 40 other utility companies to create a voluntary portfolio of forestry projects to manage greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide. UtiliTree invested more than $2.5 million to fund eight projects in Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Belize and Malaysia.