Georgia Magazine - October 2009 - (Page 14)

COMPILED BY VICTORIA SCHARF DECASTRO Clearing the air The Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) and Tucker-based Oglethorpe Power Corp. (OPC), the power supplier for 38 Georgia electric membership corporations (EMCs), formed a first-of-its-kind partnership in the state to reforest as much as 500 acres of hardwood forestland burned in wildfires near the Okefenokee Swamp in 2007. The replanting project is taking place in the 33,000-acre Dixon Memorial State Forest located in Ware and Brantley counties. The two parties made the announcement at the 4th Annual Georgia Environmental Conference in Savannah in August. Designated wetland areas are being replanted with red maple, cypress, swamp chestnut oak and water tupelo trees. Trees have already been planted on more than 200 acres, with the remainder to be planted in the fall of this year. “These are areas that the GFC would set aside as low priority for reforestation because of budget constraints,” says Dru Preston Jr. with the Georgia Forestry Commission. “They would otherwise be left to natural regeneration, and wildlife habitat and damaged ecosystems would take much longer to recover.” COURTESY GEORGIA FORESTRY COMMISSION A worker marks a replanting site boundary in a burned-out area inside Dixon Memorial State Forest. As part of its agreement with the GFC, Oglethorpe Power will receive credit for the carbon dioxide captured by the replanted trees as future climate-change regulations unfold. Oglethorpe Power will have title to the carbon dioxide removed from the air by the trees for the first 25 years, then will share those rights with the state for an additional 50 years. “We believe that planting more trees to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is an important part of addressing the climate-change issue while also restoring our valuable forestlands and providing im- portant wildlife habitat,” says Michael W. Price, chief operating officer for Oglethorpe Power. “This landmark partnership provides benefits on numerous levels,” says Robert Farris, director of the GFC. “The project will restore the bottomland hardwood-cypress ecosystem and critical wildlife habitat in Dixon Forest. It is also a breakthrough example of a Georgia company investing in Georgia’s forestry resource to offset carbon emissions, which ultimately benefits every citizen.” Riding, scrambling and volleying for a cure Mitchell EMC in Camilla is doing its part to help with cancer research in its service area. Employees at Mitchell have been busy organizing events to support the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life. By combining contributions from the “Hope” Poker Run, Scrambling for a Cure Golf Tournament and Volleying for a Cure Tennis Tournament, Mitchell EMC netted more than $6,500 for cancer research. Mitchell EMC’s 2009 Relay For Life team members include, from left, Nathan Ireland, Lisa Powell, Gina McKenzie, Sherrie Adams, Betty Davis (team captain), Ashley Sealy and Beth Williamson. 14 www.georgiamagazine.org GEORGIA MAGAZINE COURTESY MITCHELL EMC http://www.georgiamagazine.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - October 2009

Georgia Magazine - October 2009
Contents
Viewpoint
Picture This?
Mailbox
Calendar
Festival Guide
Currents
Special Energy Report
Top-Notch!
Treasures in Tennessee
My Georgia
Georgia Gardens
Georgia Cooks
Cookbook of the Month
Snapshot

Georgia Magazine - October 2009

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