COLUMBUS, OH - During the first two weeks in April, approximately 257 acres across three of Ohio’s state forests were planted with more than 182,000 native hardwood tree seedlings as a result of American Municipal Power Inc.’s (AMP) ongoing reforestation efforts on reclaimed strip mine land on behalf of its member communities. The projects are located at Fernwood, Harrison and West Blue Rock state forests near Steubenville, Cadiz and Zanesville across eastern Ohio. The project is the result of a joint effort by AMP and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
“This project furthers AMP’s goal, as guided by our Sustainability Principles, of reducing our overall emissions profile,” said AMP President and CEO Marc Gerken. “In addition to strategic investments our members have made in renewable energy projects, this and the other reforestation efforts are further offsetting greenhouse gas emissions that are an inevitable part of a balanced generation portfolio. The partnerships we have created not only benefit our members, but are improving public space for generations to come.”
“We are pleased to partner with AMP in this tree-planting project,” said Robert Boyles, Ohio’s state forester. “Not only will these plantings provide excellent reclamation for formerly strip-mined land, but ongoing care for the seedlings and subsequent sustainable management of the resulting woodlands will provide numerous benefits for generations to come.”
The project was initiated in 2015 as part of AMP’s continued reforestation efforts across reclaimed mine land in the Midwest. These projects represent the second phase of reforestation, which first began in 2010 with the planting of 200 acres in Columbiana County.
Trees serve as excellent carbon offsets, and properly documented and certified reforestation is accepted by international carbon reduction protocols. The species planted at the AMP project sites include native hardwoods such as oak (bur, chinkapin, white, northern red and shumard), sycamore, sweetgum, maple, black cherry and yellow poplar.
AMP continues to work with project partners to identify future project sites for additional carbon offset reforestation projects.
In exchange for the value of future carbon offsets that will eventually be generated by the newly planted tree seedlings, AMP provides the project management and funding to execute site preparation and professional planting through contracted partner Williams Forestry. ODNR retains the ownership of the land and will be responsible for the sustainable management of the new forest, in consultation with AMP. Site preparation work and species selection was coordinated with ODNR and reflects substantial research into reforesting abandoned mine lands in the Appalachian region.
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Ripping work at Fernwood State Forest in preparation for
Williams Forestry workers planted approximately 114,000
seedlings at Fernwood State Forest in Jefferson County, Ohio
Planting of native hardwood species at Fernwood