Apache Corporation (NYSE, Nasdaq: APA) announced today it has donated 150,000 trees to Black Bear Conservation Coalition (BBCC) to help restore the habitat for endangered black bears in Louisiana. The 2013 grant pushes total contributions to more than 1 million trees awarded to the organization.The BBCC is just one of many organizations to receive tree grants from Apache in 2013. A total of 56 organizations in Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas and Mississippi were awarded grants totaling more than 340,000 trees.
"Thanks to Apache's donation, we have planted seedlings for more than 3,000 acres of bottomland hardwood forest," said BBCC Executive Director Paul Davidson. "The cost of seedlings is half the cost of reforesting an area. The Apache Foundation Tree Grant Program allows us to fill in the gaps to provide travel corridors for bears, which is one of several criteria in the government's recovery plan to remove black bears from the list of endangered species."
Saving the Species The Louisiana black bear was listed as "threatened" in 1992 under the guidelines of the Endangered Species Act. The decline of the black bear species was attributed to habitat loss, significant habitat alteration, reduction of the bears' range and unregulated harvesting. Primarily due to the development of row-crop agriculture, 80 percent of the forestland in the Lower Mississippi River Valley was cleared. Conservationists recognized a need to address habitat restoration as a means for restoring the black bear to the region.
In October 1990, the BBCC formed with a collective goal to restore a sustainable population of the Louisiana black bear in suitable habitats in the region. The BBCC is a broad-based coalition of stakeholders and includes more than 60 organizations representing public agencies, universities, forest and agricultural interest groups, energy companies and other interested groups.
"Apache's tree grants have tremendously benefitted our efforts to restore the Louisiana black bear habitat," Davidson said. More....