The ACE Group today announced the selection of nine national and two
international forest restoration projects as part of its sponsorship of
American Forests’ Global ReLeaf program, marking the first time the
company has supported projects outside the U.S. under the program. In
May, ACE renewed its sponsorship of the Global ReLeaf program, pledging
to plant more than 13,000 trees – one for each environmental insurance
policy written by ACE globally in 2011. Since it began its relationship
with American Forests in 2007, ACE has sponsored more than 36,000 tree
plantings through the program.
“Given the devastation from the recent wildfires in the western United
States, now more than ever ACE is committed to our continued support of
the American Forests Global ReLeaf program,” said William P. Hazelton,
Executive Vice President, Environmental Risk, ACE USA. “We are very
proud of the positive environmental impact our commitment has allowed us
to provide over the past five years. In appreciation of our clients, we
look forward to additional sponsorship in 2012 and the overall future
progress of the forest restoration program.”
Forests, the nation’s oldest nonprofit citizens’ conservation
organization, helps people understand the need to restore forest
ecosystems in urban and rural areas through community-based initiatives.
The organization introduced Global ReLeaf to restore damaged forest
ecosystems through the planting of trees. Since 1990, the program has
planted more than 40 million trees to restore forest ecosystems in every
state across the U.S. and more than 38 countries around the world. The
goal of this campaign is to plant 100 million trees by the year 2020.
The ACE Group contributions supported the following tree-planting
programs affiliated with American Forests Global ReLeaf program in 2011:
Arkansas (Ozark National Forest) - A series of spring tornados
in 2011 swept through the Big Piney Ranger District of Ozark National
Forest in northwestern Arkansas, taking acres of forest with them. One
of the species most affected by these tornados was the shortleaf pine.
The project in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service restored
136,000 shortleaf pine trees that historically have been a prominent
species in Ozark National Forest. The restoration focuses not only on
rebuilding shortleaf pine in the area, but also ensuring that the
forest is mixed growth. ACE contributed 2,000 trees to the 2011
Tornado Reforestation project.
California (Klamath National Forest) - In conjunction with the
U.S. Forest Service, this project will plant 477,200 trees across
2,651 acres. The plantings will cover a handful of areas, including
Siskiyou Wilderness Area and Crapo Creek north of Forks of Salmon —
both of which were severely affected by wildfires. This project
provides multiple benefits to local watersheds, scenery, recreation
and wildlife. ACE contributed 1,000 trees to the Elk Complex Fire
Florida (Hal Scott Regional Preserve and Park) - In partnership
with the St. Johns River Water Management District in Orange County,
Florida, this project restores longleaf pine trees in Hal Scott
Regional Preserve and Park, a park known for its variety of
recreational opportunities. Over the centuries, longleaf pine habitat
has been reduced to a mere 2.5 million acres, less than five percent
of its historical range. This project focuses on planting 30,000
longleaf pine trees across 100 acres and restoring these trees to
their historic density. ACE contributed 2,000 trees to the Hal
Scott Regional Preserve and Park Longleaf Planting, Phase 4 project.
Michigan (Hiawatha National Forest) - Collaborating with the
U.S. Forest Service, this project plans to restore thousands of Jack
pine trees that have been defoliated by the Jack pine budworm. In
order to reforest a fully stocked Jack pine stand, this project plans
to plant 59,000 seedlings across 85 acres of Hiawatha National Forest,
located in Northern Michigan. Once restored, this project will benefit
wildlife by maintaining forest cover and habitat diversity for a
number of different species ACE contributed 1,000 trees to the
Compartment 23 Jack Pine Planting project.
Minnesota (Superior National Forest) - Last year, Minnesota’s
Superior National Forest experienced the state’s largest wildfire, in
acreage, in the last 80 years. The Pagami Creek Fire burned 90,000
acres, adding to the 75,000 acres the Ham Lake Fire had burned just
four years earlier. Fire is a natural occurrence, but shifts in the
forest’s species have made it more vulnerable to fires. In Superior
National Forest, old-growth aspen and birch trees are being replaced
by brush and firs which are at a higher risk of fire. Partnering with
the U.S. Forest Service, the goal of this project is to plant 88,000
white, red and Jack pine; white and black spruce; and northern white
cedar in the areas most at risk for wildfire in Superior National
Forest. ACE contributed 1,500 trees North Shore Collaborative
Montana (Custer National Forest) - Bitterroot National Forest
in southwest Montana and Idaho contains the largest expanse of
continuous, pristine wilderness in the lower 48 states. Like most
western forests, Bitterroot has been susceptible to wildfire,
including the 2009 Kootenai Fire and then 2006 Gash Fire, which left
much of the forest’s land in need of assistance. This project in
partnership with the U.S. Forest Service will reforest the
fire-devastated land with 79,000 ponderosa pine and western larch
across 279 acres. ACE contributed 1,500 trees to the Kraft Springs
Fire Rehabilitation project.
New Mexico (Santa Fe National Forest and Valles Caldera National
Preserve) - This project’s new focus is to restore the ecological
function to three streams in the upper headwaters of the Jemez
Mountains, located in Santa Fe National Forest and Valles Caldera
National Preserve. Riparian, woody vegetation is almost non-existent
in the project areas. The project’s main focus is to restore the
native riparian woody component within the floodplain by planting
100,000 trees. ACE contributed 1,000 trees to the Jemez Mountain
Riparian Forest Re-Vegetation project.
Oregon (Deschutes National Forest, OR) - Established in 1908,
Deschutes National Forest located in central Oregon covers more than
1.6 million acres along the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains.
This national forest is known for its healthy habitats for fish,
wildlife and vegetation. In 2010, the Rooster Rock Fire burned
hundreds of acres of land located in the Sisters Ranger District of
the forest. This project will plant 97,000 ponderosa pine trees to
reforest 485 acres of land that need rehabilitation after this
devastating fire. ACE contributed 1,000 trees to the Rooster Rock
Fire Area Reforestation project.
Wyoming (Caribou-Targhee National Forest) - In Caribou-Targhee
National Forest, this project in conjunction with the U.S. Forest
Service, is planting 15,000 white bark pine seedlings in an effort to
re-establish this keystone tree species in the Mountain West. The
seedlings being used in this project are grown from the seeds of
blister-rust resistant trees to help improve the survival rates of the
white bark pine population. ACE contributed 1,000 trees to the
White bark Pine Planting in Keg Springs Area project.
India - This riparian project will plant 64,102 native trees on
the banks of the Gingee River in Sellipet Village, Puducherry, India.
The immediate impact of these trees will help prevent or reduce soil
erosion, clean and recharge ground water, sustain stream flow and act
as windbreaks. In addition to restoring the ecosystem to aid
communities along the Gingee River, RISE, a partner organization of
American Forests, will educate the local communities on the importance
of the newly planted trees and how the trees will improve people’s
lives and the surrounding environment. ACE contributed 1,000 trees
to the Strengthening River Bunds in Sellipet-Gingee River Bank of
Mexico - In partnership with the La Cruz Habitat Protection
Project, this project is planting 100,000 trees which will ensure the
survival of the monarch butterflies by restoring their wintering
habitat. Since 2006, this project has worked with local people by
planting trees on their lands, training them in managing these forests
and providing environmental education in schools near planting areas.
The trees will provide forest cover and stabilize eroded lands and
mountainsides, protect springs and streams and provide a much-needed
buffer zone between the monarch’s winter home and the expanding human
population in the region. ACE contributed 500 trees to the Forest
for Monarch project.
To learn more about the company’s environmental insurance products and
services, and its overall environmental initiative, please visit www.acegreen.com.
For more information on American Forests, please visit www.americanforests.org.
The ACE Group is one of the world’s largest multiline property and
casualty insurers. With operations in 53 countries, ACE provides
commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal
accident and supplemental health insurance, reinsurance and life
insurance to a diverse group of clients. ACE Limited, the parent company
of the ACE Group, is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACE)
and is a component of the S&P 500 index. Additional information can be
found at: www.acegroup.com.