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Natural Resources

2012 Corporate Responsibility Report

Progress Energy’s actions in many areas, from its environmental policy to the balanced resource plans its utilities employ, have the potential to affect natural resources.  Some programs that demonstrate how the company protects natural resources are noted below: 

We manage 83,680 acres in the Carolinas and Florida as forest land under a sustainable, multiple-resource management concept. These lands are located around power plants, substations, lakes, rivers and undeveloped properties. The Forest Management Plan provides strategies for timber production, wildlife habitat enhancement, watershed protection, recreational opportunities and many other benefits.

Actively managed forests provide sustainable income, habitat for wildlife, clean water and recreational opportunities while sustaining forest health. The primary goal is to balance all of these elements while continuing to add value to the land.

Timber management involves harvesting, reforestation, thinning, site preparation, prescribed fire and herbicide application, among other things. After a timber harvest, each site is carefully evaluated to determine the most cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner in which to prepare and reforest the site. The site conditions, native species, location, soils and local climate are used to help determine the most appropriate tree species for replanting the site. We follow North Carolina's mandatory Forest Practice Guidelines and each state's voluntary best management practices during any forestry-related activity. We began planting our trees at wider spacing and thinning them to lower stocking levels in recent years to promote diversity and wildlife forage and habitat. Recent advancements in selective herbicides and forest fertilization techniques allow us to help encourage this additional plant diversity while maintaining and even improving tree volume growth and overall timber production.

Special consideration is given to protect threatened and endangered species during forestry operations, and preference is given to selecting native tree species during reforestation planning. Since 2000, more than 700 acres at one site near the Harris Nuclear Plant and approximately 40 acres at the Suwannee Plant have been restored to native longleaf pine forest. The Robinson Plant lands with natural and planted longleaf pine forests are enrolled in the Safe Harbor Program for management conditions suitable to the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. Prescribed fire is an integral part of managing these sites.

Progress Energy incorporates wildlife food plots and partners with local and national organizations and agencies for habitat enhancement. Wildlife partners include Quail Unlimited, the Quality Deer Management Association and the National Wild Turkey Federation. These partnerships have helped include wildlife recommendations within the forest-management plans for all managed lands.

About 40,000 acres of Progress Energy land have been designated for public use through the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission's Gamelands and S.C. Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Management Area programs.

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