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Continuing a partnership that began in 2002, Birmingham- based Vulcan Materials Company announced this week that it has received certification from the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) for its efforts to protect, enhance, and monitor wildlife and habitat restoration projects at Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve.
It is not easy to be certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council. This year, according to WHC, only 177 projects nationwide met the strict requirements of WHC Conservation Certification.
To earn WHC certification, the Vulcan-Ruffner team, deployed Vulcan employee volunteers in the field to actively manage 20 acres of the nature preserve for invasive species eradication. The team worked on habitat restoration by propagating native plants in an on-site greenhouse with raised seed beds for transplanting. Populations of cavity-nesting birds were also actively managed and monitored.
“Companies and organizations achieving WHC Conservation Certification, like Vulcan and Ruffner Mountain are environmental leaders, voluntarily managing their lands to support sustainable ecosystems and the communities that surround them,” said Margaret O’Gorman, President, WHC.
Created in 1988, the Wildlife Habitat Council helps large landowners, particularly corporations, manage lands in an ecologically sensitive manner for the benefit of wildlife and native habitats. The Vulcan-Ruffner Mountain Project is the only one of Vulcan’s WHC projects that partners with a non-profit to manage conservation projects on public lands.
Ruffner Mountain’s Land Conservation Manager, Jamie Nobles, said, “We at Ruffner have worked for many years to improve habitat quality on the mountain. The partnership we share with Vulcan Materials is essential to advance our efforts in restoring the natural mountain ecology of Ruffner Mountain, as well as to improve community involvement.”
The Vulcan-Ruffner Mountain Project is one of 44 Vulcan sites with WHC-certifications across the country.