Norfolk Southern and GreenTrees plant 2.4 million trees - so far- on 4,000
acres in Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Illinois
NORFOLK, Va., April 24, 2013
NORFOLK, Va., April 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Norfolk Southern (NYSE: NSC) has
made substantial progress on its Trees and Trains reforestation program,
planting 2.4 million trees on 4,000 acres in four states in the ecologically
important Mississippi Delta.
The Trees and Trains project is a five-year reforestation and carbon
sequestration project to plant six million trees on 10,000 acres in the
Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV) with GreenTrees®, the leading reforestation
program on private lands in the U.S. The $5.6 million project, in its third
year, is the largest carbon reforestation project in the nation. Over time,
the trees will generate 1.12 million tons of carbon-offset credits,
significantly offsetting the railroad's CO2 emissions.
Considered North America's "Amazon," the MAV is the nation's largest watershed
and a vital habitat for numerous wildlife species. Forest once covered 25
million acres of the valley, but most of the land was converted to
agricultural production, and today only four million acres of forest remain.
Trees and Trains calls for creating a permanent forest. Under the program,
landowners receive carbon payments for planting trees instead of crops on
marginal or frequently flooded land.
GreenTrees Managing Partner Chandler Van Voorhis explains, "Landowners retain
the use of their acreage and can earn additional income through recreational
usage, conservation tax benefits, and timber sales. These agreements encourage
long-term storage of carbon dioxide in the trees, roots, and soil on the
In 2008, after 50 years of farming, landowner Bobby Petrus of Monroe, La.,
converted his 1,162 acres of farmland from cotton, corn, and beans to hardwood
trees to lock in a steady income without the seasonal risks of traditional
"The trees have provided us with a more reliable source of income than the
crops we had planted in the past," Petrus says. "Our family is very satisfied
with the success. The growth and survival rate on the inter-planted
cottonwoods and hardwoods has been astounding."
"Trees and trains have a lot in common," Van Voorhis says. "The essence of a
train is the efficient movement of goods across the landscape. Trees represent
the most efficient distribution of ecological services and goods. Both are
long-term assets that require heavy upfront capital to build. Together, trees
and trains symbolize how conservation capitalism will be delivered."
Blair Wimbush, NS vice president real estate and corporate sustainability
officer, says Trees and Trains is a model for how NS plans to invest in
conservation initiatives to mitigate the railroad's environmental impacts.
"While restoring former woodlands, we're generating long-term benefits for
multiple stakeholders, including residents of the communities we serve,
customers, employees, farmers and family landowners, as well as Norfolk
Trees and Trains is one of several initiatives Norfolk Southern has under way
as part of its woodlands sustainability projects. NS also is supporting
research by The Longleaf Alliance to restore longleaf pine forest ecosystems
in the South, and American Chestnut Foundation, which is working to
reestablish American chestnut trees to their native range through planting
initiatives at former coal mine sites.
Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) is one of the nation's premier
transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway Company subsidiary
operates approximately 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of
Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and
provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern
operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major
transporter of coal, automotive, and industrial products.
Connect with NS
SOURCE Norfolk Southern Corporation
Contact: (Media) Susan Terpay, 757-823-5204 (firstname.lastname@example.org);
(Investors) Michael Hostutler, 757-629-2861 (email@example.com);
GreenTrees contact: Chandler Van Voorhis, 540-253-2504 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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