For the third consecutive year, 1 million trees will be planted to help replace those lost to fire and other natural disasters. The new trees also will help protect watersheds and restore wildlife habitat in the forest.
The project is part of the 50 Million Tree Pledge, a private/public/nonprofit partnership of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the Arbor Day Foundation and the U.S. Forest Service. In 2008, the partnership will plant 1 million trees in national forests in the United States, Canada and Europe.
Wildfires burned 9.3 million acres of U.S. forestland in 2007, making it the second worst year on record. Nationwide, the Forest Service has a backlog of nearly 1 million acres identified as in need of replanting.
Enterprise launched the 50 Million Tree Pledge &ndash a commitment to plant 50 million trees over 50 years at a cost of $50 million &ndash in 2006 in recognition that conservation is one important means to address the impact of the company’s fleet of more than 1 million vehicles on the environment. The initiative also marked the company’s 50th anniversary.
Each year until 2056, with funding provided by the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation, the Arbor Day Foundation will work with the U.S. Forest Service to plant 1 million trees in national forests around the country, and in international locations where Enterprise does business, with the greatest and most immediate needs.
“A healthy planet is important to us all,” said Enterprise Chairman and CEO Andy Taylor. “Our long-term commitment to help restore public lands is one way for Enterprise to be responsible stewards of the world around us, especially the parts of the world touched by our business.”
In addition to helping to clean the air, trees also help to maintain a clean water supply, combat soil erosion and provide wildlife habitats. This year’s projects were selected to help several forests affected by fire and violent storms, as well as rebuild and preserve habitats for endangered species.
The tree planting projects for 2008 include:
- Huron-Manistee National Forest, Michigan &ndash 445,000 trees, to be planted in May
- Flathead National Forest, Montana &ndash 160,000 trees, planted late May/early June
- Deschutes National Forest, Oregon &ndash 160,000 trees, planted in April
- Forests in Southeastern Manitoba, Canada &ndash 100,000 trees, planted in April
- Plumas National Forest, California &ndash 85,000 trees, planted in May
- Black Forest/ Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany &ndash 50,000 trees, planted this fall
Since the effort was launched in 2006, 2 million trees have been planted across Alabama, California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, Canada and Scotland.
“A reforestation effort of this scale allows us to plant trees where they’re most badly needed, particularly as we continue to experience some of the most devastating fire seasons on record,” said John Rosenow, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. “And the ongoing financial commitment from Enterprise means we can make a real difference for the next half-century.”
The 50 Million Tree Pledge complements other Enterprise Rent-A-Car initiatives, including:
- Offering consumers the world's largest fleet of fuel-efficient vehicles.
- Embracing new, clean technologies such as E85-capable FlexFuel vehicles and hybrid vehicles.
- Funding renewable fuels research through a $25 million gift that created the Institute for Renewable Fuels at one of the world’s leading plant research centers.
- Launching an industry-leading customer carbon offset program that enables customers to offset the carbon emissions associated with the average vehicle rental &ndash with a dollar-for-dollar company match of up to $1 million to fund additional projects.
More information about Enterprise’s environmental initiatives can be found at www.keystogreen.com.