DALLAS – As an industry leader in environmental stewardship, Luminant and its employees are helping Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Eastern wild turkey restoration effort reach new heights – recently welcoming over 80 turkeys to their new home in Rusk County.
Members of Luminant's environmental team, along with TPWD representatives, released the new feathered residents on more than 10,000 acres of reclaimed land at the company's Oak Hill Mine. The release is one of the first steps in helping restore the birds to their historic range in East Texas.
"TPWD originally approached our environmental team with the idea of releasing turkeys at Oak Hill Mine and it's a tremendous honor, as it illustrates their confidence in our reclamation program,” said Carl Ivy, Luminant environmental manager. "Luminant has partnered with TPWD for over 30 years, and this endeavor demonstrates our company's commitment to environmental stewardship programs that will benefit Texas' landscapes for generations to come.”
Facilitated by the National Wild Turkey Federation, the birds were trapped in states across the Southeast and are part of a new, super-stocking initiative designed to significantly increase turkey numbers in East Texas. Some of the birds are also equipped with tracking devices and will be monitored by Stephen F. Austin State University graduate students to identify preferred habitat, home ranges and nesting sites.
"Large acreage sites with the right mix of forested and open habitat are unique in East Texas, and Oak Hill Mine is a prime location, with over 10,000 contiguous acres of suitable habitat,” said Jason Hardin, TPWD upland game specialist."We're really excited and proud to be involved with Luminant. This is the first modern turkey restoration project at a mine site, and Luminant is a leader in this effort.”
Oak Hill Mine was selected as an optimal release area since it is more than 50 percent forested and provides quality nesting and brood rearing habitat in patterns to support large turkey populations. Eastern wild turkeys have been in decline in East Texas since the early 1890s due to subsistence and market hunting, along with habitat loss. In total, TPWD released nearly 250 wild turkeys across East Texas this past winter.
This initiative is just one of many that illustrate the company's continued dedication to environmental stewardship. View a video here highlighting the turkey release at Oak Hill Mine. Also, learn more about Luminant's recent national and state awards for reclamation excellence at Big Brown Mine and largemouth bass genetic research project in partnership with TPWD.
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Luminant, a subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings Corp., is a competitive power generation business, including mining, wholesale marketing and trading, and development operations. Luminant has more than 15,400 megawatts of generation in Texas, including 2,300 MW fueled by nuclear power and 8,000 MW fueled by coal. The company is also one of the largest purchasers of wind-generated electricity in the United States. EFH is a Dallas-based energy holding company that has a portfolio of competitive and regulated energy subsidiaries, primarily in Texas. Visit www.luminant.com or www.energyfutureholdings.com for additional information.