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Partnership Formed to Expand, Reforest Areas of the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge

Detroit Edison donates $100,000 to The Conservation Fund to establish land acquisition fund and another $80,000 to aid in the reforestation of 180 acres
PRNewswire
SAGINAW, Mich.
(NYSE:DTE)

SAGINAW, Mich., Oct. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Detroit Edison, The Conservation Fund and the US Fish and Wildlife Service today announced a new partnership to expand 9,427-acre Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, located near Saginaw.

Detroit Edison worked with The Conservation Fund to establish the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge Land Acquisition Fund, a grant fund that will be available to the Fish and Wildlife Service to help acquire and restore land within the refuge's boundaries.

Detroit Edison also is working with the Fund to help restore forests on the refuge, remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, restore significant wildlife habitat and enhance public recreation areas in Michigan. With Detroit Edison funding, 180 acres within the refuge were planted this spring with more than 53,000 native tree seedlings.

"Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge has been a proud partner in this community for 55 years," said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Regional Director Robyn Thorson. "We know that conservation depends on partnerships, and we are grateful for corporations such as DTE and organizations like The Conservation Fund who work with us to restore our nation's natural resources."

Gerry Anderson, president and COO of DTE Energy, the parent company of Detroit Edison, said the partnership makes perfect sense for the utility company even though the connection might not be immediately evident. "Detroit Edison supports reforestation projects for several reasons, including their ability to sequester carbon dioxide emitted from our power plants," he said. "But, we also appreciate that these projects increase wildlife habitat and enhance recreational opportunities in Michigan."

Detroit Edison has invested more than $5.5 million in other reforestation projects - in partnership with The Conservation Fund, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other environmental organizations - on approximately 7,000 acres of public lands in Louisiana and Mississippi. "I'm happy that we have found a similar project that we can support in our home state," Anderson said.

"We applaud Detroit Edison for its leadership in protecting the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge," said Larry Selzer, president and CEO of The Conservation Fund. "As DTE has demonstrated, carbon sequestration offers corporate America a new tool for preserving and restoring natural areas. We're pleased to help the company bring its efforts to this extraordinary part of Michigan."

Under the partnership, Detroit Edison holds the rights to reforest another 200 acres of land currently owned by the refuge when it becomes available for planting. And as the refuge acquires land in the future, Detroit Edison will have the right to reforest these lands as appropriate. The amount of land to be restored will depend on data collected on carbon accrual rate determined in a study Detroit Edison is funding.

Detroit Edison is an investor-owned electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a subsidiary of DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE), a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Information about DTE Energy is available at http://www.dteenergy.com/.

The Conservation Fund is the nation's foremost environmental nonprofit dedicated to protecting America's land and water legacy for current and future generations. Seeking innovative conservation solutions for the 21st century, the Fund works to integrate economic and environmental goals. Since its founding in 1985, the Fund has helped its partners safeguard wildlife habitat, working landscapes, community "greenspace," and historic sites totaling nearly 6 million acres. With 1-percent fund raising costs and 97-percent program allocation, The Conservation Fund is recognized as the nation's top rated environmental nonprofit by both the American Institute of Philanthropy and Charity Navigator.

Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, one of over 540 National Wildlife Refuges across the country, is dedicated to preserving and enhancing wildlife habitat, protecting migratory birds, and providing opportunities for wildlife- oriented recreation and nature study for Saginaw and surrounding communities. Established in 1953, the refuge spans 9,427 acres of bottomland-hardwood forests, rivers, marshes, managed pools, fields and croplands. It is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

SOURCE: DTE Energy

CONTACT: John Austerberry of Detroit Edison, +1-313-235-8808,
austerberryj@dteenergy.com; Steve Kahl of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
+1-989-777-5930, ext. 16, Steve_Kahl@fws.gov, Vanessa Vaughan of The
Conservation Fund, +1-703-525-6300, vvaughan@conservationfund.org

Web site: http://www.dteenergy.com/