Pinehurst Receives Environmental Award
The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) has selected Pinehurst Resort to receive its 2007 President's Award for Environmental Stewardship.
The award will be presented during the President's Celebration at the 2007 GCSAA Education Conference on Feb. 23. The conference will be held in conjunction with the Golf Industry Show in Anaheim, Calif.
The award was established in 1991 to recognize "an exceptional environmental contribution to the game of golf: a contribution that further exemplifies the golf course superintendent's image as a steward of the land."
Pinehurst Resort is in its 12th year of the Safe Harbor Program, which is a collaboration with the nonprofit environmental group Environmental Defense and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
It is designed to help private land owners provide habitat for threatened and endangered species on a voluntary basis. In return, they receive legal protection that no additional restrictions from the Endangered Species Act will be placed on their land.
Pinehurst Resort became the first private landowner in the country to sign a voluntary agreement as part of the North Carolina Sandhills project in 1995 and actively manages pine forests on the golf property as habitat for the red-cockaded woodpecker by removing understory plants, using prescribed burns for regeneration and optimizing the conditions of mature stands.
"The key role that Pinehurst Resort played in the initiation of the Safe Harbor program is something that the entire golf industry can be proud of," said GCSAA President Sean A. Hoolehan. "We applaud the golf course management staff for its effort in providing a nurturing habitat for the endangered woodpeckers."
At least 327 landowners have signed up to be part of 31 Safe Harbor agreements in 17 states protecting 3.5 million acres of habitat for 35 species.
"Since much of the habitat for endangered species in the U.S. is found on private land, it is imperative that we create incentive-based opportunities, such as the Safe Harbor program to bolster our conservation efforts and strengthen partnerships with landowners," said David P. Smith, deputy assistant secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. "Trust is a vital component and Pinehurst was the first among hundreds of private landowners to play a leading role in making good things happen when stakeholders are engaged in a cooperative effort to protect imperiled species."
Celebrating its 80th anniversary, GCSAA is a leading golf organization, which has as its focus golf course management. Since 1926, GCSAA has been the top professional association for the men and women who manage golf courses in the United States and worldwide.
From its headquarters in Lawrence, Kan., the association provides education, information and representation to more than 21,000 members in more than 72 countries. GCSAA's mission is to serve its members, advance their profession and enhance the enjoyment, growth and vitality of the game of golf.
The association's philanthropic organization, the Environ-mental Institute for Golf, works to strengthen the compatibility of golf with the natural environment through research grants, support for education programs and outreach efforts. Visit GCSAA at www.gcsaa.org.
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