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Source: Georgia Power press release

ATLANTA, Georgia -- Georgia Power has announced two new and two continuing grants to conservation and natural resource agencies through the Power of Flight partnership program to protect birds in Georgia through habitat and species restoration and environmental education.

The grants are part of Southern Company's partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Two new grants were awarded under Power of Flight:

•National Wild Turkey Federation - to establish and maintain Golden-winged Warbler habitat in the Chattahoochee Wildlife Management Area and the Chattahoochee National Forest in north Georgia's Rabun County through commercial timber thinning, timber stand improvement, herbicide stump treatment, non-native invasive species eradication, native warm-season grass establishment, road and ditch improvements and prescribed burning.

•Avian Research and Conservation Institute - to produce a rangewide strategic plan for recovery of the remnant, steadily-declining population of Southeastern American Kestrel. This project will prioritize specific sites; improve management of habitat and nesting opportunities; perform and evaluate translocations; and select reintroduction sites to establish captive-reared falcons. This project includes activities across the Southeast, including Georgia.

Continuing support was provided to two grants under the Power of Flight program:

•Operation Migration USA - to increase by approximately one-third the number of whooping cranes led south each year using an ultralight aircraft. Through this award increase, Operation Migration will assemble six staff members to condition, train and care for whooping cranes over the summer; imprint and condition up to 12 whooping cranes for southward migration in the fall; and conduct actual southward migration from Wisconsin to Florida. The migration route includes southwest Georgia.

•Milliken Forestry Company - to accelerate translocation efforts for the red-cockaded woodpecker over a five-year period. Funds are supporting a biologist on the Apalachicola National Forest in Florida who monitors potential donor families, with the goal of increasing from 20 to 40 the number of woodpeckers available for translocation each year. This is a continuation of a grant formerly made to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over several years. The project includes activities across the Southeast, including Georgia.

Power of Flight and Longleaf Legacy, two major Southern Company and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation partnership programs, have provided more than $11.3 million through 96 grants since 2002. In addition, grant recipients have contributed more than $45.8 million in matching funds, resulting in an on-the-ground conservation impact of about $57.2 million since the program's inception. These two programs will help more than 279,367 acres of longleaf pine and other critical habitat on public and private lands to be restored, enhancing bird populations across the Southeast.

"Our partnership with Georgia Power is generating tangible, on-the-ground results through the restoration of longleaf pine forests in Georgia," said Jeff Trandahl, executive director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. "In addition to protecting land and water systems, these projects also provide critical habitat for native bird populations. The benefits to both our natural resources and our wildlife are far-reaching."

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, established by Congress in 1984, is an international leader in developing public and private funding to protect wildlife and natural resources. In 26 years, NFWF has funded 3,700 organizations and leveraged $490 million in federal funds into $1.6 billion for conservation. The achievement of clear, measurable results is central to NFWF's work, bringing together diverse stakeholders - from industry to Congress to local leaders - to accomplish positive outcomes. To learn more, visit www.nfwf.org.

Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), one of the nation's largest generators of electricity. The company is an investor-owned, tax-paying utility with rates well below the national average. Georgia Power serves 2.3 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties.