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Wal-mart grant will preserve habitat

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news Bemidji, 56619

Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Wal-mart's Acres for America program is helping preserve an additional 212,000 acres in four states this year for critical wildlife habitat, recreation and to maintain a sustainable forestry operation.

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In its first five years, Acres for America has helped preserve more than 625,000 acres in 15 states far exceeding the program's original 10-year goal of 138,000 acres.

Wal-mart, in partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, created Acres for America, a 10-year, $35 million commitment to purchase and preserve one acre of wildlife habitat in the United States for every acre of land developed by the company.

During the next five years, Wal-mart and NFWF will focus on preserving lands critical to protecting migration routes, iconic wildlife, watersheds and forests.

This year's grants will help preserve lands in Minnesota, Wyoming, Idaho and California for wildlife, recreation and to maintain a sustainable forestry operation that supports more than 3,000 jobs.

In Minnesota, funding went to the Upper Mississippi Forest Conservation Easement, which protects more than 60,000 acres of wetlands, streams and lakeshore habitat in northern Minnesota critical to preserving bird species, including the ruffled grouse, American woodcock and golden-winged warbler. Additionally, the Blandin Paper Company will continue operating its sustainable forestry practices on the land, supporting more than 3,000 families in the region. The public can access the lands for hunting, hiking, fishing, cross-country skiing and berry picking.

For details or to apply for a grant, visit www.nfwf.org or http://walmartstores.com/sustainability.

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