View Full Version : Any SOBO's want to keep going - to Alabama?

Tin Man
03-21-2006, 21:54
(PRN) Twenty-Year Conservation Effort Links Pinhoti Trail in Alabama and Georgia


The Conservation Fund Joins With Alabama Trails Association, Centex and
Georgia Pinhoti Trail Association to Protect Forestland and Enhance Public
Recreation Areas

ATLANTA, March 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- With support from the Centex Homes Land Legacy Fund and in partnership with the Alabama Trails Association and Georgia Pinhoti Trail Association, The Conservation Fund acquired 1,760 acres of pine and hardwood forest, including 266 acres along the border of Alabama and Georgia, as an addition to the Pinhoti Trail. Purchased from Temple Inland, the newly acquired forestland protects three miles of trail corridor and culminates the effort of hundreds of volunteers who have worked for more than two decades to link the Pinhoti to the Appalachian Trail. Once complete, the trails will allow hikers to trek from Maine to Alabama.

"When I was 16 and 17 years old I took my first long hikes on the Appalachian Trail and developed the dream of linking the mountains of Alabama to the Appalachian Trail. Today's announcement realizes that dream," said the Alabama Trails Association founder, Mike Leonard. "It is an extraordinary achievement born from hundreds of volunteer hours and decades of work to link the trail between Alabama and Georgia. I applaud The Conservation Fund, Centex and Temple Inland for helping to make this dream a reality."

When the Appalachian Trail was mapped in the 1920s, the plan set out by Benton Mackaye called for a trail and associated spurs that stretched from Maine to northern Alabama. While the primary trail was completed in north Georgia in the 1930s, efforts to extend the trail into Alabama faded. In 1985 the Alabama Trails Association spearheaded an attempt to link the Pinhoti Trail in the Talladega National Forest in Alabama to the Appalachian Trail in north Georgia.

"America's trails and greenways wind through over 200,000 miles of wild and urban lands and safeguard some of our most vital, yet vulnerable landscapes," said Andrew Schock, The Conservation Fund's Georgia representative. "Thanks to the vision and foresight of Mike Leonard, the tireless commitment of the members of the Alabama Trails Association and the Georgia Pinhoti Trail Association and the support of Centex, these important lands will protect wildlife habitat and provide exceptional outdoor recreation opportunities for future generations."

For nearly two decades, the Alabama Trails Association, The Conservation Fund, Georgia Pinhoti Trails Association and others have worked to protect more than 7,000 acres and add more than 200 miles to the Pinhoti Trail across Alabama and Georgia.

"Supporting the protection of the Pinhoti Trail is part of our companywide commitment to balancing land conservation with responsible development," said Jay Thrower, division president of Centex Homes' Atlanta Metro. "We are pleased that we were able to help bring together the final link along this important historical trail."

This effort is part of Centex's ongoing commitment to conservation and community. To date, Centex has donated more than $5 million for land conservation efforts across the country. The Centex Homes Land Legacy Fund, a relationship with The Conservation Fund, has already provided support for the protection of more than 8,000 acres throughout the country, including critical land along the Pinhoti Trail. Since 1999, Centex has helped save more than 25,000 acres of critical habitat nationwide.

About Centex
Dallas-based Centex (NYSE: CTX), founded in 1950, is one of the nation's leading home building companies. Centex operates in major U.S. markets in 25 states and delivered more than 33,000 homes in the United States in its most recent fiscal year ended March 31, 2005. Its leading brands include Centex Homes, Fox & Jacobs Homes, CityHomes and Centex Destination Properties.
In addition to its home building operations, Centex's (http://www.centex.com ) related business lines include mortgage and financial services, home services and commercial construction. These businesses provide operational or financial support to home building operations and are leaders in their respective industries. Centex consistently ranks among the most admired companies in its industry, according to FORTUNE magazine.

About The Conservation Fund
The Conservation Fund, the nation's top rated environmental nonprofit by the American Institute of Philanthropy, acts to protect the nation's legacy of land and water resources in partnership with other organizations, public agencies, foundations, corporations and individuals. 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, greenways, community "greenspace" and historic sites totaling more than five million acres throughout the nation. Headquarters are in Arlington, VA.

LINK (http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/conws/3737761.html)