International Habitat Conservation Award For Bridgestone Firestone
Employees at Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC’s (BFNT) Warren County facility received international recognition for their contributions to wildlife habitat conservation at the Wildlife Habitat Council’s (WHC) 16th Annual Symposium, Beyond Borders: Reconciling Wildlife Needs & Human Activity. BFNT demonstrates its commitment to environmental stewardship and increasing native biodiversity by achieving habitat certification at its Warren County plant.
“Sixteen years ago, WHC was formed as a cooperative effort between corporations, communities and conservation organizations. Since then our shared mission has evolved and provided many advances in creating sustainable wildlife habitat. We congratulate BFNT on its efforts to help advance our initiatives to restore and enhance our natural resources. It is with this support that we can create a more ecologically sound and mutually beneficial environment for all,” said Bill Howard, WHC President.
BFNT’s Warren County facility, a manufacturer of steel-belted radial tyres for truck and bus applications, is located in central Tennessee. Proposed habitat enhancement areas include approximately 660 acres. The site’s wildlife management plan is designed to increase biodiversity on the property by implementing projects and linking habitats to provide a stable, more diverse ecosystem, and by involving the plant employees and local community volunteers in completing projects and learning about wildlife conservation.
The team members at the plant plan to promote native wildlife and discourage aggressive non-native wildlife. To provide habitat for native species, team members installed bluebird and wood duck nest boxes. They removed nonnative overgrown nursery stock in a portion of the wildlife area and prepared the site for growing American chestnut. As part of their efforts in environmental education outreach, employees created a nature trail through the southern portion of the wildlife area. They also hosted wildlife events with Kids of the Community and local Boy Scouts to teach them about wildlife.
Future enhancement plans include establishing butterfly and wildflower gardens and planting a nut orchard for American chestnut trees. They also plan to eradicate Fescue/Bermuda grass with prescribed burns and plant and promote native grasses.
BFNT’s Warren County facility has received numerous awards for its environmental stewardship efforts. They were the first tyre plant in the U.S. to achieve ISO 9000 certification in 1994 and the second tyre plant to achieve ISO 14000 certification in 1999. In 1995 the site received the Governor’s Award for Excellence for Hazardous Waste Management. The Warren County plant became a Charter Member of the U.S. EPA National Environmental Performance Track in 2000 and most recently became a partner with the Tennessee Pollution Prevention Partnership.
Warren County was one of 143 sites recognized at the 2004 Symposium for creating a habitat program. Since 1990, WHC has certified 353 programs worldwide. The certification program recognizes outstanding wildlife habitat management and environmental education efforts at corporate sites, and offers third-party validation of the benefits of such programs. Certification requirements are strict and require that sites apply for periodic renewal.
The Wildlife Habitat Council is a nonprofit, non-lobbying organization dedicated to increasing the quality and amount of wildlife habitat on corporate, private and public lands. WHC devotes its resources to building partnerships with corporations and conservation groups to create solutions that balance the demands of economic growth with the requirements of a healthy, biodiverse and sustainable environment. More than 2 million acres in 48 states, Puerto Rico and 16 other countries are managed for wildlife through WHC-assisted projects.