Nascar Driver, Caterpillar Promote Wildlife Refuges
A professional race car driver and a construction equipment company have agreed to help promote wildlife refuges.
NASCAR driver Ward Burton and his primary sponsor, Caterpillar Inc., will work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to promote wildlife conservation and education, and to highlight the importance of the National Wildlife Refuge System, which will celebrate its 100th birthday this month.
“The National Wildlife Refuge System would not be what it is today,” said USFWS Director Steve Williams, “without dedicated partners concerned about wildlife conservation who were willing to put forth a great deal of hard work.”
Burton, a conservationist, founded the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation in 1996, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the natural environment for future generation. The foundation now owns or manages 2,100 acres.
The organization focuses on both habitat enhancement and youth education projects, such as its youth education affiliate, Return to Nature, Inc., which has reached more than 120,000 boys and girls with its conservation message.
Burton has agreed to participate in three public service announcements promoting the National Wildlife Refuge System, to display a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge logo on his racing uniform, and serve as a refuge spokesperson during media appearances. In addition, the USFWS will continue to work with the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation on education projects.
“Preserving our natural resources,” said Burton, “has become a passion that was instilled in me by my father and my grandfather. I believe that it is the inherent responsibility of all sportsmen and conservationists to preserve the wildlife, habitats, traditions and values we hold so dear.”
Much of the work on refuges involves habitat restoration, from stabilizing stream banks to constructing water delivery systems that sustain wetlands — work that requires the use of heavy equipment, the kind of machines made by Caterpillar.
“At Caterpillar, we’re committed to social responsibility,” says company vice president Steve Gosselin. “We’re proud of our involvement in conservation and particularly our relationship with the National Wildlife Refuge System. It has a great legacy that can be enjoyed by current and future generations.”
Provided by theEnvironmental News Service.