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OHIO POWER WINS NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD FOR LAND MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS

 COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Ohio Power Company today was presented with the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) 1993 Land Management Award in recognition of its tradition of environmental stewardship and its ongoing efforts in that area.
 Harry D. Post, vice president of Ohio Power and Columbus Southern Power, accepted the award on behalf of the company at EEI's Land Management Task Force meeting in Atlanta. Ohio Power and Columbus Southern Power, both headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, are subsidiaries of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP).
 EEI is a nationwide association of investor-owned electric utilities.
 "Our land management philosophy strives to blend responsible environmental practices with economical returns to the company," Post said. "If there is one aspect of our land management practices that stands out from the rest, it is the voluntary nature of our stewardship."
 For example, Post said, Ohio Power began reclamation of surface- mined lands in the 1940s, long before state and federal laws required such action.
 EEI President Tom Kuhn said electric utilities "have a responsibility to care for the lands under their ownership... Ohio Power is leading the way in utilizing land for public benefit."
 Ohio Power owns 213,000 acres in Ohio and adjacent states. The company's underground coal reserves account for approximately the same amount of acreage. Ohio Power's land uses include agricultural and nature resource management, educational research, commercial development, oil and natural gas development and forest management.
 The company has planted more than 40 million seedlings on its property since the 1940s, including nearly 900,000 since 1990 alone. These trees are in addition to the approximately 20,000 hardwoods and pines planted annually as part of an experimental effort to establish forest plantations while adhering to existing reclamation regulations. Under current laws, most reclaimed land is converted to grassland unsuitable for reforestation.
 Forest lands owned by the company are managed in strict adherence to U.S. Forest Service guidelines and the Ohio Division of Forestry's Best Management Practices (BMPs). Ohio Power also cooperates with various agencies in providing instruction in BMPs to landowners, loggers, conservationists and students. These practices are geared toward minimizing soil erosion while harvesting timber.
 Ohio Power's 30,000-acre public recreation area southwest of Cambridge, Ohio, known as ReCreation Land, has attracted tens of thousands of visitors annually for three decades. Camping, hiking, hunting, trapping and fishing lure outdoors enthusiasts year round.
 The company has combined efforts with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) in stocking some 500 lakes and ponds with game fish, and has participated with ODNR in the release of deer, beaver and pheasant onto managed lands.
 In 1986, Ohio Power committed 9,154 acres to the International Center for the Preservation of Wild Animals Inc., which has established an endangered-animal preserve and research facility called The Wilds near Cumberland, Ohio. The center is open to the public.
 Ohio Power has received a host of awards from national, state and local organizations for its stewardship of the land. Among these groups are Take Pride in America, Renew America, the Izaak Walton League and ODNR.
 -0- 10/4/93
 /CONTACT: David M. Hagelin, public affairs information manager of Ohio Power, 216-438-7897/
 (AEP)


CO: Ohio Power Company ST: Ohio IN: UTI SU:

AR -- CL019 -- 8378 10/04/93 13:03 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 4, 1993
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