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TEXACO AND THE NATURE CONSERVANCY OF LOUISIANA JOIN TOGETHER TO CREATE CYPRESS ISLAND PRESERVE

 LAFAYETTE, La. Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Texaco announced today it has donated nearly 3,000 acres of picturesque hardwood forest and cypress tupelo gum swamp in the heart of Acadiana to The Nature Conservancy of Louisiana.
 Texaco's gift provides protection for one of the world's most significant wading bird nesting colonies and is an important step toward establishing a long range management plan for public use of the property, known as Cypress Island Preserve.
 The establishment of Cypress Island Preserve was announced at a dedication ceremony today at Vermilionville by William F. Wallace, vice president of Texaco Exploration and Production Inc.'s Eastern Region, and Nancy Jo Craig, executive director of The Nature Conservancy of Louisiana.
 Cypress Island Preserve contains about 100 acres of prime nesting habitat known locally as "The Rookery," which is home to tens of thousands of birds representing a dozen species. "The Rookery" is situated on the edge of Lake Martin, a popular bass fishing lake.
 The donation by Texaco ensures that this important breeding ground for migrating birds will be properly protected and managed, according to The Nature Conservancy.
 "We are thrilled that Texaco is giving The Nature Conservancy of Louisiana what we consider to be a masterpiece of land that represents a unique treasure of our natural and cultural heritage," said Craig. "We are very proud of our partnership with Texaco because it demonstrates that corporate and environmental interests working together can achieve tangible results."
 "Texaco shares The Nature Conservancy's commitment to preserving the natural beauty of Cypress Island Preserve," said Wallace. "A partnership with The Nature Conservancy allows this property to be protected and managed in a meaningful way so that all can enjoy Cypress Island Preserve for a long time to come."
 Wallace said the creation of Cypress Island Preserve enhances The Nature Conservancy's mission in Louisiana.
 "The Nature Conservancy has an impeccable record of managing diverse properties for multiple use all over the world," Wallace continued, "and Cypress Island Preserve is a fitting addition to the organization's Louisiana portfolio."
 Cypress Island Preserve is located between Lafayette and Breaux Bridge, La., near Highway 353, approximately two miles southeast of the Lafayette airport. The donated land is part of a larger tract of property owned by Texaco for nearly 75 years.
 According to Bill Weeks, Chief Operating Officer of The Nature Conservancy, Texaco's property is considered an important part of the Mississippi River Alluvial Plain. "We have identified this particular area as one of the country's `Last Great Places'," Weeks said. "So we are delighted that our partnership with Texaco focuses on such an important region."
 According to scientists with The Nature Conservancy of Louisiana, Cypress Island Preserve contains natural ridges dominated by centuries- old live oaks, an abundance of birdlife, and virgin forests of cypress and tupelo gum.
 The donation is especially appealing to ornithologists and bird watchers, who view "The Rookery" as a prime nesting habitat for this country's wading bird population, including White Ibis, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, and a variety of herons.
 "We recognize that populations of these birds throughout the country are in decline so Texaco's donation ensures that these species will continue to have a breeding ground," said David Pashley, a director of science and stewardship with The Nature Conservancy of Louisiana and an avid birder.
 The Nature Conservancy of Louisiana will take the lead role in establishing an advisory council to develop long range management plans for Cypress Island Preserve. Texaco, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries will play important supporting roles on this council, along with other local organizations.
 -0- 10/7/93
 /CONTACT: Vickie King of The Nature Conservancy Of Louisiana, 504-338-1040, or Pierre Degruy, public and government affairs of Texaco, 504-593-4159/


CO: Texaco; The Nature Conservancy of Louisiana ST: Louisiana IN: ENV SU:

TS -- NY055 -- 9794 10/07/93 13:25 EDT
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Date:Oct 7, 1993
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