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ASHLAND OIL, INC., SEEKING WILDLIFE HABITATS ON COMPANY PROPERTY IN KENTUCKY, LOUISIANA

 ASHLAND OIL, INC., SEEKING WILDLIFE HABITATS
 ON COMPANY PROPERTY IN KENTUCKY, LOUISIANA
 ASHLAND, Ky., April 21 /PRNewswire/ - Ashland Oil, Inc. (NYSE: ASH) today announced it is working with the Wildlife Habitat Enhancement Council (WHEC) to establish wildlife habitats on nearly 800 acres of land it owns in Kentucky and Louisiana.
 Participating with WHEC places Ashland Oil in partnerships with nearly 100 corporations and conservation groups in 18 states which have etched out safe habitats for native wildlife on privately owned properties.
 The sites are:
 -- Boyd County, Ky. -- About 300 acres south of the Catlettsburg refinery and west of U.S. 23. A management plan is currently being developed by WHEC. During recent visits to the area, WHEC and Ashland Oil officials found a variety of wildlife, including deer, raccoon, rabbit, turkey, hawks and possibly black bear.
 -- Greenup County, Ky. -- Approximately 80 acres around the company's corporate and petroleum headquarters buildings in Russell. A completed management plan includes the proposed development of a butterfly garden and wildlife-specific landscaping. A family of red-tailed hawks, turtles and various other wildlife already are established.
 -- Plaquemine, La. -- About 400 acres near the company's methanol plant operated by Ashland Chemical, Inc., a subsidiary of Ashland Oil. The WHEC management plan notes existing wetlands, forests, fields and other landscaped areas. Wildlife is abundant at the site, and WHEC proposes landscaping and plantings to assure food supplies for birds, fish, insects and animals.
 According to Robert H. Compton, administrative vice president of environmental affairs for Ashland Oil, "Our goal is to become partners with WHEC, successfully implement wildlife programs and earn WHEC certification and listing in an International Registry of Certified Corporate Wildlife Habitats. Once certified, WHEC requires a long-term commitment to wildlife, and sites must be re-evaluated every two years to retain certification."
 Compton said several options are available to the company. "Once a management plan is approved, we have the options of restricting access and letting the area return to an undisturbed state of nature," said Compton. "More active management of the land could involve our employees or community conservation groups such as scouting programs, university biologists or others interested in studying wildlife and assisting in developing the habitats."
 Joyce Kelly, WHEC executive director, said the program presents "unique opportunities for Ashland Oil in undertaking these three projects."
 "We're excited about the three Ashland sites, because each one has the potential to serve as prototypes for wildlife management, such as beneficial landscaping at corporate headquarters, linking parcels to create a major wildlife corridor at a single site in Boyd County and for enhancing and protecting bottomland hardwoods and associated wildlife on the Mississippi River," Kelly said.
 According to Steve Bonney, the Northeast District biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, about 95 percent of the land base in Kentucky is privately owned. "If we are going to get serious about benefiting wildlife in Kentucky, then private property owners have to get involved," he said. "The program announced by Ashland Oil is an excellent example of how a private property owner can make an impact beneficial to wildlife in Kentucky. We hope others will follow Ashland's example."
 Based in Silver Spring, Md., WHEC is a non-profit joint venture established in 1988 by corporations and conservation groups to assist member companies in developing wildlife management programs on their corporate properties. WHEC's goal is to physically improve wildlife habitat on corporate lands and to foster environmental awareness among managers, employees and the local communities.
 Participating companies receive assistance from WHEC to provide food, water and cover for wildlife; plant native grasses and shrubs; halt streamside erosion; restore prairies and wetlands; create wildlife viewing and study; and help threatened plants and animals on company properties throughout the United States.
 WHEC recommends programs that are ecologically and historically appropriate. With its members, the council manages more than 180,000 acres of land for wildlife in 185 sites. WHEC's membership has grown from seven corporations and four conservation groups in 1988 to nearly 100 members, including 15 conservation groups and more than 75 corporations.
 Ashland Oil, Inc. is a diversified energy corporation engaged in petroleum refining, transportation and marketing; retail gasoline marketing; motor oil marketing; chemicals; coal; highway construction; and oil and gas exploration and production.
 Based in Dublin, Ohio, Ashland Chemical, Inc., a subsidiary of Ashland Oil, Inc., is a leading producer and distributor of chemicals, specialty chemicals and plastics for industry.
 Ashland Petroleum Company is the largest operating division of Ashland Oil, Inc. and is engaged in petroleum refining, marketing and transportation from the East Coast through the Ohio River Valley and Upper Midwest. The company's headquarters is located in Russell, Ky.
 -0- 4/21/92
 /CONTACT: Roger Schrum of Ashland Oil, Inc., 606-329-4061, or Joyce Kelly, executive director of Wildlife Habitat Enhancement Council, 301-588-8994/
 (ASH) CO: Ashland Oil, Inc.; Wildlife Habitat Enhancement Council ST: Kentucky, Louisiana IN: OIL SU:


DM-PT -- PG015 -- 0764 04/21/92 14:37 EDT
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Date:Apr 21, 1992
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