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OHIO POWER WINS STATE ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD FOR FOREST-MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS

 COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Ohio Power Company and its parent firm, American Electric Power (AEP) (NYSE: AEP), today received the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' (ODNR) "Friend of the Forest" award.
 The award recognizes the companies' promotion of prudent forest- management practices in Ohio's state and private forests, and their support of Ohio Division of Forestry programs.
 Carl A. Erikson, president of Ohio Power, accepted the award from ODNR Director Frances Buchholzer during a ceremony at Zaleski State Forest near McArthur, in Vinton County, Ohio. A tree also was planted in AEP/Ohio Power's honor in the ODNR "Forest of Honor."
 "I can assure you, we have no intention of resting on our laurels," Erikson said. "We will live up to our designation as a 'friend of the forest.'"
 Planting trees has become a cornerstone of Ohio Power's environmental stewardship, Erikson said.
 The company has planted more than 40 million trees since the mid- 1940s, including nearly 900,000 on more than 1,100 acres since 1990.
 The company's woodlands are managed under a plan of long-term sustained yields, balancing harvesting with growth. Selected harvests remove overmature, diseased and damaged stems to improve the growth rate of healthy trees. Maximizing the growth rate allows the woodlands to take in more carbon dioxide and emit more oxygen.
 More than 50,000 acres of Ohio Power property have been certified as part of the National Tree Farm System.
 Reclamation regulations since the 1970s have required conversion of most mined lands to grassland rather than forest. Because grassland is not always conducive to survival of trees, Ohio Power is engaged in experimental efforts to improve the co-existence of species of grasslands and trees planted on company lands. A total of 75,000 hardwoods and pines will be planted over a 10-year period as part of this experimental project, which is being conducted in conjunction with Ohio State University and the university's Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster.
 AEP and Ohio Power have received many awards from national, state and local organizations for their environmental stewardship. On Oct. 4, Ohio Power accepted the Edison Electric Institute's 1993 Land Management Award. The institute is a nationwide association of investor-owned electric utilities.
 -0- 10/8/93
 /CONTACT: David M. Hagelin, public affairs information manager, of Ohio Power Company, 216-438-7897/
 (AEP)


CO: Ohio Power Company; American Electric Power ST: Ohio IN: UTI ENV SU:

KL -- CL027 -- 0370 10/08/93 18:06 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 8, 1993
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