Diablo Canyon Power Plant receives corporate lands for learning accreditation
November 11, 2014
AVILA BEACH, Calif. — Pacific Gas and Electric Company's (PG&E) Diablo Canyon Land Stewardship Program (DCLSP) has once again received the Wildlife Habitat Council's (WHC) Corporate Lands for Learning accreditation. The certification is a coveted designation that recognizes individual companies and organizations for commendable wildlife habitat management and environmental education programs.
The recognition was announced this week following the WHC's annual symposium in Baltimore, MD. In addition to the three-year re-certification, the land stewardship program at PG&E's Diablo Canyon Power Plant was also a finalist for the WHC's Corporate Lands for Learning of the Year" award, which recognizes a single program each year for outstanding environmental education, stewardship and voluntary employee efforts.
"Environmental stewardship is one of the cornerstones of PG&E's values," said Ed Halpin, Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer at PG&E. "That commitment is evident through the thousands of acres of rugged coastline and pristine land on which Diablo Canyon Power Plant sits and that we vigilantly preserve. We are honored to once again receive this recognition from the Wildlife Habitat Council and will continue our efforts to maintain this valuable resource for the benefit of local wildlife and our surrounding communities."
Corporate Lands for Learning certified corporate sites offer experiential, place-based learning opportunities by using their habitat as a tool for teaching ecological concepts and the human role in conservation. The WHC's certification criteria for the accreditation are stringent. Organizations must demonstrate that their programs have been active for at least one year with a management plan that lists goals, objectives and prescriptions and complete documentation of all programs.
PG&E's land stewardship managed access programs at Diablo Canyon were re-accredited in recognition of the company's efforts to manage and protect natural and cultural resources, while conserving biological diversity on more than 14 miles of pristine coastline and sharing these resources with researchers and the public. The land stewardship team consists of professionals from many disciplines who monitor land uses, including archeologists, biologists, engineers, land planners and foresters.
Examples of PG&E's land management efforts include the routine control of unwanted vegetation through a managed grazing program that has resulted in a healthier rangeland habitat that sustains native plant species while reducing the spread of invasive species. The program also utilizes prescribed burns, in coordination with various fire agencies, to enhance the fire-dependent ecosystem and create natural fire breaks. This work has improved watersheds by preventing wide spread sedimentation and rejuvenated a bishop pine forest.
Public and Research Access
PG&E's land stewardship program also proudly manages public access to Diablo Canyon Power Plant lands, providing the local community with hiking and wildlife-watching opportunities, as well as research opportunities for various universities along portions of the Central Coast in its natural, open space setting. The secluded beaches, rugged cliffs and broad coastal terraces of this area have been privately owned and largely inaccessible to the public since the Spanish Mission Period. Currently, professors from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo are given opportunities to conduct field classes with their students along this "untouched" coastline.
Public hikes are available on the southern portion of the property along the Pecho Coast Trail which leads to a historical lighthouse. This trail is docent-led and PG&E trains naturalists to share their knowledge with the public. At the northern end of the property along the Point Buchon trail, 3.5 miles of the coastline is also open to the public. Biologists are given the opportunity to conduct research in both areas due to the abundance of wildlife.
About Diablo Canyon Power Plant
Diablo Canyon Power Plant is a nuclear power facility owned and operated by PG&E. Its two units together produce approximately 2,300 net megawatts of carbon-free power. It provides nearly 10 percent of all electricity generated in California, and enough energy to meet the needs of more than three million Northern and Central Californians. Diablo Canyon has a $920 million annual local economic impact and is the largest private employer in San Luis Obispo County.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/index.page.