PRESS RELEASES 2001 RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 17, 2001
Contact: Jann Taber (916) 923-7053, Pager (916) 537-7539
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PG&E TO PLANT 200,000 DESCENDENT SEEDLINGS TO REFOREST LANDS DEVASTATED BY GAP FIRE

For 15 Years PG&E Has Been Banking Seeds From Area Parent Trees

EMIGRANT GAP - An estimated 640 acres of Pacific Gas and Electric Company's forestland was burned in the Gap Fire. Some 500 acres of that total was severely burned and, today, the company announced that the devastated area would be reforested with approximately 200,000 descendent seedlings.

As part of its commitment to environmental leadership, for the past 15 years, Pacific Gas and Electric Company has been collecting and banking seeds from parent trees on the company's 140,000 acres of forestland.

"Pacific Gas and Electric Company is committed to caring and preserving natural resources throughout our service area for the enjoyment of current and future generations of Californians," said Robert L. Harris, PG&E's vice president of Environmental Affairs. "Being a good steward of the land and an environmental leader means planning for the future, and ensuring that we have the resources available to protect - and in cases such as this - restore what fire has destroyed."

Seeds are collected from conifer species in a given area. In the Gap Fire (Lake Valley) area, seeds have been collected from Jeffrey Pine, White Fir and Incense Cedar.

"By using seeds collected from the area being reforested, the trees have a better chance to survive and grow in the environment in which they have been genetically developed by their parent trees," said Allan Newcomb, senior forester for Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

The cones of the parent trees are picked just before they ripen. Then the cones are put into burlap bags and sent to seed banks in Oregon. From there, the seeds are extracted from the cones, categorized according to seed zone and size, weighed, cataloged, and put into a freezer for safe keeping.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company has banked nearly 4 million seeds - enough to reforest about 10,000 acres.

When needed for planting, the seeds are sent to a nursery in Loomis, Calif., where they are germinated and grown for one year. The seeds from the Gap Fire area will be ready for planting in the spring of 2003.

More information on PG&E Corporations's environmental commitment can be found in its annual Environmental Report. To request a copy, please visit the corporation's Website at www.pgecorp.com.

 

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