Napa, California (March 11, 2014) – Leading Australian eco brand Banrock Station has expanded its commitment to environmental conservation to include the United States this year with a $95,000 grant to the American Forests’ Endangered Western Forest Initiative (EWF).
The EWF Initiative is a multi-year program designed to address the devastation of the whitebark pine from infestations of mountain pine beetles and white pine blister rust, a highly invasive fungus. Whitebark pines are a keystone species that can live to be 1,000 years old and are an essential component of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem, which is home to 60 large mammal species, 118 species of fish, and 311 species of birds. These pines are also essential for plant and animal biodiversity as they provide protection from harsh mountain conditions; 190 plant species occur in whitebark pine communities, some of which live nowhere else.
“Banrock Station has a deep appreciation for the natural environment,” said Laurel Rowan, senior brand manager for Banrock Station’s parent company Accolade Wines. “In Australia, Banrock Station has led the way as a conservation-minded winery for over twenty years, managing nearly 4,000 acres of native vegetation, including over 600 acres of native wetlands. Wetlands are even more precious in a dry landscape like Australia where more than 50% of them have been destroyed.”
For nearly two decades, Banrock Station has shared the pleasure of fine Australian wine and the message of environmental conservation with the world. With every Banrock Station wine sold, including new Banrock Station Bellinis, money is donated to a variety of international environmental initiatives, focusing on wetland rehabilitation and threatened species recovery projects. To date, Banrock’s efforts include 60 countries and projects including returning salmon to rivers in Canada, otter protection in Denmark, bee recovery in the UK, and breeding threatened duck species in New Zealand.
“Supporting the reforestation efforts of American Forests is another great way for our company to give back to our customers and the planet,” said Rowan.
Banrock’s grant will contribute to American Forests’ goal to plant 100,000 disease-resistant whitebark pines in the next three years, supporting the identification and testing of existing trees to determine natural disease resistance, collection of cones from disease-resistant trees for propagation at nurseries and the planting of seedlings in prioritized areas. The grant will also support American Forests’ efforts to protect existing disease-resistant whitebark pines by applying pheromone patches (verbenone) to more than 10,000 adult disease-resistant trees to protect them from beetle infestation and other activities such as the protection of cone-bearing branches of naturally disease-resistant trees to ensure the availability of whitebark pine seeds.
“We are really thankful to have the generous support of Banrock Station for this critical project in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem,” said Scott Steen, American Forests’ president and chief executive officer. “This program will make a difference not only to the local communities in the region, but also to those living in the 16 states supplied by the area’s watershed and the dozens of animal species that depend on whitebark pine forests.”
American Forests is the oldest national conservation nonprofit in the U.S., founded in 1875, focused on protecting and restoring forests to preserve the health of the planet for the benefit of its inhabitants. Since 1990, American Forests has planted more than 45 million trees in forests throughout the U.S. and in 44 countries.
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Accolade Wines North America
Drawing on a proud heritage with Hardys, one of the first wineries established in Australia, Accolade Wines has matured into a global wine company with some of the world’s best-known brands including Geyser Peak, Hardys, Banrock Station and XYZin among others, which are sold in over 80 countries, including Australia, the UK, Mainland Europe, the U.S., Canada, Japan and China. Accolade Wines North America, Inc is a California Corporation with its principal place of business at 1700 2nd Street, Suite 220, Napa, CA, 94558, USA. We invite you to visit our website at AccoladeWinesNA.com.
Situated in the heart of South Australia’s Riverland, Banrock Station’s Wine and Wetland Centre overlooks 250 hectares of Australian wetlands. The main lagoon covers 120 hectares and the eastern lagoon 130 hectares. Banrock Station’s Boardwalk Trails provide unprecedented public access to River Murray wetlands. Eight kilometres of trails includes 800m of wheelchair accessible boardwalk, interpretive signage, bird hides and rest areas. For more information, please visit www.banrockstation.com.au
American Forests has served as a catalyst for many of the most important milestones in the conservation movement, including the founding of the U.S. Forest Service, the national forest and national park systems and literally thousands of forest ecosystem restoration projects and public education efforts. Learn more at www.americanforests.org.
ACCOLADE WINES CONTACT:
Kate Regan, Folsom + Associates, 415-978-9909, firstname.lastname@example.org
AMERICAN FORESTS CONTACT:
Lea Sloan, American Forests, 202-370-4509, email@example.com