In the first of what the Bush administration hopes will be a series of public-private partnerships to create national wildlife refuges without using taxpayer dollars, the utility company Entergy is donating 600 acres of land along Louisiana’s Red River to the government. The Entergy donation could be the first parcel of a 50,000-acre Red River National Wildlife Refuge, which was authorized by Congress in 2000 but never funded. Interior Secretary Gale Norton said her department was actively looking for other contributors to buy and donate land for the planned refuge, which will be managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. If the U.S. ever decides to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, Entergy will get credit for the estimated 275,000 tons of carbon dioxide that will be absorbed by trees planted on the donated land. Entergy Vice President Jim Mutch said the company was motivated by the possible carbon credits, but added, “Regardless of whether or not we get credit down the road, we just think this is the morally right thing to do.”
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