CADILLAC, Mich., Dec. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers Energy has been recognized for protecting endangered species and other wildlife at its 11 hydro generating facilities on the Au Sable, Manistee and Muskegon rivers.
The Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) awarded the maximum three-year Wildlife at Work recertification to the company for its wildlife enhancement projects.
Consumers Energy's Tippy Dam, which serves as the only-known bat hibernaculum in the Lower Peninsula and one of the largest in Michigan, received runner-up honors for the WHC Bat Conservation Award. The national award recognizes projects that actively manage bat habitat through restoration or protection projects that include public outreach and educational opportunities.
During the recertification process, WHC biologists rated Consumers Energy's facilities and employee efforts as exceptional."There are more than 12,000 acres associated with our hydro dams, so we have significant potential to enhance natural resources along major Michigan rivers. Consumers Energy takes pride in being responsible environmental stewards as part of our Promise to Michigan," said Rich Castle, Consumers Energy's natural resource administrator for hydro operations. "We're very appreciative of the recognition provided by the WHC recertification of our wildlife management efforts." Federally-endangered wildlife species benefitting from the Consumers Energy projects are the Karner Blue butterfly, being managed on Muskegon River hydro properties, and the Indiana bat, which finds ideal hibernation habitat in a spillway chamber at Tippy Dam on the Manistee River. Other wildlife being helped by the projects recognized by the Wildlife at Work program include bluebirds, waterfowl, monarch butterflies, raptors and the eastern pipistelle, a bat species of special interest in Michigan. "We work cooperatively with others interested in conservation to achieve a common goal of implementing projects that enhance wildlife populations. These groups include Boy Scouts, resource agencies and conservation advocates," said Castle. "We recognize and thank these organizations for their vital role in helping wildlife thrive near our hydro generating properties."