The American Petroleum Institute (API) and Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever today announced a new partnership to deliver on the significant habitat enhancement potential of an estimated 12 million acres of pipeline rights-of-way and facilities. Designed to advance ongoing conservation and community engagement efforts, the partnership will launch pilot programs along pipeline routes and in communities surrounding industry operations to help deliver the wildlife habitat goals of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Rights-of-Way & Energy (ROWE) Habitat Program. Marathon Pipe Line and Shell Pipeline Company are among the first to pilot programs under this partnership this summer.
“We are thrilled to join forces with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever to deliver on the tremendous opportunity that thousands of miles energy rights-of-way present for wildlife habitat enhancement,” API President and CEO Mike Sommers said. “Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have a wealth of wildlife habitat management experience that American energy operators can use to advance our industry’s environmental stewardship – from cultivating native species for bobwhite quail or monarch butterflies to protecting endangered wildlife to preventing soil erosion.”
“Partnering with API to provide technical support for wildlife habitat improvements and tangible environmental benefits along oil and gas rights-of-ways is an exciting opportunity to deliver our habitat mission,” said Howard Vincent, president and CEO of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. “API and our organizations are demonstrating critical conservation work that is helping industry leaders achieve sustainability objectives, engage local communities, and provide an incredible ecological resource throughout the United States.”
Ranging from rights-of-way several yards wide to pipeline easements spanning several thousand miles, pipeline operations provide untapped wildlife habitat opportunities to connect fragmented landscapes throughout the country. This partnership will help unlock the full potential and diversity of these critical acres, including creating habitat that is critical for pheasants, quail, pollinators, monarch butterflies and songbirds, while also helping improve water quality and sequestering carbon. This partnership is part of API’s Midstream Conservation Program, which aims to connect American energy companies with conservation groups to support habitat enhancement on pipeline rights-of-way and facilities. For example, LOOP LLC is participating in this program by setting aside five acres of facility property to regrow native plants and grasses to support pollinators in the Southeast.
Several midstream operators are participating in pilot programs through the Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever partnership. After a successful pilot in 2021, Marathon Pipe Line LLC (MPL) is expanding its vegetation evaluation and management strategies across its compatible rights-of-way to optimize vegetation structure while maintaining regulatory compliance, promoting biodiversity, and protecting pipeline integrity and safety. In addition, MPL is pursuing conservation partnerships through local and national initiatives in the Midwest. MPL has partnered with Pheasants Forever to support the implementation of its land management strategies through site evaluations, plan development and execution, and monitoring outcomes. Shell Pipeline Company is working to develop a habitat to protect endangered species and promote native plant growth on its pipeline rights-of-way.
API earlier this year released API Guidance for Conservation Programs on Pipeline Right-of-Ways, which offers assessments, best practices and innovative techniques to develop conservation programs, enhancing safety and operational efficiency while working to improve the community and environment where pipeline operators live and work. The partnership is designed to be scalable, flexible and build on these conservation guidelines to allow companies to put these best practices into action, engaging with the local community and protecting local wildlife. The partnership also helps to advance the work of Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Call of the Uplands campaign, which aims to establish or improve uplands habitats across North America.
Today’s announcement will support U.S. pipeline operators as they enhance and accelerate robust conservation programs. It builds on decades of industry conservation efforts – from reducing the surface footprint of energy development and protecting species and habitats throughout operations to creating wetlands and repurposing offshore oil rigs as artificial reefs among others.
API represents all segments of America’s natural gas and oil industry, which supports more than 11 million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of millions of Americans. Our nearly 600 members produce, process and distribute the majority of the nation’s energy, and participate in API Energy Excellence, which is accelerating environmental and safety progress by fostering new technologies and transparent reporting. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization and has developed more than 800 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever make up the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. This community of more than 400,000 members, supporters and partners is dedicated to the protection of our uplands through habitat improvement, public access, education and advocacy. A network of 754 local chapters spread across North America determine how 100 percent of their locally raised funds are spent — the only national conservation organization that operates through this grassroots structure. Since its creation in 1982, the organization has dedicated more than $1B to 567,500 habitat projects benefiting 22 million acres.