Vulcan Materials Co. has received certification from the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) for its efforts to protect, enhance, and monitor wildlife and habitat restoration projects at Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve.

The Vulcan-Ruffner Mountain Project is one of 44 Vulcan sites with WHC-certifications across the country. The Vulcan-Ruffner Mountain partnership began in 2002 when the employees of Vulcan's corporate headquarters in Birmingham, Ala., adopted this offsite, public area and partnered with the Ruffner staff. The WHC first certified the program at Vulcan-Ruffner Mountain in 2003.

Vulcan employees volunteer regularly at the unique 1,038-acre nature preserve. To earn conservation certification, the Vulcan-Ruffner team actively manages 20 acres of the site for invasive species eradication. The team also works on habitat restoration by propagating native plants in an on-site greenhouse with raised seed beds for transplanting. Populations of cavity-nesting birds are actively managed and monitored.

Vulcan's Ruffner Project Manager, Bill Ledbetter, said, "I applaud our team's efforts to create a vibrant and productive partnership between corporate, non-profit, and community volunteers to work on protecting wildlife and native habitat in Birmingham."

Ruffner Mountain's Land Conservation Manager, Jamie Nobles, said, "We at Ruffner have worked for many years to improve habitat quality on the mountain. The partnership we share with Vulcan Materials is essential to advance our efforts in restoring the natural mountain ecology of Ruffner Mountain, as well as to improve community involvement."

"The Vulcan-Ruffner Mountain Project is one of 177 programs recognized this year as meeting the strict requirements of WHC Conservation Certification," said Margaret O'Gorman, president, WHC. "Companies and organizations achieving WHC Conservation Certification, like Vulcan and Ruffner Mountain are environmental leaders, voluntarily managing their lands to support sustainable ecosystems and the communities that surround them."

Created in 1988, the Wildlife Habitat Council helps large landowners, particularly corporations, manage lands in an ecologically sensitive manner for the benefit of wildlife and native habitats. The Vulcan-Ruffner Mountain Project is the only one of Vulcan's WHC projects that partners with a non-profit to manage conservation projects on public lands.