By ADRIAN SAINZ
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - International Paper and a forest conservation group are announcing a plan to protect endangered forests in key paper producing areas of the South.
The Memphis-based paper company and Dogwood Alliance said Wednesday that they will map forests around International Paper's southeastern operations to identify endangered forests or areas where conservation of natural resources is critical to environmental health.
The agreement between International Paper and Dogwood, a longtime critic of the paper company, also includes a plan to discourage the conversion of natural hardwood forests to pine plantations.
The first step will be a pilot project to map forests around the company's mill in Riegelwood, N.C. The partners will then try to apply the mapping practices to other paper-producing regions in the South.