The Federation’s long track record of success relies upon the power of partnerships. Recognizing the tremendous habitat enhancement potential of energy rights of way was the impetus for the NWTF Rights of Way Habitat Endorsement Program. The opportunities for habitat enhancement are great with millions of miles of power line and pipeline rights of way.
Working closely with energy partners, surface landowners/agencies and a variety of stakeholders, the NWTF encourages the installation and maintenance of diverse early successional habitat and promotes methods to maintain that habitat, while reducing long-term maintenance cost and ensuring safe energy delivery for the utility and the public.
Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) is an approach to manage vegetation on energy rights of way that promotes herbaceous plant diversity, reduces overall maintenance costs, provides better control of invasive exotic species and improves habitat for a wide range of wildlife.
IVM, as defined by the EPA, is a practice that reduces the need for pesticides, promotes healthy ecosystems and provides measurable results, such as greater natural species diversity along rights of way and better control of invasive species.
The desired outcome of IVM around utility rights of way is the development of lush shrub or grassy areas that do not interfere with overhead power lines, pose a fire hazard or hamper access.
Integrated Habitat Management (IHM) is an elevated approach to vegetation management that directly leads to enhancement and maintenance of early successional habitat, which also benefits an entire suite of wildlife.
The NWTF Rights of Way Habitat Program encourages energy partners and surface owners to go one step further and practice Integrated Habitat Management (IHM).