Georgia Power manages vegetation on more than 12,500 miles of transmission line rights-of way encompassing more than 150,000 acres.
Because of federal reliability requirements, these rights-of-way must be kept clear of trees; this allows us to fill an important habitat gap as open meadows with numerous native grasses and forbs have grown scarce today due to fire suppression and other modern land management techniques. While many of these open meadows are sufficiently maintained with traditional right-of-way management practices such as periodic mowing and herbicide spot treatments, areas with plants of conservation concern may require additional efforts to preserve rare species. We have numerous “Special Management Areas” in which we may avoid mowing at critical times of the year or use hand removal rather than herbicides for control of tree saplings.
Right-of-way management also contributes to seepage bog habitats, home to unique plant species such as carnivorous pitcher plants.
Conservation of plant species
Pollinator species such as the monarch butterfly, for instance, require the presence of specific plants like milkweed to complete their life cycles. Pollinating insects are an important part of our own food supply, as they play a major role in the crop cycle of agriculture.
Georgia Power’s Project WINGS (Wildlife Incentives for Nongame and Game Species) encourages landowners on rights-of-way to manage for wildlife habitat, and these plantings can often reduce our operational costs, ultimately reducing customer costs at the electric meter.