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Project WINGS

TreesTransmission lines are essential to power our homes, businesses and factories, and to our economy and standard of living. Underneath these lines are thousands of acres of unused land that must be managed routinely to prevent unwanted growth of tall plants and trees that could interfere with normal delivery of electricity.

Recognizing the potential these acres offer wildlife, Georgia Power and the Two Rivers Resource Conservation and Development Council launched Project WINGS (Wildlife Incentives for Nongame and Game Species), a right-of-way management campaign, in the fall of 1996. Georgia Transmission Corp., the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG), and Atlanta Gas Light have since joined this statewide wildlife initiative.

Transmission LinesDesigned to create new wildlife lands along gas and electricity transmission lines, the project provides cash grants up to $1,500 along with professional wildlife management advice, to eligible groups and individuals interested in managing brush control and habitat improvement on the rights-of-way on their property for a three-year period.

This win-win-win program prevents undesirable growth on the transmission right-of-ways and helps people transform right-of-ways into productive wildlife habitats for our state. To date, thousands of Georgians have received grants to create more than 23,490 acres of new wildlife habitat.

To find out more about eligibility and how you can get involved, visit Project WINGS.

Who is eligible for a Project WINGS grant?

Landowners, hunting clubs, wildlife organizations and individuals committed to the conversion and management of Georgia Power rights of way may apply for a grant.

All applications are ranked and reviewed on a competitive basis. Applications are available at participating U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and local soil- and water-conservation district (SWCD) offices within the project area.

Individuals receiving grants must be willing to manage the rights of way on their property for a three-year period as outlined by their customized plans prepared with the local NRCS staff.

Applications are accepted from May 15 through July 15 each year at all NRCS offices.

How are Project WINGS grant dollars awarded?

Grant dollars are awarded:

  • Based on the amount of rights of way to be managed.
  • Paid over a three-year period.
  • Given as a flat rate of $50 per acre per year (maximum 10 acres per grant).

Acceptable management practices include:

  • Mowing with fallow disking.
  • Annual plantings.
  • Permanent plantings.

The maximum total payment for the three-year contract cannot exceed $1,500.

Grants are paid within 60 days of work completion, as reported by the local NRCS office.

What type of commitment is involved?

Grant recipients have a three-year obligation to follow the wildlife practices outlined in their management plan.

Who develops the wildlife-management plan?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) have developed a menu of typical wildlife-management practices.

The menu might include: mechanical brush control, chemical brush control, or permanent or annual wildlife plantings.

Participants will prepare their own plan by selecting management practices from the menu.

Specialists from the USDA's NRCS and Georgia's WRD are available as consultants.

Can I do the work myself?

Yes. As long as the practice is included in your wildlife-management plan prepared by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, it doesn't matter who performs the labor.

Do I need proof of management expenses?

As long as the practice is completed and then verified by NRCS, receipts are not necessary.

How do I get started?

If you own or lease lands with Georgia Power right of way and would like to apply for a grant, select your county from the drop-down choices below for the phone number to your Project WINGS coordinator, or call Project WINGS headquarters at 706-885-0101. For more information, you can explore the Project WINGS brochure.

Project WINGS is a joint venture between Georgia Power and the Two Rivers RC&D Council, with technical assistance from the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and the Georgia Forestry Commission.

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