Rights-of-Way

The Wildlife Habitat Council, in a cooperative effort with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), conducted a literature review to gather information on the various techniques that have been used to manage vegetation on utility rights-of-way (ROWs) in eastern forested landscapes.

The research shed light on the numerous benefits that both wildlife and corporations can achieve from wildlife-oriented vegetation management. To promote the transition from traditional vegetation management, a list of best management practices (BMPs) for wildlife on ROWs was developed.

Implementation is presented in a grassland, shrubland, and wetland context, and in a species-specific manner. The vegetation list (Adobe PDF) acts as a tool to facilitate integrated vegetation management (IVM) planning that expands objectives to include wildlife habitat enhancement.

The good news is that linear projects, such as utility ROWs, can also have beneficial effects on wildlife habitats. When the proper mitigation measures are taken, ROW corridors can be sites of increased habitat diversity, can be used by wildlife as travel lanes between isolated patches of suitable habitats, can increase the amount of early successional habitat available to species, and much more.

The use of wildlife management techniques in ROWs management is not yet widespread, however, corporations that have incorporated them are increasingly acknowledging high level of satisfaction with the process.

Find out more about ROWs:

BMPs

Ecosystem-specific BMPs

Species-specific BMPs

Cost-effectiveness

ROWs Resource Directory