Connecticut Land Conservation Council
Forum on Right-of-Way Vegetation Management
Management of Powerline Corridors and other Open Areas for Declining Bird Species and New England Cottontails
Robert Askins, Katharine Blunt Professor Emeritus of Biology, Connecticut College
Representatives from Eversouce Vegetation Management Team
Monday, August 12, 2019
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
deKoven House, 27 Washington Street, Middletown 06457
This forum is offered free of charge and open to the public. Space is limited.
RSVP: Amy at email@example.com
At this forum, we will first hear from Dr. Robert Askins who will present specific guidelines for managing habitat for early successional birds (as well as New England Cottontails) on powerline corridors and in other open areas on land trust preserves. Following Dr. Askins’ presentation, representatives from the Eversource Vegetation Management team will present on current management objectives, protocol and maintenance schedules as it relates to transmission corridors. There will be ample time for Q&A and discussion.
Background: Mature forests have been the focus of most conservation efforts in the northeastern United States. Less attention has been directed at early successional “shrubland”, but this habitat supports a disproportionate number of declining and threatened species. In New England many of the bird species that have shown persistent, long-term decreases in abundance are associated with shrublands, including such colorful migratory birds as blue-winged warblers, prairie warblers, yellow-breasted chats and indigo buntings. Until a hundred years ago these species nested in fallow fields and farm-field edges, but they declined steadily as most of the farmland in New England was abandoned and reverted to forest.
Today early successional species primarily depend on forest openings created by people such as clearcuts and powerline rights-of-way. Powerline corridors provide the largest amount of suitable habitat for these species in the Northeast. When these corridors are managed with selective removal of trees saplings, they can provide stable and productive breeding habitat for shrubland birds and other early successional species.
If an Eversource powerline runs through one of your land trust preserves, then the right-of-way probably provides important habitat for rare and declining species of plants and animals that require open habitats. Fortunately, Eversource is willing to work with land trusts and other private property owners to manage corridors so that both transmission lines and biological diversity are protected. When Eversource alerts your land trust that they will be managing vegetation on the right-of-way, you have the opportunity to meet with a vegetation manager to discuss how to work together to achieve management objectives.
Any questions or to RSVP, please contact CLCC Executive Director Amy Blaymore Paterson at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (860) 852-5512