Rights-of-Way the Right Way
of the many inventive methods TVA uses to protect natural habitat and
promote biodiversity is that of working with property owners to plant
transmission-line rights-of-way (ROWs) with low-growing native greenery.
ROWs, the 27,400 kilometers (17,000 miles) of corridors where utility
lines run, must be kept clear of tall trees and shrubs whose branches
could snap during storms, damaging the lines or blocking access in emergencies.
But that doesnt mean ROWs cant teem with foliage that beautifies
the corridors and provides vital shelter and food for wildlife.
richly diverse topographyfrom the Appalachian Mountains to low
interior plateausincludes a wide variety of soil types and native
plant species. TVA is helping to naturalize sections of ROWs that cross
ecologically sensitive areas with selective plantings of Oneflower Hawthorn,
a species ideally suited to thickets and woodlands; deciduous holly,
a food source for wildlife; Silky Willow, a sinewy-branched plant that
grows particularly well in wetlands; and Highbush Blueberry, a hardy
and adaptable fruit-bearer.
native species minimize the need for maintenance in ROWs, thereby limiting
human intrusion and allowing wildlife to flourish.
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