According to a news release from Central Virginia Electric Cooperative, the member-owned, not-for-profit electric utility performs work each year to maintain rights-of-way for new and existing electric lines along its 4,500 mile system. Recently, CVEC was awarded a “Habitat Partners Certificate” from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

“The Certificate is awarded as part of the DGIF’s Corporate Habitat program and is open to businesses and industries interested in habitat improvement projects on their lands which will make a substantial contribution to the welfare of wildlife communities. CVEC was awarded the certificate for recognition of their large-scale habitat management efforts in its rights-of-way to control invasive exotic species, minimize mowing and herbicide applications, and promote the growth of native perennial flowers, grasses, and sedges, which support a great diversity of wildlife species such as pollinators and quail,” the release said.

CVEC uses vegetation management software to map areas where milkweed plants and honeybee hives are in or near the rights-of-way to try and protect both. The release said CVEC also uses vegetation management systems to remove plants that are crowding and shading plants vital to pollinators.

“CVEC’s vegetation management efforts promise positive results for both the environment and CVEC’s service reliability. CVEC invests $2.5 million annually in its vegetation management system in order to increase reliability for its members and to remove [dangerous] trees from areas near the electric lines. Clearing the rights-of-way also allows safe access for CVEC linemen and trucks if the power needs to be restored or lines need to be repaired or upgraded,” the release said.

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Erin Conway covers Nelson County for The News & Advance. Reach her at (434) 385-5524.

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