Rights of Way (ROW) ManagementCVEC maintains right-of-way along over 4400 distribution miles of line (including over 3300 overhead miles) to ensure that our crews can work safely in the area and to protect our service reliability. Trees that grow into our lines will cause outages and endanger our crews.
Because keeping the lights on is our primary goal, we are clearing the trees that could grow into the overhead power lines that deliver electricity to you and your neighbors. Trees that grow under the power lines are the greatest threat to reliable electric service.
While the right-of-way looks nice after we clear cut or bushhog, a mature root system remains beneath the surface. This system will issue root extensions that quickly become new saplings.
Since we can't cut the entire ROW every year, trees may be 6-10 feet by the time that we return. The battle is never-ending.
With 3200 miles of overhead electric distribution line, we tackle this problem every day. Our maintenance program is like the bridge painting crew that puts the last touch on one end of the bridge, then must go to the other end to start all over again.
Along with our work to clear cut and bushhog the rights-of-way, we have another strategy for maintaining our rights-of-way. In some areas, CVEC is using an environmentally safe herbicide to convert these wooded corridors to greenways, which are dominated by flowers, grasses, ferns, and shrubs.
In short, we selectively remove the root system that produces trees and make room for meadow plants in a safe and effective manner.
"Accord" has a "plant specific" mode of action. Its active ingredient is absorbed into the leaves, travels to the root system, and interrupts the tree's ability to process amino acids. The tree, and a good portion of the root system, is eliminated.
Other than the occasional new sapling, the use of the herbicide then becomes unnecessary. Our crews continue to trim branches that grow into the line from trees that border the right-of-way. This maintenance practice is known as side walling.
When CVEC considered a herbicide program, we set high standards. We found that a right-of-way conversion program is considered more effective and safer for the environment when compared to bushhogs and chains saws.
When CVEC considered a herbicide program, we set high standards. We found that a right-of-way conversion program is considered more effective and safer for the environment when compared to bushhogs and chains saws. We submitted our plan to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and have been accepted in the EPA's Environmental Stewardship program.
Why is this program considered environmentally friendly?
The Cooperative has been pleased with the results of our program, and we believe that you will be impressed with the results.
We realize that you may have additional questions or may have a preference to have your property cleared with a chain saw or bushhog.
We would be pleased to answer your questions or craft a right-of-way maintenance alternative that will meet your needs.
Have questions or want more information?
Feel free to e-mail the Cooperative Forester or call 800-367-2832.