Department of Fish and Wildlife
Ceremony To Highlight Wildlife Habitat Program For Power Line Corridors
FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and numerous other conservation organizations have partnered with Louisville Gas and Electric (LG&E) and Kentucky Utilities (KU) to improve wildlife habitat.
LG&E and KU have contributed $25,000 in their combined service territories to help private landowners improve wildlife habitat in the corridors of land beneath selected power lines in central Kentucky from now through next year.
Representatives from these utilities will join Kentucky Fish and Wildlife and other program partners for a ribbon cutting ceremony at a power line near Midway, Ky. at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17. Media representatives are invited to attend.
To get there, take Interstate 64 to Midway Exit 65, then proceed north on Ky 341 to the subdivision entrance at McKinney Avenue. This is the first street on the right. Representatives will then proceed onto the ribbon-cutting site.
The habitat program is called POWER — Promoting Our Wildlife and Energy Resources. Through the POWER Program, private landowners who own property crossed by transmission lines can obtain funding for habitat improvements. Biologists with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife first provide technical habitat recommendations to landowners free of charge or obligation, then help applicants obtain funding through the POWER Program.
Initially, LG&E and KU have designated several specific power lines in the Bluegrass Region to test the program. The program may be expanded to include more of the companies’ territories in the future.
Brian Clark, a former wildlife biologist who now serves as assistant director of the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife’s Public Affairs Division, noted that utility companies must maintain the vegetation beneath power lines in order to comply with federal laws and ensure safe, reliable power delivery. “Typically this is done with periodic mowing or spraying to control woody plants,” he said. “The POWER Program provides an opportunity to benefit the environment and lower costs.”
“Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities work to preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth through programs and partnerships that protect the air, land and waters our ecosystems need to survive,” said Mike Winkler, manager of Environmental Programs for LG&E and KU.
“This pilot project with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is an extension of that larger effort, and we look forward to partnering with landowners in central Kentucky to further protect and enhance wildlife habitats,” he added.
The POWER Program includes only transmission lines. These span longer distances and have wider corridors than the smaller distribution lines that typically run through residential neighborhoods. Kentucky has thousands of miles of gas and electric transmission lines, encompassing tens of thousands of acres of land.
Landowners interested in improving their property for wildlife through POWER or other programs can call 1-800-858-1549. Landowners can also go online at fw.ky.gov and click the Habitat Improvement tab for more information. There is no charge or obligation for technical assistance. Property owners do not have to open their land to the public to participate in these programs.