Putting Rights of Way to Work for Wildlife

May 12, 2017 10:15 AM ET

Duke Energy manages the land over which more than 30,000 miles of transmission lines traverse – that’s more than enough to circle the globe.

With that much property to manage, the company has focused on how to put it to work for imperiled wildlife. Utility rights of way can serve as valuable corridors for threatened wildlife.

To bolster these efforts, the Duke Energy Foundation will provide $500,000 over the next five years to the National Wild Turkey Federation’s (NWTF) Energy for Wildlife program to conserve or enhance more than 6,000 acres of critical habitat across Florida, the Carolinas and Indiana. The project is designed to benefit imperiled pollinators and birds, as well as numerous other wildlife species.

Conservation efforts will focus on establishing or enhancing habitat on public lands, such as state or national forests, and nearby areas where Duke Energy’s transmission rights of way cross large areas of forested habitat. The enhanced habitat conditions will provide cover and a sustainable food source, while serving as a protective travel corridor for wildlife species that need it most.

Beyond the new collaboration with NWTF, Duke Energy implemented many programs in 2016 with natural resource protection in mind. For instance, in Florida the company piloted a power line design that minimizes risks to birds. The redesigned elements will help prevent birds from getting in between lines and from perching and building nests on electrical lines and poles.

In North Carolina, the company is supporting the Carolina Raptor Center’s bald eagle conservation efforts, as well as the development of a new raptor trail and high-tech amphitheater to enhance educational programming for children. 

Learn more about our commitment to the environment in our 2016 Sustainability Report.