Utility Right-Of-Way Sites Guide

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Many utility companies and oil and gas operators recognize a unique opportunity to go a step beyond basic reclamation standards by using native species indigenous to the area being restored. In doing so, they are affirming the industry’s commitment to environmental stewardship.

This electricity transmission R-O-W is well-established with beneficial native grasses, such as Panicum clandestinum (Deertongue) and forbs, including various Solidagos (Goldenrods) and Eupatorium fistulosum (Joe Pye Weed).

In the years after disturbance, affected areas can become biodiverse ecosystems with improved ecological function, greater wildlife populations, less erosion, and improved water and soil quality.

For example, a multiple-mile stretch of pipeline in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays may pass through wetlands, over steep mountain slopes, across rivers, and through agricultural areas and state game lands. These areas should be reclaimed with vegetation best matching the intended use of the land, the biodiversity that existed before disturbance, and with practices that best address such issues as erosion control, habitat fragmentation, and other environmental concerns.

We can design a biodiverse native seed mix to mitigate the environmental impact and aid in ensuring regulatory compliance. We routinely work with environmental departments, consulting engineers, and contractors seeding a project.

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A pipeline seeded with a mix of native grasses, forbs and legumes.
This former well pad is bringing ecological value back to the landscape.

Due to the diverse range of site types that most utility transmission lines and oil and gas pipelines traverse, we recommend reviewing the seed mixes found on our website.

Our sales representatives will also be able to assist in identifying the most appropriate seed mix for the project and site type.

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DISCLAIMER: The information in this review of practices is the result of more than 50 years of experience in seed production. Ernst Conservation Seeds has been supplying seeds and consulting in the reseeding of tens of thousands of acres of roadsides, surface mined lands, conservation, and restoration sites in eastern North America, as well as growing and supplying seed and consulting in the planting of hundreds of thousands of acres of CRP/CREP-related areas for erosion control and wildlife habitat. All of these practices are opinion only and our best advice as a result of these experiences. These recommendations do not cover all the conditions that will be encountered in the field. All of the information is for individual consideration. Ernst Conservation Seeds is not responsible for conditions that will be encountered in individual situations. The use of brand names does not represent our endorsement of a specific product; rather, it represents our experience only and has not necessarily been replicated in peer-reviewed research. The use of chemical pest control agents is subject to manufacturers’ instructions and labeling, as well as federal, state, and local regulations.
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