To encourage wildlife habitat and enhance the scenic beauty of cooperative rights of way on members’ property, Blue Ridge Energy partners with the Whitetail Institute to offer members a 20 percent discount on purchases of wildlife seed such as clover, chicory, chufa, winter peas and more.
These types of low growing vegetation are ideal for open corridors and can provide a food source for many species including rabbits, deer, wild turkey and birds. It’s also the perfect option to enhance appearance of rights of way where large trees and shrubs are a threat to power lines and poles.
Members with heavily wooded property near cooperative rights of way have an additional incentive and option: Blue Ridge Energy will pay one-half of the cost, up to $500 per acre, to any member who converts woodland to cropland or permanent pasture. Members qualify for this monetary reimbursement only if they contact Blue Ridge Energy in advance and receive approval prior to the start of clearing the woodland area.
While Blue Ridge Energy members own the rights of way on their property, it’s the responsibility of the cooperative to maintain the poles and lines, as well as to manage vegetation in these areas in order to keep electricity flowing for all of the membership.
Blue Ridge trims and removes trees, as well as applies environmentally safe herbicides to hinder tall vegetation in rights of way. However, for rights of way in pastureland areas where no large trees and shrubs exist, planting wildlife seed offers an alternative vegetation management option.