Monday, March 13, 2017 – Healthy wildlife populations provide opportunities for hunting, nature photography and a lot more. Most importantly, wild species are essential to the ecological and biological processes that sustain all life – a reality well understood by Georgia Power.
This week, Georgia Power is celebrating National Wildlife Week, sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation, with a social media campaign appearing throughout the week on the company’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages.
According to Jim Ozier, senior environmental analyst, the week aligns with the company’s commitment to environmental stewardship every day. Although it’s part of Georgia Power’s corporate identity, it’s important to help customers understand why the company stays involved and what they can do to help.
“Protecting our environment and wildlife are responsibilities we embrace and take seriously,” Ozier said. “We’re committed to doing our part because we understand that diversity of wildlife impacts the quality of life for all citizens.”
Thousands of acres of company-owned land around lakes and power plants, as well as company-maintained rights of way across the state provide thriving habitat for hundreds of species of mammals, birds, fish and other wildlife.
Successful Georgia Power wildlife initiatives include:
- Osprey Nests
The company joined with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in an osprey nest project at Lake Allatoona. Since its inception, Georgia Power has installed approximately 10 repurposed distribution poles for nesting habitats/platforms on transmission structures around the lake. In addition to helping the Corps, Georgia Power also has installed about 50 osprey platforms at its lakes or on transmission structures across the state.
- Bald Eagles
Bucket trucks were used to install cameras at Berry College in Rome, Ga., to view bald eagles nesting. The company also partners with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to ensure the conservation of about 10 bald eagle nests on company property.
- Indigo Snakes
Georgia Power provided habitats for federally-protected indigo snakes by encouraging gopher tortoises and protecting their burrows, which are used by indigo snakes. They live in several locations on company property and transmission easements across the coastal plain of Georgia.
- Southeastern Kestrels
These small falcons nest on transmission rights of way. The company partnered with the DNR to install nest boxes.
- Gopher Tortoises
This DNR and Georgia Power collaboration provides habitats for displaced tortoises with hopes of building a viable population in the future on Georgia Power property near Plant Vogtle in Waynesboro. In 2013, 21 tortoises from Effingham County were successfully relocated to their new home on Georgia Power land as part of the plan to re-establish longleaf pine habitats on suitable company-owned sites.
- Ducks, Geese and Wild Turkeys
Georgia Power, Ducks Unlimited and the DNR partnered to provide and enhance wetland habitats for ducks and geese, as well as other game and nongame birds.
In addition to these various initiatives, Georgia Power was recently honored as a 2016 partner in the Forestry for Wildlife Partnership, which is administered by the DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division. The program involves corporate forest landowners, who voluntarily manage their lands to benefit the state’s wildlife.