The effective management of vegetation on transmission and distribution corridors is essential to the reliable supply of electricity and to ensure public and worker safety. Vegetation programs must also comply with new and emerging regulations, meet public and landowner expectations and consider environmental issues. Managing vegetation can range from pruning or removing individual trees to encouraging the establishment of low growing compatible plant communities on a right-of-way. Furthermore, it involves responding to public, First Nations, Government and landowner requests and concerns, while still achieving control that will comply with NERC and other regulations in a cost effective manner. These are a few of the aspects needed to develop a comprehensive and effective vegetation management program. The 2nd Annual Vegetation Management Conference covered a number of those issues.
Utility Vegetation Management professionals convened in Fort Lauderdale, FL for this annual conference. Twenty different electrical utilities were represented making up the majority of the total attendance, traveling from the United States, Canada, Jamaica, Australia and Finland. Among the numerous presentations from selected industry experts and utility representatives, the attendees had a chance to participate in an Open Forum on Current Industry Issues. Presentations were divided into the following sessions:
- Public/Social Issues
- Techniques and Products
- Program Management
- Current Issues
Following the conference, the Vegetation Management Task Force members participated in a closed-door, utility-only meeting, where they discussed issues pertinent to their organization.