Caribou face threats from several sources, including habitat loss or alteration (including sensory disturbance), vehicle collisions, predation, and hunting. Powerline Rights-of-Way (RoWs), along with other linear features built through caribou ranges, contribute to these threats directly (e.g., direct habitat loss from RoW construction) or indirectly (e.g., increased predation pressure from wolves in caribou habitat along RoWs).
The objective of this document is to define powerline vegetation management best management practices within boreal woodland caribou ranges that avoid or reduce potential impacts to caribou. Utility documents and current practices were investigated and a literature review on woodland caribou policy, regulations, and general biology was conducted. Knowledge of powerline vegetation management, caribou habitat, and habitat use helps identify high value mitigations electric utilities could incorporate into their vegetation management programs for existing powerlines.
These mitigations would benefit caribou and not be overly taxing to electric utility maintenance. It is important to sustain a balance between the safe, reliable, and cost-effective operation of transmission lines and implementing appropriate and effective mitigations to reduce impacts to caribou. The intent of this report is to highlight mitigations most relevant to caribou protection, which are practical and feasible for utilities to implement.
Caribou, Powerline, Vegetation Management, Utilities, Mitigations, Habitat