Cooperative Living April 2024 - 27

SAFETYSENSE
A nesting box platform sits alongside
Choptank Electric Cooperative power lines in
Maryland's rural Eastern Shore.
" Working together with Mother Nature is mutually benefi cial. "
- Kolby Corrigan, Vegetation Management Supervisor,
Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative
SMECO pollinator project expands
throughout nearly 2 acres where weeds
are pulled by hand and no herbicides
are used. Following months of seed
research and soil tests, the garden was
certifi ed as a monarch waystation,
providing resources necessary for
monarch butterfl ies to produce
successive generations and sustain
their migration. Pollinator gardens
have become popular with a variety
of cooperatives in the region.
WILDLIFE PROTECTION
Maintaining reliable service while
protecting our free-roaming friends
can present challenges. Squirrels have
become synonymous with blinking
lights and power outages. When a
squirrel climbs onto a transformer, it
may cross the bare wire that leads from
the high-voltage line to the transformer.
Simultaneously touching this wire and
a part of the transformer with suffi cient
electrical ground, an electrical short
can knock out power and electrocute
the animal.
Squirrels and other animals can
create havoc in substations, as well.
Leadership at BARC Electric
Cooperative in the mountains of
Millboro, Va., is evaluating protection
devices for their substations. " We
anticipate a signifi cant reduction in
animal-related outages within the
co-opliving.com
substation environment, " says
BARC Chief Operations Offi cer
Chris Botulinski.
Like the squirrels they hunt, birds
of prey cause their share of power
outages. Ospreys, eagles, hawks, owls
and other raptors can come into contact
with power lines or other pieces of
energized equipment in a variety of
ways. Most commonly, their wider
wingspan is to blame. Nests built on
or near infrastructure can create
dangerous potential for electrocution.
Choptank Electric Cooperative,
located on the Eastern Shore of
Maryland, proactively constructs
nesting boxes at the tops of former
utility poles, parallel to power lines,
to attract ospreys and other large
birds away from enegized equipment.
Additionally, wildlife-protection
devices are installed to deter birds
and other animals from potentially
dangerous situations.
" Ospreys oſt en like to build their
nests on the cross arms of power poles, "
explains Carl Freeman, environmental
manager at SMECO. " Th is increases
the danger of electrocution and is
A wildlife-protection device in
Virginia's Northern Neck helps deter
squirrels, birds and other animals from
potentially dangerous portions of the
electrical infrastructure.
April 2024 * Cooperative Living * 25
hazardous to our electrical system. If
no eggs are present, we remove the nest
and install deterrence at the top of the
pole. We try to ensure the safety of the
osprey and the integrity of our system. "
" Northern Neck Electric
Cooperative has developed many
tactics for discouraging animal contacts
with the power system, " says Richard
McLendon, vice president of operations
for NNEC. " Th ese include diff erent
construction standards, animal guards
and other deterrents, avian-protection
plans and personnel training.
Wildlife-protection devices keep
the lights on, and they help protect
the wildlife that we all enjoy. "
CELEBRATING WILDLIFE
Th e Virginia Osprey Festival is
one of the largest festivals of its kind
celebrating the osprey's annual return
to the shores of Virginia. Th is year's
event takes place April 13 from 9 a.m.
to 4 p.m. at Town Hall in Colonial
Beach. Learn more and purchase your
tickets at virginiaospreyfoundation.org.
Maryland hosts its own osprey
festival the week prior, April 6, at
Drum Point Club in Lusby, on the
shores of the Chesapeake Bay. Visit
marylandospreyfestival.org for details.
Additionally, the Virginia
Department of Wildlife Resources
launched a new web-based app for
outdoor enthusiasts to discover and
explore the vast array of public lands
in Virginia. With over 1,000 wild places
to explore, " Explore the Wild " is the
ultimate online tool to fi nd the best
public lands in Virginia to view wildlife,
hike and more. For more information,
visit dwr.virginia.gov/explore.
*
PHOTO BY JIM ROBERTSON
http://www.virginiaospreyfoundation.org http://www.marylandospreyfestival.org http://dwr.virginia.gov/explore http://www.co-opliving.com

Cooperative Living April 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Cooperative Living April 2024

Cooperative Living April 2024 - 1
Cooperative Living April 2024 - 2
Cooperative Living April 2024 - 3
Cooperative Living April 2024 - 4
Cooperative Living April 2024 - 5
Cooperative Living April 2024 - 6
Cooperative Living April 2024 - 7
Cooperative Living April 2024 - 8
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