The adaptability of Mother Nature is incredible. Sometimes wildlife can actually gain a habitat in the most unlikely places! I have to admit it took me a bit to get my mind around the benefit of preexisting power lines but while exploring Power line runs (the cleared forest areas along the power line “right of way” as it is called) I have been finding fantastic meadow habitats. Now this is not true in all powerline locations as it depends on how the area is kept, but when they are allowed to form a wild meadow it creates a fantastic habitat for all sorts of wild species… All the great migrating species from Monarchs to Bluebirds can benefit from the vast wildflowers pollinating in the area… (Borderless North)
While Fraser’s savvy pursuit of nature walks and wildlife habitats is inspiring, he’s not pollyannaish about power lines. “In a perfect world,” he explains in the video, “I would much rather have unbroken wilderness.” But he’s quick to remind us that our world does include power lines, so we might as well appreciate them for their lush, diverse ecosystems they create.
Fraser recommends better coordination between wildlife habitat enthusiasts and power companies to ensure that chemicals are not used to maintain the power line clearings which could prove devastating to many species now thriving in the power line ecosystems. In addition, he suggests that concentrating clearing and foliage cutting during the autumn months, minimizing the impact on resident and migratory species more densely populating these artificial meadow corridors or “green highways” during spring and fall.
In short, despite the drawbacks of clearing power line corridors through pristine wildlife habitat, Fraser reminds us that existing clearings and our continued reliance on the infrastructure that necessitates these clearings has a silver lining that should be appreciated.