Sherburne WMA Right-of-Way Gets Facelift
The National Wild Turkey Federation's Louisiana State Chapter restored two miles of utility right of way (ROW) on Sherburne Wildlife Management Area by partnering with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries (LDWF) and the Entergy Corporation.
The 22-acre ROW running through the WMA near Krotz Springs, La., had become entangled with growth that was worthless to wildlife. The $9,000 project paid for by the NWTF, Entergy, Baton Rouge Tree Service and Chem Spray South planted the ROW in grasses and forbs that offer food for wildlife.
LDWF wildlife biologist Tony Vidrine said that this was the start of a project to improve wild turkey brood and nest habitat, offer winter and summer food supplies for wildlife and enhance hunting opportunities.
"With continued funding from Entergy, NWTF and the other partners, we will expand this project across a bayou and eventually cover all of the ROW in Sherburne," Vidrine said. NWTF biologist Luke Lewis said: "Utility ROWs run all over the country. It is just smart that we use this land, which is normally wasted, to help wildlife by reclaiming it from weeds and shrubs that typically infest ROWs and sow it with plant species that offer food to wild turkeys and other species of wildlife."
Donavan Guilbeau of Entergy said that it was a success for all involved. Entergy, NWTF and the other partners paid to restore the ROW, and LDWF will maintain it as wildlife habitat.
"This investment helps wildlife and saves Entergy money at the same time," Guileau said. "We can keep the lights on without having to fight the brush and provide good habitat at the same time."
The NWTF's conservation program called Energy for Wildlife is a membership based certification program for all energy companies. The primary goal of this program is enhancing wildlife habitat on company managed, owned or influenced lands, including power line and gas rights-of-ways, plant sites, forestlands or other properties.
Energy for Wildlife was created in response to the utility industry's need for assistance in managing the millions of acres of rights-of-way and other land that could potentially provide ideal habitat for a number of wildlife species.
Managing openings can provide beneficial habitat for many plant and wildlife species, including wild turkeys.
For more information about the NWTF, call 1-800-THE-NWTF.