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05/04/2011

Indiana Electric Co-op Expands Partnership with NWTF

Powerful Partnership for Indiana's Raptors


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Soaring eagles, screeching owls, and gliding hawks frequent South Central Indiana Rural Electric Membership Cooperative's service areas and are thrilling to watch.

However, the raptors' tendency to nest and hunt near power lines and energized equipment may place them in danger of electrocution. To decrease this threat, South Central Indiana REMC launched a new Raptor Enrichment Program.

Through a partnership with the Energy for Wildlife program, South Central Indiana REMC will provide nesting platforms, boxes and perches for some of the most common raptor species in their service area. These species include eastern screech, great horned, barred and barn owls; northern (Hen) harrier; bald eagles; and American kestrel, Cooper's, red-tailed and red-shouldered hawks.

The National Wild Turkey Federation's Energy for Wildlife program helps companies in the utility industry manage millions of miles of rights of way and other properties that may provide ideal habitat for a variety of wildlife species.

"Hawks and owls require very high perches, nesting platforms and boxes, which are difficult for many property owners to provide," said Larry Terrell, manager of the Vegetation Management Department for South Central Indiana REMC."But by making pro-active decisions and using our resources to install artificial habitat that meets their needs, we can protect these raptors for future wildlife-watchers to enjoy."

South Central Indiana REMC was the first cooperative and the second utility in the nation to start an Energy for Wildlife program certified through the National Wild Turkey Federation.

South Central Indiana REMC earned the inaugural Energy for Wildlife Achievement Award in 2006 for their work to improve wildlife habitat. The cooperative has installed 312 blue bird boxes, 66 bat boxes and 79 wildlife food plots, and has literally spread tons of a grass seed/clover mixture in its power line rights of ways each year.

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