Mississippi Power has earned a solid reputation for meeting and often exceeding environmental compliance regulations. Compliance for the transmission and natural gas line clearing and construction for the Kemper project is no different.
“We needed to replant in the right of way clearing and we made the opportunity a stewardship initiative,” said Patricia Berry, Mississippi Power environmental specialist. “Rather than reseeding any mix of grass, the company established a partnership to reseed grass that would offer long-term environmental benefit to the area.”
Mississippi Power Forestry Specialist Bryan Kellar reached out to the National Wildlife Turkey Federation, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and Natural Resources Conservation Service to determine the ideal seed mix to create a thriving habitat to draw wildlife and non-wildlife to the area.
“This unique seed mix will draw various species of birds as well as turkey and deer,” explained Kellar. “The seeds are all native to Mississippi and will be a great source of nourishment for several species.”
A warm season grass mix—a combination of Legume, Flowering and Structure type grasses—that once matured will provide excellent hiding and nesting structure for wildlife and pollination for bees and butterflies.
The restoration effort will support a healthy habitat for most birds including song bird, dove and quail.
“Mississippi Power’s decision to restore Native Warm Season Grass mix will provide one of the most beneficial and natural sources of herbaceous ground habitat and have tremendous benefits to many private landowners in eastern Mississippi,” said Luke Lewis, wildlife biologist, National Wildlife Turkey Federation. “This landscape restoration will benefit wildlife species ranging from butterflies to wild turkey and white-tail deer.”
“The option to insert grasses, forbs and legume plant species this spring in addition to fall nurse crop planting of wheat, oats and clover will provide optimum nesting and brood habitat that favors wild turkeys, Bob-white quail, southeastern grassland birds and pollinators such as the Monarch Butterfly. Working with biologists from the NWTF, USDA, NRCS and MDWF&P, Mississippi Power continues to show their corporate commitment to conservation on this newly installed right of way and commitment to consult with their environmental partners from state agencies, non-governmental organization’s and private landowners.”
Mississippi Power completed the final seeding in November and grass is successfully maturing. The company will continue to use the mix along the construction rights of way for the remaining treated effluent pipeline and the CO2 pipeline.