Avian Protection Planning

Flatwoods has extensive experience in work related to the preparation of Avian Protection Plans (APP) designed to reduce avian interactions with transmission and distribution lines, substations, and plant facilities. Our APPs help conserve avian wildlife, reduce client costs associated with avian-related power outages, and maintain client compliance with applicable permits and legal requirements. We are uniquely qualified for APPs based on our depth of technical knowledge and our close working relationship with the utility industry and clear understanding of the challenges faced with avian interactions. We have experience designing multi-species plans covering many miles of transmission lines or facilities encompassing a large geographical area as well as plans focused on a single species listed by federal agencies for a specific action.  Our general goals for each plan are to 1) become fully integrated with the client in order to understand the extent of the issue, 2) provide a cost-effective and flexible solution for our clients, 3) ensure the plan can be readily implemented, and 4) obtain the necessary agency concurrence. 

We understand the cost involved in APP implementation (e.g., retrofitting structures and facilities) because we fully implement the plans we prepare. We believe there are three principle key elements to a sound and defensible APP. These elements are 1) an accurate and scientifically defensible risk assessment, 2) implementation of avian safe design techniques documented by Edison Electric Institute’s Avian Power Line Interaction Committee (APLIC), and 3) innovative protective measures that include proactive mitigation for high risk species.

We have provided the following APP services to our clients:

  • GIS and field based avian risk assessment of the project area 

  • Avian habitat suitability model

  • Avian-safe construction standards and retrofitting techniques 

  • Online reporting system for avian interactions 

  • Nest management procedures and company standards to address utility-caused avian injuries/mortalities

  • Employee training program for avian-related issues

  • Cost-effective phasing schedule for plan implementation based on risk assessment results

  • Avian guide to assist employees identify birds

  • Annual monitoring and reporting system to ensure compliance with the APP

  • Prepare and obtain agency approval of the APP