By - Jon Brown

Integrated Right of Way (ROW) Vegetation Management
February 25-26, 2021 | Online :: Central Time

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Many items impact the reliability of a utility system and vegetation is typically one of the largest.  Our industry often discusses best management practices, new technologies and tools available to improve our vegetation management programs, but we rarely can get together in the same room to discuss solutions. By focusing on a systematic approach to right of way integrated vegetation management, this program will focus on sharing advanced solutions that have worked for complex problems in vegetation management facing utilities in the United States. 

The goal of this course is to look at how specific challenges impact reliability and how utilities can reduce that impact, specifically the role of utilities in environmental stewardship along the right of ways (ROW) .  Right of way (ROW) Vegetation Management will identify how to improve utilities outage response, project planning and forecasting, and overall environmental protection based on regional and seasonal changes.

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss how technology and data analytics are changing Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) and Utility Vegetation Management (UVM) standards
  • Demonstrate how IVM and sustainability go hand in hand
  • Explain techniques to manage ROWs in eco-sensitive areas
  • Explain pollinator health and identify the challenges
  • Explain the benefits associated with an ecosystem – based approach to IVM
  • Explain the value and necessity of environmental stewardship in the ROW
  • Examine the positive and negative effects of herbicides in ROW
  • Identify and explain FERC Standards in IVM



EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.0 CEUs for this event.


Requirements for a Successful Completion of Program

Participants must login each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the course to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Instructional Methods

This program will use PowerPoint presentations and group discussions, as well as active participation.


Thursday, February 25, 2021 : Central Time

8:30 – 9:00 a.m. :: Welcome and Login

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. :: Course Timing

12:00 – 12:30 p.m. :: Lunch Break

Integrated Vegetation Management Best Practices

Vegetation Management:

  • Why is vegetation management needed?
  • History of VM (mowing, hot spotting, reactive management)
  • Consequences of failed management (2003 blackout)
  • Resultant regs (NERC, FERC, FAC-003, etc.)

Best Management Practices (BMPs):

  • General practices and methods
  • International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)
  • Best Management Practices – Integrated Vegetation Management, Second Edition (2014) by Randell H. Miller
  • Case Studies: New Jersey species tables, Gas TX BMPs, Elec TX BMPs, Highway BMPs, RRX BMPs

Methods of Managing Vegetation:

  • Use of tools and manual work i.e. chainsaws and mowing
  • Herbicides
    • How are they different from Pesticides?
    • Labels
    • SDS sheets
  • Benefits and consequences of each method

Integrate Vegetation Management on Electric Transmission Right Of Ways

Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM):

  • Definition
  • Evolution
  • Broad examples and case studies
  • Benefits of IVM including
    • Selective management
    • Adaptability
    • Cost effectiveness
    • Wildlife habitat benefits
  • Endorsement of proper herbicide usage

Wire Zone / Border Zone Management:

  • Site
  • Voltage

Lunch Break

Integrated Vegetation Management and Wildlife Habitats:

Case Study:: Bramble and Byrnes / Gamelands:

USFWS “Managing Utility ROWs for Wildlife Habitat”

Integrated Vegetation Management for Habitat Creation:

  • Pollinators
  • Turtles dependent on open habitat
  • Topping and girdling trees for bat species
  • Stump resprouts for snake cover
  • Golden Wing Warbler shrub habitat management
  • Invasive Species Management
  • Rare plant paradox
  • IVM for human uses – trails, farm, garden, wildlife observation, etc.

Additional Basic Plant and Animal Identification

  • Useful tree ID tips
  • Examples of botanical survey methods
  • Basic bird id tips (size, flight patterns, etc.)
  • Vernal pool biology

Friday, February 26, 2021 : Central Time

8:50 – 9:00 a.m. :: Welcome and Login

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. :: Course Timing

Limitations of Integrated Vegetation Management: What is holding back wider adoption?

Education Needed:

  • For utility managers
  • For property owners
  • For regulators

General Threatened and Endangered (T&E) Species Guidelines:

  • Work windows,
  • Landscape data mapping for species occurrences,
  • IPAC mapping for federal species
  • Work windows and work prescriptions timelines
  • “The more limitations on a landscape, the more eloquent the design”.

Case Study:: Sensitive Areas for Herbicide Usage:

  • New Jersey Pine Lands

Future of Integrated Vegetation Management

Data Collection and Usage

  • Drones and Lidar
  • Sustainability
  • Forecasting and Planning


Steve Letkowski, New Jersey Licensed Tree Expert #589

Steve Letkowski is an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist and Utility Specialist, working in the utility industry for over 10 years under New Jersey Tree Expert license #589. Mr. Letkowski received his Master of Science degree in Forest Pathology and Mycology from the State University of New York College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry. Steve has over 25 years of experience with vegetation work and “green” work. Mr. Letkowski is currently focusing on expanding and strengthening wildflower ID expertise and improving birding skills, as he continues to work as an Environmental Supervisor of Vegetation Management. In his spare time, Steve is a husband, father, dog lover, beekeeper, shiitake mushroom grower and amateur quail farmer – he learned many things not to do!

Mr. Letkowski believes that the best part about his work is getting paid to hike and identify trees and shrubs.

Online Delivery

We will be using Microsoft Teams to facilitate your participation in the upcoming event. You do not need to have an existing Teams account in order to participate in the broadcast – the course will play in your browser and you will have the option of using a microphone to speak with the room and ask questions, or type any questions in via the chat window and our on-site representative will relay your question to the instructor.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: After November 30 you will not be able to join a Teams meeting using Internet Explorer 11. Microsoft recommends downloading and installing the Teams app if possible. You may also use the Edge browser or Chrome.
  • You will receive a meeting invitation will include a link to join the meeting.
  • Separate meeting invitations will be sent for the morning and afternoon sessions of the course.
    • You will need to join the appropriate meeting at the appropriate time.
  • If you are using a microphone, please ensure that it is muted until such time as you need to ask a question.
  • The remote meeting connection will be open approximately 30 minutes before the start of the course. We encourage you to connect as early as possible in case you experience any unforeseen problems.


Please Note: This event is being conducted entirely online. All attendees will connect and attend from their computer, one connection per purchase. For details please see our FAQ

If you are unable to attend at the scheduled date and time, we make recordings available to all registrants for three business days after the event

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