What is an Avian Protection Plan?
An Avian Protection Plan is a utility-specific program designed to reduce the operational and avian risks that result from avian interactions with electric utility facilities. Although each utility’s APP will be different, the overall goal of any APP should be to reduce avian mortality. In 2005, APLIC and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service jointly released Avian Protection Plan Guidelines. The APP Guidelines provide a framework along with principles and examples to aid utilities in their development of an APP. Although not all APP elements may be included in every APP because of the specific circumstances of a utility or geographical area, they represent an overview of elements that should be considered for inclusion in an APP. An APP should be a “living document” that is evaluated and modified over time to improve its effectiveness. The following are components that may be included in an APP:
- Corporate Policy identifying the company’s commitment to work cooperatively towards the protection of migratory birds.
- Training for all appropriate utility personnel on company Avian Protection Plan policies and procedures.
- Permits, both federal and state, that may be required for nest management, carcass possession, etc.
- Construction Design Standards for avian protection that meet or exceed APLIC recommendations.
- Nest Management procedures for nests that may pose fire or safety risks, as well as methods for installing nest platforms.
- Avian Reporting System to track bird mortalities, remedial actions, and nest management.
- Risk Assessment Methodology to aid in the identification of avian mortality risk areas.
- Mortality Reduction Measures that can be implement to minimize bird electrocution and collision risks.
- Avian Enhancement Options to benefit bird populations or habitat.
- Quality Control methods to monitor and improve APP effectiveness and efficiency.
- Public Awareness efforts to educate the public about avian/power line issues and solutions.
- Key Resources, both internal and external, that are integral to successful APP implementation.