Earth Day Webinar to Highlight FE’s Environmental Commitment

April 15, 2021

FirstEnergy’s commitment to establishing habitats where butterflies, bees and other pollinators can flourish will be among the subjects of an Earth Day webinar on April 21.

“I plan to discuss how FirstEnergy and the electric utility industry are making positive environmental contributions in the communities and habitats they serve,” said Becky Spach, director of Vegetation Management.

Becky Spach

Becky’s presentation is part of a virtual Earth Day seminar hosted by The Ohio State University. The session –  entitled Take Flight! – is intended to provide tangible resources for participants, including how public and private landowners can plan landscapes that appeal to butterflies and other pollinators.

Other seminar speakers include professional etymologists, a best-selling nature author and the owner of a large-scale butterfly farm.

Becky points out that the webinar topic is relevant and timely. In December 2020, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported that listing the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act would be justified through the species status assessment, though it has not been listed at this time.

“This emphasizes the need for all stakeholders to work together to boost voluntary efforts aimed at improving the monarch’s habitat and address threats to their population,” Becky said. “As more areas across the United States are developed, the electric utility industry is positioned to create habitats along transmission corridors that benefit a new generation of pollinators.”

FirstEnergy is a leader in employing integrated vegetation management practices to promote and protect pollinators along our approximately 24,500 miles of transmission lines.

“Pollinators like monarch butterflies thrive in the open areas along transmission rights-of-way because they can find food, nectar and cover to nest that is unavailable in the deep woods,” Becky said.. “By replacing incompatible vegetation that could contact power lines with low-growing shrubs and wildflowers, we are establishing habitats where pollinators can flourish – all while keeping the lights on for customers.

The webinar is free. Those interested can register through the event page* on Ohio State’s website.

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