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Contact: Cyndy Holda, 252-473-2111, ext. 148
Superintendent Mike Murray announced today that as a result of discussions between representatives of the National Park Service (NPS), Dominion Power, the Town of Nags Head, and concerned residents of South Nags Head, a revised plan of action will be implemented, effective immediately, for the clearing of vegetation under the powerline corridor on park property.
Officials from all entities met to discuss the recent clearing of the powerline corridor west of private property along the NPS boundary. The vegetation maintenance is being performed to help ensure the safety and reliability of Dominion’s 115 kV Transmission line on Bodie Island, provide service access to the right of way, and provide a partial fire break for the NPS. A number of residents voiced concerns with the appearance of the project, the lack of advance notice, the loss of vegetative screening, and the close proximity of vegetation clearing to their property line. A moratorium on further work was put into effect two weeks ago until officials discussed the project.
As a result of those discussions, representatives from the NPS and Dominion agreed to a revised action plan that includes the following:
In those areas effected by the moratorium, Dominion will remove all woody vegetation up to 15 feet east of the right of way centerline, leaving approximately 5-10 feet of vegetative screening along the boundary for area neighbors.
- Beginning this week, Dominion will identify and selectively remove tall growing tree species, such as willow, maple, and sweet gum occurring within the vegetative screening.
- Woody vegetation will be removed along the western side of the right of way for an additional 10 feet thereby increasing the western right of way from 20 to 30 feet.
- Dominion Power will rehabilitate portions of the right of way as directed by NPS personnel.
This action plan is in effect only for this project. The existing easement is being amended to allow Dominion to remove and maintain all woody vegetation to the National Park Service boundary line during future maintenance cycles. In the future, property owners will be notified in advance of such cyclical maintenance and vegetation clearing by “door hanger” notices and press releases.
Deputy Superintendent Darrell Echols said, “I appreciate the suggestions, comments, and assistance received from private property owners, and the Town of Nags Head and its Town Manager. We hope that residents and park neighbors who expressed strong opinions regarding the vegetation screening of the transmission right of way will now have time to plant appropriate vegetation on their property to protect their view.” Due to increased threats of brush fire, and for the safety of residents and protection of private property adjacent to the NPS boundary, the NPS will continue the powerline maintenance cycle with Dominion in South Nags Head with the objective of removing all woody vegetation between the power line and the park boundary.
Echols also noted that NPS and Dominion will continue to explore alternative techniques to keep the right of way free of brush and reducing the amount of disturbance in the area, including the appropriate use of herbicides and new technology or methods.
For more information, please contact the park at 252-473-2111 ext. 148.