MDC and Ameren launch WOW program to improve wildlife habitat

ST. LOUIS, Mo -- In partnership with Ameren Missouri, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has created a new program to preserve and enhance wildlife habitat on land underneath Ameren transmission lines. Called Wires Over Wildlife (WOW), the new program encourages property owners to manage land for wildlife habitat where Ameren easements are located under transmission lines. MDC staff will provide technical counsel and Ameren will reimburse property owners to help reduce costs of land maintenance. Habitat work will focus on restoration of natural wildlife communities that occur, or could be established, under power lines on transmission easements. The program is scheduled to begin this spring.

“Wires Over Wildlife is one of many ways MDC works with and for Missourians to sustain healthy forests, fish and wildlife,” said MDC Director Bob Ziehmer. “By partnering with Ameren, and ultimately Missouri landowners, we can add valuable wildlife habitat on private lands while reducing costs associated with vegetation maintenance under these transmission lines. Everyone wins with Wires Over Wildlife.”

Ameren Missouri also has a long history of wildlife protection and enhancement.

“We help build eagle nesting boxes, improve song bird habitat, install swan diverters and assist in a banding program for peregrine falcons,” said Ameren Senior Vice President of Customer Operations Richard Mark. “Wires Over Wildlife is another great program that supports natural resource conservation. We are committed to being good stewards of the environment, and Wires Over Wildlife is another example of this dedication.”

Property owners whose land may be eligible for the program should contact their local MDC office or Private Lands Conservationist for more information. Visit mdc.mo.gov and search “Who’s My Local Contact” for MDC contact information by county.

Ameren Missouri, along with MDC and other organizations, also supports Forest ReLeaf of Missouri. Forest ReLeaf provides trees for planting by non-profits and communities.