Three New Council Members Bring Environmental, Utility, and Consulting Expertise
(Mpls, MN) The Right-of-Way Stewardship Council (ROWSC) is pleased to welcome three new members to the Council. Council members represent a range of stakeholder interests and areas of expertise including industry, government, academia, and environmental NGOs. Council members are responsible for the strategic guidance and oversight of the ROWSC as well as final authority for all accreditations.
The three new members of the ROWSC are John Steelman, Amy Murray, and Phil Chen.
John Steelman, Program Analyst, Grow With Trees:
John holds degrees in forestry and environmental sciences; served for six years with the U.S. Forest Service as a timber cruiser and sawyer; for three years in Ethiopia with the Peace Corps working in food security and disaster risk reduction; and for the past five years has provided integrated vegetation management consultation for electric and gas utilities.
Amy N. Murray, Business Developer, Davey Resource Group:
Amy holds an MS in Forest Ecology from North Carolina State University, and is an ISA certified arborist - utility specialist, TRAQ, and Certified Utility Safety Professional. Amy served on the Utility Arborist Association Board of Directors, chairs the UAA Outreach Committee and serves on the Board of the Virginia Urban Forest Council. Her utility VM experience includes field transmission forester, corporate program leadership and subject matter expert, and line clearance contractor operations director. Amy’s current industry roles are Mid-Atlantic UVM and Sustainability Business Development for Davey Resource Group.
Phil Chen, Manager of Research and Development, CNUC
Phil has served as CNUC’s manager of R&D for over three years. His primary focus has been working on utility program reviews, transmission R/W projects, and various environmental/ecological projects. He has been instrumental in the development of our Utility Vegetation Management Industry Survey in cooperation with UWSP. He also serves as chair of the UAA Environmental Stewardship Taskforce. He also has extensive knowledge in technology and UVM laws and regulations. He is an ISA Certified Arborist, Utility Specialist and has the ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification. He has extensive experience in various GIS technologies. He has 8 years of experience in the industry and three years of research experience prior to joining CNUC. In addition, he has published multiple articles and given multiple presentations to various industry organizations. He has a BS in Forestry with Ecosystem Management Option from Iowa State University.
The ROWSC has established standards for preserving and maintaining transmission system rights‑of‑way. To meet the technical requirements, utilities must implement Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM), which balances the control of incompatible species with favoring desirable low‑growing shrubs and grasses that don’t obstruct transmission lines or utility access. By populating transmission corridors with compatible species, utilities can reduce the need to control those incompatible species and the associated impacts and costs. Utilities must apply to the ROWSC to start the accreditation process. As part of the process, the ROWSC performs a field audit and assessment, comparing all aspects of a utility’s IVM program to the principles and criteria set forth in the latest standards.