Promoting sustainable resource management principles and practices along rights-of-way

Join the Right-of-Way Stewardship Council at Trees & Utilities from September 12-14

Join the Right-of-Way Stewardship Council at Trees & Utilities from September 12-14

Panel Presentation to address “Becoming a ROW Steward Utility”


(Mpls, MN) -  The 2023 Trees & Utilities Conference is the chief learning and engagement event in the world for utility vegetation managers and associated urban forestry professionals.  Join members of the Right-of-Way Stewardship Council and representatives of accredited ROW Steward Utilities in Pittsburgh, PA this fall. The 2023 Trees & Utilities Conference runs from September 12–14, and is the premier event to learn about new tree management research and see all the new technology available for the field.

On Weds, September 13th at 3:00pm, the agenda includes a panel presentation addressing “Becoming a Right-of-Way Steward Utility”.  The session is led by Phil Chen, Strategic Solutions Lead at Overstory, and a member of the ROW Stewardship Council.   The panel will include presentations and discussions with accredited ROW Steward Utilities and address the process, benefits, and opportunities associated with the ROWSC program.  Panelists will include:

- Andrew Rable, APS

- Jeff Disorda, VELCO

- Eric Brown, SMUD

- Hans Straight, First Energy

- Darrell Gaudet, Altalink

The ROWSC has established management standards based on ten principles and 35 criteria points that codify integrated vegetation management (IVM) and emphasize ESG performance,” said Chen. “To date, seven utilities managing a combined 45,000 miles of transmission right-of-way across the U.S. and Canada have achieved this accreditation and can speak to the value and benefit of the program for their operations and stakeholders.”

Accredited ROW Steward Utilities will be recognized on the afternoon of September 12th along with other industry related awards and certificates. 

The ten principles of the ROWSC standard address compliance with laws, standards, and BMPs; tenure and use rights and responsibilities; community relations; management planning; understanding pest and ecosystem dynamics; establishing tolerance levels; compilation of an array of vegetation maintenance techniques; accounting for economic and ecological effects of treatments; site-specific implementation of treatments; and monitoring and adaptive management.

The ROW Steward Technical Requirements provide the Accreditation Standards for Assessing IVM Excellence. The document establishes the technical requirements for applicants seeking ROW Steward accreditation of IVM practices on electric transmission and pipeline rights of way.  It is used in an independent audit of an applicant’s integrated vegetation management program.  It is intended to aid in identifying excellence. This document has been developed with the direct participation of the electric transmission, natural gas, and liquid petroleum pipeline industries.  The document is also based on input from subject matter experts, and a diverse group of stakeholders including environmental non-governmental organizations, academia, and the public. 

With approximately 500 million trees running adjacent and under electric distribution and transmission lines, utility vegetation managers play a vital role in maintaining both urban and traditional forests. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to network with and learn from industry experts at the premier learning and engagement event in the world for utility vegetation managers. Join your colleagues for this year’s Trees & Utilities event to identify new ideas, practices, and partnerships.

More information is available at:

Right-of-Way Stewardship Council

The Right-of-Way Stewardship Council (ROWSC) is an accreditation program that has established standards for responsible right-of-way vegetation management along corridors. The program promotes the application of Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) and best management practices to utility vegetation managers in order to maintain power system reliability and address ecological concerns.

Recent posts