AEP ensures proper vegetation removal along Smith Mountain Lake and Leesville Lake
BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) – Appalachian Power is educating residents along Smith Mountain Lake and Lake Leesville on proper tips for clearing vegetation along the shorelines.
“Appalachian Power is responsible for managing more than 600 miles of shoreline at the Smith Mountain Project to keep the lakes healthy and clean,” said Neil Holthouser of the Appalachian Shoreline Management Group. “But we don’t do it alone, we rely on the owners of the lakes to do their part in maintaining their shores. As more and more lakefront properties are developed over time, we want to ensure property owners understand the value of shoreline vegetation and are aware of the permitting process for vegetation removal. .
The power company says vegetation is important to help “filter runoff, protect against erosion, maintain lake water quality, and provide habitat for wildlife.”
However, residents will need an Appalachian Vegetation Removal Permit – which allows residents to remove vegetation that is 1/2 inch or larger. The permit allows residents to remove vegetation for the following reasons:
- Provide a reasonable view of the water
- Build access paths to shore and/or wharf or jetty
- Construct erosion control measures along the shoreline
- General maintenance of the vegetated area.
AEP states that if there are dead or dying trees, contact them immediately. They will then work with residents on ways to eliminate the threat.
“It’s best to keep mature, healthy native vegetation where possible,” Holthouser said. “Where existing vegetation is removed, replacement vegetation is often required to maintain buffer zone function. We encourage landowners to contact us early in their planning process so that we can work with them to achieve a balanced landscaping.
If you have a question about vegetation removal or the permit application process, call 540-985-2579 or you can email Shoreline Management here.