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Trees & Utilities

Cincinnati, Ohio

Duke Energy Convention Center
September 10–12, 2019


2019 Conference Agenda

Tentative, subject to change

  Monday, Sep 9, 2019

  • 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Field Demonstration: Pollinator Habitat (Hands On Training) Presented by the Rights-of-Way as Habitat Working Group | Visit here or more information
  • 10:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Registration Open
  • 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Rights-of-Way as Habitat Working Group Meeting
    *additional registration required | View the agenda here.
  • 12:00 p.m. Asplundh/TREE Fund Golf Outing Register Here
    *additional registration required

  Tuesday, Sep 10, 2019

  • 7:00–8:00 a.m. Workshop Breakfast
  • 7:00 a.m–5:30 p.m. Registration Open
  • 8:00–11:30 a.m. Women in Vegetation Management Workshop
    *additional registration required
    Anne Marie Moran, National Grid | Josiane Bonneau, Wildlife Habitat Council
  • 8:00–11:30 a.m. Rights-of-Way as Habitat Working Group Meeting
    *additional registration required | View the agenda here.
  • 11:30 a.m. Exhibit Hall Opens
  • 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Boxed Lunch with Exhibitors included with conference registration
  • 1:00–2:00 p.m. Opening Ceremony: Row Steward/Treeline/ UAA Pine & Silver Shield Awards
    Join the leaders of the Utility Arborist Association and the Arbor Day Foundation to kick off the conference.
    Dan Lambe, Arbor Day Foundation President | Robert Richens, UAA President
  • 2:00–3:00 p.m. Duke Energy’s Renewables and Commercial Portfolio
    This presentation will provide an overview on Renewable market trends, emerging issues and the impact on the power system, specifically as they relate to Duke Energy’s renewable business.
    Chris Fallon, Duke Energy Renewables and Commercial Portfolio
  • 3:00–3:45 p.m. Break with Exhibitors
  • 4:00–5:00 p.m. Would You Watch Out for My Safety? Empowering People to Work Safe!
    Start the conference off with a fun and engaging magical message about the “why” and “how” of working safely and the benefits of bringing that same safety mindset home. John shares how to help take personal responsibility for your own safety and provides proven techniques to make people feel empowered to approach others in a safe and comfortable way, when conveying their safety concerns.
    John Drebinger, John Drebinger Presentations
  • 5:30 p.m. Exhibit Hall Closes
  • 5:30–7:30 p.m. Networking Reception at Hilton Netherland Plaza included with conference registration

  Wednesday, Sep 11, 2019

  • 7:00 a.m. Exhibit Hall Opens
  • 7:00–8:00 a.m. Breakfast with Exhibitors included with conference registration
  • 8:00–8:45 a.m. Climate Change Adaptation: Nature-Based Solutions for Resilient ROW Josiane Bonneau, Wildlife Habitat Council
  • 8:00–8:45 a.m. Weather/Storm Hardening Michael McCallan, NationalGrid
  • 8:50–9:35 a.m. Rethinking Specifications and Planning to Promote Habitat and Sustainable Vegetation
    This case study will feature innovative approaches OG&E is taking to promote habitat and sustainable vegetation management on their rights-of-way and other lands. Not all of the approaches began as “green efforts,” yet they are having positive, ancillary benefits on habitat and sustainable vegetation practices. A key element of the discussion will be how OG&E and partner vendors have unexpectedly become better positioned to advance stewardship despite focusing on other, key issues during contract revisions that were seemingly unrelated.
    Jarod Cassada, OG&E
  • 8:50–9:35 a.m. Modeling Tree Susceptibility to Windthrow in Electrical Transmission ROWs
    There are many potential causes of tree failure in a transmission ROW, ranging from individual tree health to regional conditions to weather events. When applied forces such as wind gusts or sustained wind events occur, even healthy trees are susceptible to uproot or overturn, potentially coming into contact with a transmission line. Formation’s high-resolution Weather Research & Forecasting (WRF) modeling framework quantifies characteristics of historical high wind events to identify trees within corridors that frequently experience high wind events or extreme events that are infrequent, but hazardous. This presentation will provide an overview of the wind modeling parameters, results of tree level analysis, and how the analysis results assist with prioritization of vegetation management activities along electric transmission corridors in high fire threat areas.
    Susan Jackson, Formation Environmental | Bob Bell, PG&E
  • 9:40–10:10 a.m. Cost Efficiency of IVM: Considering Costs and Benefits
    A series of projects established IVM as the least-costly and most beneficial ROW vegetation management strategy from a longer-term perspective of sustainability. Learn about the findings of a series of projects that lead to this conclusion.
    John Goodfellow, BioCompliance Consulting, Inc.
  • 9:40–10:10 a.m. Vegetation Outage Data: The ComEd Perspective
    Figures don't lie, but liars figure. How do you figure? Learn about the collection, interpretation and usage of outage history data and ComEd.
    Sean Redman, ComEd
  • 10:10–10:55 a.m. Break with Exhibitors
  • 10:55–11:40 a.m. Premiere Screening: The Pollinators  Followed by panel discussion with featured experts
    Utility rights of way are essential parts of the terrestrial ecosystems that sustain humans and the life around us. An important component of productive ecosystems is a diverse and abundant community of pollinators. Much has been written about honeybees, but we have ignored thousands of species of native bee, moth and butterfly pollinators in our landscapes. Join this session for the premier of UAA’s latest video “The Pollinators,” and hear from Dr. Doug Tallamy who will discuss the important ecological roles of these species and the plants required to support their populations in our landscapes. Q&A session will follow.
    Doug Tallamy, University of Delaware | Darrel Gaudet, AltaLink | Chris Staby, AltaLink | David Bayard, Seattle City Light
  • 10:55-11:40 a.m. Operational Cost: O&M
    FirstEnergy has recently enhanced its vegetation management practices to provide better service to customers by implementing forwarding thinking accounting practices to maximize operation maintenance and capital funds for vegetation management. This presentation will provide an overview of the program, examples of field implementation and the many benefits the approach has provided.
    Mark Contat, FirstEnergy
  • 11:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Regulatory Mechanisms for Promoting Habitat on ROWs
    This presentation will summarize Endangered Species Act tools to promote conservation of species of concern, such as pollinators, while also providing regulatory predictability for landowners. These tools include Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances, Safe Harbor Agreements, and Conference Reports. Specific examples will be provided.
    Lori H. Nordstrom, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecological Services
  • 11:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Partnerships for Success
    Vegetation managers are on the front lines of customer service, interacting often with customers and communities, but it’s not your only job. While tree distribution and planting programs can improve the image and performance of a utility, delivering those programs successfully may depend on internal and external partners—experts in marketing, funding, or event management. Find out how to engage these partners to help you implement a successful program—and make your life easier!
    Lead Presenter: Kristen Bousquet, Arbor Day Foundation (other participants TBD)
  • 12:15–1:45 p.m. UAA Lunch included with conference registration
  • 1:50–2:35 p.m. Integrated Habitat Management: Enhancing IVM Roy van Houten, Wetlands Studies and Solutions, Inc.
  • 1:50–2:35 p.m. Condition-Based Maintenance: Threat Mapping in the Transmission Right-Of-Way using Remote Sensing
    Learn about Duke Energy’s Transmission Vegetation Management program which is implementing remote sensing, optimization, machine learning and other technologies to transform the program into a data-driven, condition-based program.
    Jack Gardner, Duke Energy
  • 2:40–3:25 p.m. Panel: Pioneering Prescribed Burning and Grazing BMPs on ROW
    Prescribed burning and intensive rotational grazing practices are attracting more attention recently as viable best practices for ROW vegetation management. The newly updated ANSI A300 Integrated Vegetation Management Standard Part 7 now includes prescribed burning as a best management practice and a number of utilities have successfully implemented prescribed burns on their ROWs to enhance native prairie habitat. This presentation will cover lessons learned establishing native prairie landscapes through prescribed burning and utilizing grazing in areas where herbicides are limited or restricted, mowing practices are undesirable and hand clearing is too labor intensive.
    Christopher Johnson, The Davey Institute | Jason Grossman, Liberty Utilities | Sara Brown, ComEd | Eric Brown, Sacramento Municipal Utility District
  • 2:40–3:25 p.m. Bringing LiDAR technology in-house for Utility Vegetation Management - A case study on how Florida Power & Light Company is using LiDAR automation to reduce network threats
    Learn about the background and motivation behind bringing LiDAR capture for UVM in house 2. Discussion points will include the principle technology innovations, joint collaboration needed to achieve the necessary solution, how the data was integrated within the FPL workflows, project successes and key learning points.
    Dan Marsh, Florida Power & Light | Matt Churches, NM Group
  • 3:25–4:05 p.m. Break with Exhibitors
  • 4:05–5:00 p.m. Panel: Habitat Studies on Insect Pollinator on ROW
    Data suggests that in addition to variable native bee population dynamics with habitat quality and length of time following conversion after mowing, comparatively lower butterfly populations are encountered. An overview of plant and invertebrate analyses with corresponding tactics in integrated vegetation management in right's of ways (ROW's) across north America will be presented on in this session.
    Gabriel Karns, Ohio State University | Anand Persad, Davey Resource Institute
  • 4:05–5:00 p.m. Don’t Take Safety Too Serious!
    Effective safety training should be interactive, easily digestible, and presented in a way that directly relates to your team. While you are providing employees with a steady stream of training sessions, your safety culture isn’t changing, and your employees aren’t engaged in the process. The health and wellbeing are at the core of your safety training. Why then does safety training seem like such a painful experience for employees? This presentation will dissect the very real safety lessons found within several popular culture film scenes and provide a humorous slant to avoid complacency. This examination provides a safety training that is appealing to the audience and can engage even the most unenthusiastic worker’s mind about safety training.
    Keith Pancake, ACRT

  Thursday, Sep 12, 2019

  • 7:00 a.m. Exhibit Hall Opens
  • 7:00–8:00 a.m. Breakfast with Exhibitors included with conference registration
  • 8:00–8:20 a.m. Utility Impacts on Workforce Retention - Key Points from UVM Summit
    The Utility Vegetation Managers Summit held in May 2019 focused on the issue of workforce retention, the impact of utility actions, and ideas for improving recruitment and retention in the industry. This presentation will cover high level results from the UVM Summit vendor survey, key points discussed at the Vegetation Managers Summit, and UAA next steps.
    Sara Sankowich, Until | Emily Kramer, ComEd
  • 8:20–9:30 a.m. Work Force Retention Utility – Contractor Panel
    Join industry professionals for a collaborative conversation on contributing factors that influence the industry's labor shortage and the solutions that can be implemented to mitigate them. Learn how internal structure, contract strategy and cultural engagement contribute toward work-force retention which delivering results to the utility.
    Panel Facilitator: Will Nutter
    Panelists: Kelly Clapper, JAFLO Trees | Jordan Jozak, Tree Care of New York, LLC | Sara Dreiser, Davey Resource Group, Inc. | Alex Konopka, Portland General Electric
  • 9:30–10:15 a.m. Break with Exhibitors
  • 10:15–11:00 a.m. Professionalizing Utility VM Programs
    Learn about the the nuts and bolts of how VM Programs are currently implemented and why VM Programs as currently implemented are failing to achieve desired results is discussed. This presentation will make the case for a different mindset to VM and areas utilities should focus on to improve and professionalize their VM programs to achieve objectives.
    J. Michael O’Connor, Consumers Ed
  • 11:00–11:30 a.m. Sustainability Through Forestry in the Utility Industry
    Hear from industry leaders on how trees and forests can advance corporate goals for sustainability and social responsibility. Learn how key metrics and measures drive projects, including carbon offsets, employee engagement, and homeowner energy efficiency.
    Lead Presenter: Dan Lambe, President, Arbor Day Foundation | Other participants TBD
  • 11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Panel: ROW Vegetation as an Asset: Considerations for ESG Sustainability Indices
    This panel will discuss both challenges and opportunities to capitalize on developing interest to incorporate ROW vegetation as an environmental asset instead of a liability. Representatives from EEI, ComEd, FirstEnergy, and AEP will share their perspectives on this emerging topic.
    Panel Facilitator: Stan Vera Art
    Panelists: Rick Loughery, Edison Electric Institute | Rebecca Spach, First Energy | Tim Lohner, American Electric Power
  • 12:15–12:30 p.m. Closing Ceremony
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