Yadkin Project (FERC No. 2197)
Invasive Exotic Plant Species
Final Study Plan
Alcoa Power Generating Inc.
(APGI) is the licensee for the Yadkin Hydroelectric Project.
The Yadkin Project is currently licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission (FERC) as Project No. 2197. This
license expires in 2008 and APGI must file a new license application with FERC
on or before
The Yadkin Project consists
of four reservoirs, dams, and powerhouses (High Rock, Tuckertown,
As part of the relicensing process, APGI prepared and distributed, in
September 2002, an Initial Consultation Document (ICD), which provides a general
overview of the Project. Agencies,
municipalities, non-governmental organizations and members of the public were
given an opportunity to review the ICD and identify information and studies that
are needed to address relicensing issues.
To further assist in the identification of issues and data/study needs,
APGI has formed several Issue Advisory Groups (IAGs) to advise APGI on resource
issues throughout the relicensing process. IAGs
will also have the opportunity to review and comment on Draft Study Plans.
This Draft Study Plan has been developed in response to comments on the
ICD and through discussions with the Wetlands, Wildlife and Botanical IAG, to
provide additional necessary information for consideration in the relicensing
The presence of
invasive exotic plant pest (IEPP) species in the Project area and their
potential impacts on natural terrestrial and aquatic plant communities is of
concern to natural resource agencies. The
focus of this study will be on areas of concern including Uwharrie National
Forest (UNF), Morrow Mountain State Park and Shoreline Management Plan (SMP)
Conservation Zones (including islands), and on areas with impact potential on
Narrows Reservoir and Falls Reservoir. This
study will also evaluate the current status of known aquatic IEPPs including Brazilian
elodea and Hydrilla.
The following issues were
raised during initial consultation regarding IEPP species at the Yadkin Project:
The presence of IEPP
species in the Project area and their potential impacts on natural terrestrial
and aquatic plant communities in areas of concern.
On March 13, and
Identify potential impact
areas within the Project area and inventory for presence of IEPP species.
Evaluate the current
status of known aquatic IEPPs i.e., Brazilian elodea and Hydrilla.
Evaluate potential impacts
of IEPPs on natural communities in areas of concern.
The focus of IEPP
identification and survey efforts will be in areas with the greatest impact
potential including Tuckertown Reservoir, Narrows Reservoir (east arm), Narrows
Dam/Powerhouse and Falls Reservoir.
The focus of the potential
impacts analysis will be on areas where IEPPs have the potential to be of most
Develop a list of priority
species (approximately twelve) in consultation with the IAG and appropriate
natural resource agencies based on considerations such as threat significance
and known occurrence in areas of concern on Yadkin Project lands.
Prepare a plan and
schedule for conducting the IEPP species survey.
Identify and place on a
map areas with impact potential.
Conduct a field survey for
IEPP species in areas of concern and in areas with impact potential.
The extent of invasiveness will be qualitatively assessed based on
abundance and vigor of the IEPP population at a given occurrence location.
Photos will be taken at each location to document occurrence and extent
relative level of threat to native species and communities at occurrence
locations and surrounding environs based on proximity of the IEPPs and extent of
invasiveness. Photos will be taken
to document impacts occurring to native plant populations.
Visit locations where Brazilian
elodea and Hydrilla have been observed in order to note substrate,
depth and other information on habitat characteristics.
Evaluate the potential for spread of these aquatic species.
Conduct a reconnaissance
level survey at likely locations based on habitat requirements along the
shorelines of Tuckertown Reservoir, Narrows Reservoir and Falls Reservoir by
boat. High Rock Reservoir will be
surveyed during other project related field work.
Locations of occurrences of Brazilian elodea and Hydrilla
will be determined using GPS and mapped.
Identify appropriate IEPP
management/control measures, if necessary.
A draft study report will be prepared that will include the
§ Review of existing information on invasive species in the Project area.
§ Discussion of the process used to develop the list of priority invasives including consultation with the IAG and natural resource agencies; description of the field survey plan and the criteria used to identify areas with impact potential.
§ Documentation of the field reconnaissance, weather and field conditions, etc.
§ Table of priority invasives, their extent of invasiveness and relative threat levels.
§ Discussion of results of IEPP species search, extent of invasiveness, relative level of threat to native species, potential for spread.
Discussion of any management/control measures that may be
The draft report will be
distributed to the IAG for review and comment, the comments addressed, and a
final report prepared.
Review existing information.
§ Develop list of priority IEPP species.
§ Prepare plan and schedule for survey, select field survey locations.
§ Conduct field searches for priority IEPP species.
§ Assess extent of invasiveness and relative threat levels, evaluate potential for spread.
§ Draft report
§ Final report