Being good stewards of the environment means SMUD cares for the land, air, water, and wildlife in our community. We protect these resources while we perform our operations and meet our customers' demand for electric service. Below are some of the ways we carry out this responsibility.
Keeping birds out of SMUD’s electrical equipment – and avoiding power outages caused by birds – has been an ongoing effort by SMUD since the 1980s. You can help us – and our feathered friends – by calling SMUD’s Avian Protection hotline at 916-732-6966 to report outages caused by birds, or report birds that are building nests on utility poles or substations. SMUD’s cost-effective strategies for keeping birds out of the electrical equipment are featured in our Avian Protection Plan.
SMUD has established a 1,132-acre SMUD Nature Preserve at our Rancho Seco property in southeastern Sacramento County. The preserve provides long-term protection of the wetlands for protected animals such as fairy and tadpole shrimp and the California tiger salamander. The preserve offsets the biological impacts of SMUD’s power generation operations. A part of the preserve, the Howard Ranch Trail, is open to the public.
Habitat Conservation Plan
SMUD is currently developing an Operations and Maintenance Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) to protect sensitive habitat for threatened or endangered plants and animals while meeting the energy needs of our customers. The 30-year plan, which should be put into effect in 2013, will cover almost all of SMUD’s routine operations and maintenance as well as minor new construction.
Invasive Mussel Protection
Quagga and zebra mussels are harmful, invasive mollusks that have been recently discovered in California waters. If they spread, they could cause significant environmental and economic challenges. Although the risk to SMUD’s reservoirs, canals, water pipes, and water cooling systems is low to moderate, SMUD has adopted a plan to watch for these mussels and educate the public. You can read the plan. (Zebra mussel plan 2010)