Managing roads, rivers and powerline servitudes as biodiversity corridors through the landscape
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National and Provincial road verges are managed to promote road safety and conserve biodiversity. In most cases the management is carried out by contractors and funded by the Extended Public Works Programme. In some cases, over zealous management or poor training appears to be damaging roadside vegetation and promoting weeds without necessarily improving road safety. Similarly, the clearing of vegetation below power lines can cause damage to vegetation or soil or result in introduction and establishment of invasive alien plant species. A related issue is the clearing of invasive alien plants from river corridors to conserve indigenous vegetation and improve river flow and water yield. However, depending on the density and nature of the alien vegetation and the clearing method, such management sometimes results in erosion that defeats the clearing objectives. The roads and rivers workshop in June 2006 brought together road safety managers, conservation managers and other interested parties to develop "best practice" guidelines acceptable to all parties.