The pipeline also cuts through Mountain Lakes, Herrontown Woods and other natural areas. Though a matrix of woodland and field can provide more diverse habitat for plants and wildlife, a linear swath cut through forest has the unfortunate effect of providing access into the forest for catbirds, which lay their eggs in other bird species' nests and therefore reduce the survival chances of bird species that need deep forest habitat.
The usefulness of these herbaceous right of ways, which are mowed annually, for grassland birds is limited. My understanding is that many grassland bird species shy away from meadows that have trees close by, where predators like hawks can perch and survey the ground. Even the fields at Tusculum, between Mountain Lakes and Cherry Hill Road, may not be large enough for some of the grassland birds.
Since the pressure to build and expand right of ways, for electrical transmission as well as pipelines, is going to increase over time, it would make sense to manage them for native grassland, so at least they would provide a haven for herbaceous species that get shaded out elsewhere. It's a matter of making sure the plant lists used for revegetating these right of ways is the right mix of native species, and also providing early intervention to prevent highly invasive exotic species from getting established and spreading. Getting these concerns on the list of priorities for industry, and government regulators, is a challenge.