A story in the Roanoke Times on September 28, 2017, tells us that both the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipelines want to start clearing trees from their proposed construction rights-of-way in mid-November 2017. They need to suspend tree clearing after March 31 to comply with federal conservation guidelines tied to potential impacts on the Indiana bat, a federally endangered species, and the northern long-eared bat, a threatened species. Also, restricting tree clearing to the period from mid-November to the end of March protects some species of migratory birds that nest during other months of the year.
If there is a delay, the chainsaws and other clearing equipment might have to wait until November 2018 to start work. Both proposed pipelines plan to clear all vegetation from a temporary construction right-of-way that would be 125 feet wide in most terrain. The permanently treeless rights-of-way would be 50 feet in most places.