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Sonoma County homeowners up in arms over proposed PGE clearcutting.

Here in Sonoma County, California, a group of concerned property owners has come together to fight the proposed clear cutting of trees along a more than 30 mile stretch from The Geysers, through scenic Sonoma County to Sear’s Point by Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E). This proposed new policy is “needlessly aggressive” and has the potential to impact both public and private lands…the scenic and environmental quality of Sonoma County, and potentially impact home values.  Tune in at 9:30am today 1350am KSRO (www.KSRO.com) …and, for more information attend the next public meeting.

When vegetation grows too close to these power lines there are significant health and safety issues. For many years PG&E’s policy has been to trim the tops from trees and other vegetation that came within a specified distance of the power lines. They now plan to clear all vegetation under the power lines. This will kill thousands of trees and create a terrible scar many miles long upon the land.

PG&E is responsible to maintain electricity service in a way that is safe and protects the public from power line failures and mishaps. We recognize and support this duty. However, the new clear cut policy is deeply flawed. It is needlessly aggressive and has a number of unintended consequences, including:

  • Loss of thousands of trees, many of which will never impact the power lines.
  • Loss of habitat, which may include significant impacts on endangered or protected species.
  • Erosion from impacts of clear cutting directly over streams and headwater areas (see video on this page).
  • Fire danger from tree refuse left behind (they do not clean up the felled trees and vegetation).
  • Damage to water habitats impacting fish and other wildlife, through silting and stream degradation.
  • Severe impact on the viewshed and scenic qualities of miles of Sonoma County.
  • Devaluation of home and property values.

This new policy has the potential to impact both public and private lands. It is in direct opposition to existing policies for protection of open space and scenic corridors. It appears to have been adopted with no regard for environmental impact studies and Sonoma County vegetation regulations.

Our goal is simple, reasonable, and reflects the values of the people of Sonoma County
We are committed to ensuring that PG&E immediately cease all indiscriminate clear cutting along the power line easement, and return to a regularly scheduled, ongoing maintenance program of selective pruning and topping of only those trees and plants that pose a hazard; and that they do so with adequate, transparent, and accurate notification of landowners.

For more information; http://www.sos-trees.org


“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

 

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