Take Action: PGE Threatens to Cut Bald Eagle Nest Tree…Unless Owners Pay Big
PG&E is threatening to shut off power to a landowner unless they agree to let the company cut down a tree with a currently active bald eagle nest. Let them know that their bullying behavior is not welcome in our community.
PG&E’s “enhanced vegetation management program” is intended to reduce the wildfire risk associated with its operation of power lines across the state by logging trees adjacent to the power lines that the company deems a threat. This has generated widespread controversy, as the company has used its powers to log old-growth trees and other high-value habitat.
The bald eagle nest tree is located in the Potter Valley of Mendocino and is one of only four active bald eagle nest sites in the county. Bald eagles are currently nesting in the tree and likely to return to the nest site in the future. The tree that they are nesting in does have signs of beetle damage, yet a professional arborist has said that the tree is not in imminent risk of failure. Given the ecological importance of the site, the arborist has recommended that the tree be spared and alternatives to its removal fully examined.
PG&E won’t listen. Now the company has threatened to cut power to the property unless the owners are willing to sign off on the removal of this tree or pay an estimated $300,000 to underground the lines.
Is the tree actually a threat? Besides the arborist report that suggests it is not an imminent hazard to the lines, the property owner is installing a fire suppression system near the tree to fully mitigate risk. Given the ecological importance of the tree, it is appropriate to leave it standing while an alternative can be negotiated.
PG&E has stated that it intends to cut off power by early July and remove the tree by August 1, immediately after the close of nesting season. Act now to protect this special bald eagle nest site by taking action now.