Thursday, February 08, 2018

Duke Energy wants to cut down our trees

About the time our fencing project winds down and we are doing the final stretch of field fencing plus tweaking a few things, we receive a certified letter from Duke Energy.

The letter says they have decided they need to remove all trees 20 feet BEYOND their already clear 25 feet right of way. This will, in our way back area, newly fenced and cleaned out by us, mean losing about half of our tulip poplars and a few other gorgeous, healthy, old growth trees. It will also decimate the privacy screen left by the timber crew who cut the Hundred Acre Wood.

When I opened and read the letter, I immediately called the name listed and asked for an in-person meeting to look at our property and clarify exactly what they wanted to cut. The young man who arrived was courteous and professional, did zero measurements, just eye-balled things and told us what they plan to do.

We have contacted several attorneys.

These trees are homes to squirrels, birds, and a host of beneficial insects. Tulip poplars are the PRIMARY FOOD for native and honey bees in our area in the spring. My bees will arrive in May, and half their food supply is slated to be cut down in six weeks.

My one inspiration is a man in Raleigh, John Kane, Jr., who has a willow tree that Duke Energy wants to cut down. He took Duke to court and won, and although Duke has counter-sued, the willow tree is still standing.

Are we up for this? I will do my best. The sad fact is that Duke Energy plans to go down this power cut for miles and miles and miles taking 20 more feet on either side. Most of the large native trees in this region are tulip poplar and red maple and both are critical forage for bees. I am beyond appalled at Duke’s total disregard for the environment.

Their reason for doing this? “In case a hurricane comes through.”

In my mind you repair any damage done if and when the hurricane comes. You don’t go in and decimate trees on the private property of citizens to save yourself some money in the event of extreme weather.

If anyone has tips, experience, or finds information pertaining to fighting a power company and winning, please leave it in the comments.


Grey Horse Matters said...

That's a shame. These large companies have no regard for the environment or how their actions will ruin it. I hope you have luck fighting them, although it is probably a monumental task and they have more money than the average citizen. Maybe you can get all of your neighbors on board to sign a petition and stand with you concerning this company. Let the local newspapers know what's going on and write an article for them to publish. Good luck.

billie said...

It’s awful - good idea about the local paper. I have let my beekeeping group know, as this is going to effect everyone’s bees and what they have to feed on in the early and mid-spring. The tulip poplars and red maples are critical to the bees getting early forage and moving into late spring healthy and strong.

Sadly there are only 3 neighbors this will impact - though the power cut goes on for many many miles so it will impact huge numbers of property owners in our county. I am hoping when we get an attorney on board I can refer folks to him/her so they can add their names if they want to.

Matthew said...

I think all this tree slaughter needs an environmental impact statement and a net CO2 emissions projection.


billie said...

I think the trees need their own lobbyist.

I shared this info and an action plan with the beekeeping group in our county and a number of folks are also likely to be impacted. I need to update the blog to say that I now have an action plan in process based on the advice of a very savvy environmental attorney. So we shall see.