S O U N D   O F F

April 26, 2008

Subject: Conversations on power towers and wildlife


I have a landowner who intends to take Pacific Gas & Electric to court because they want to place high powered tension towers on his property. He claims that the towers will harm the habitat. Has anyone else had any case like this before? Or, does anyone think there might be a case here at all?


If you go to the lta website and look at the following Exchange article at http://www.lta.org/publications/exchange_new/Exchange_26_02.pdf

You'll see in the text reference to a ". telemetry study showed that turbine blade strikes are the most frequent cause of eagle death, followed by electrocutions on utility lines.

These two factors account for more than one-half of the recorded deaths, and, overall."


Good morning all -

Thanks for the comments on condemnation everyone. This is one of the most widespread and complex conservation defense issues we see. For more on techniques for successfully addressing condemnation challenges to conserved land, see the last issue of Exchange (winter 2008) for an article and practical pointers. You can find this at the Alliance on-line site at The Learning Center. Log on thru www.lta.org. Or use this link http://www.lta.org/publications/exchange/winter2008.html
The Alliance has several other useful articles on condemnation if you search The Learning Center library.



The negative effects of power lines have been documented in numerous ways (raptor deaths, habitat fragmentation, accelerated spread of exotic species), 2 minutes on google scholar should give you a pretty good idea. However, none of this matters in the context of public benefit if the need for power lines can be shown by the power company to be of greater need than whatever the ecological values of the property are. Best thing to do is to start documenting the ecological values of the property, try to link them to other greater surrounding natural resources which may be caused harm (part of a watershed, adjacent to a wilderness area, park, or preserve, existence of rare and threatened species) then start pointing out alternative locations for the power lines. My recommendation is to look or old zoning maps our town planning maps which may indicate alternative routes for the power lines that were proposed in the past.

Winning a case like this, defense of habitat, means doing your homework.