County hopes to strike balance with PG&E over tree cutting

  • PG&E has cleared about 10 trees a year under high tension power lines at Safari West, but this past year they cleared 80 trees.

Sonoma County supervisors said Tuesday they hope to strike a "balanced approach" between power line safety and environmental protection under PG&E's major transmission line through the county.

"It's a no-brainer," board Chairman David Rabbitt said after listening to residents castigate the utility for clear-cutting under power lines, and others compliment it for decades of community service.

"Sometimes there's a little you have to give," Supervisor Efren Carrillo said, in order to "keep the lights on."

Supervisor Susan Gorin backed the environmental concerns. "We love our trees, let's just be really frank about this," she said.

And Supervisor Shirlee Zane said PG&E has a "grand opportunity" to respond to an "erosion of trust" by some of its customers.

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