SAN FRANCISCO, March 6, 2002 — The National Arbor Day Foundation honored Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s green thumb at their convention in Nebraska City, Nebraska, on February 6, 2002.
This award marks the eighth year in a row the utility has received the group’s prestigious Tree Line USA Award. Only a handful of utilities have earned the award eight or more times.
The award is an acknowledgement of the utility’s stewardship of urban forests, tree-trimming practices, arboreal worker training and extensive public education programs. The Tree Line USA award is presented to select utilities annually by the foundation, in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters.
“To receive this award eight years in a row speaks volumes about Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s excellent vegetation management practices,” said Gordon Smith, President and CEO of Pacific Gas and Electric Company. “The many employees and contractors that protect and enhance urban forests are an integral part of providing safe and reliable electric service.”
Trees and utility service lines are integral components of every community. By necessity, they must co-exist in close proximity, and each in its own way is essential to our high standard of living. The Tree Line USA program promotes the dual goals of dependable utility service and abundant, healthy trees in America’s communities.
“We are very proud to receive this award which recognizes our commitment to provide safe and reliable electric service and to promote healthy urban greenery through vegetation management excellence,” said Stephen Tankersley, manager of the utility’s vegetation management program.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company clears brush and trims or removes more than two million trees every year along 18,000 miles of transmission lines and more than 90,000 miles of distribution lines. State fire safety law also requires the utility to keep “vegetation-free” the bases of 600 transmission towers and 120,000 distribution poles.
In addition to its field work, the utility’s vegetation management staff participates in arboreal community events, periodically provides trees and native plants to schools for planting, offers public education and guides for the safe planting of trees and shrubs (especially near power lines) and promotes the use of the International Society or Arboriculture recommended method of directional tree trimming.
The company’s 70,000-square-mile service area stretches from Oregon to nearly Santa Barbara, and from the Pacific Ocean into the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
The non-profit National Day Foundation was founded in 1972 to foster the planting of trees, and national and international environmental stewardship. It has nearly one million members in the United States and maintains a rain forest rescue project, education programs for children, and environmental awards programs honoring achievements by individuals, businesses such as Pacific Gas and Electric Company, and communities that support their urban forests. Last year, it distributed nearly nine million trees for planting.
For more information about the National Arbor Day Foundation, please visit its web site at www.arborday.com .