Public Service Commission requires a 2-for-1 replant of trees and shrubs

Apr 26, 2018

Public Service Commissioners: Brian Kroshus (i); chairman Randy Christmann; Julie Fedorchak.
Credit Dave Thompson

The North Dakota Public Service Commission has a requirement for tree and shrub replacement when a utility builds infrastructure.

It’s 2 to 1 – for every tree or shrub dug out, the company has to plant two.

When Basin Electric Power Cooperative built a high voltage power line in Mercer, Dunn, McKenzie and Williams Counties, it removed about 17,500 trees and shurbs.

Commissioner Julie Fedorchak saids that means the company had to plant nearly 35,000 trees and shrubs. She says the company worked with landowners along the route.

"But not all landowners want them," Fedorchak said.

Basin did end up planting about 11,000 trees and shrubs along the route.

"And then Basin had about 23,500 trees and shrubs they still needed to replace," Fedorchak said.

Basin worked with other counties. Stark County received 12,000 trees, and some other counties and cities in western North Dakota received the remainder.

"It all goes to the end of proper reclamation and restoration," Fedorchak said. "And it makes sure we're returning our state to a better situation than it was prior to the construction project."