Residents surprised when BPA shows up to cut down trees

Residents surprised when BPA shows up to cut down trees »Play Video
This is one of the tree stumps left after a crew sent by the Bonneville Power Administration cut down the tree to keep it from interfering with power lines.

BEAVERTON, Ore. – Neighbors near Southwest Cornelius Pass Road and TV Highway were surprised earlier this month when cutting crews showed up on their doorsteps, ready to tear down trees in their backyards.

The crews were sent by the Bonneville Power Administration to keep nearby major power lines safe from potentially dangerous trees.

Spokesman Doug Johnson said BPA is concerned about trees falling on lines or arcing lines igniting trees.

He said everyone along the lines was sent notice about the cutting.

"It's never our intention to show up unannounced. We make every effort to notify individuals that live along our rights of way or near our rights of way," Johnson said.

But Sarah Richmond told KATU News a few neighbors didn’t get any notice.

"They would get a knock on their door and there would be a gentleman standing there with a cutting crew behind him," Richmond said.

Johnson said BPA can’t guarantee the notices reach neighbors.

But he said he will work to address the concerns the neighbors have about notification.

"We've got to get the landowners that have concerns that [BPA] may not be aware of, connected," Johnson said, adding "As quickly as possible."

He also said BPA would work to help neighbors plant new, shorter vegetation to replace the trees BPA had to cut down.

BPA owns easements along the length of major power lines. Its easement rights let it get onto nearby private property to do anything it needs to maintain those lines – including removing vegetation.

This is one of the tree stumps left after a crew sent by the Bonneville Power Administration cut down the tree to keep it from interfering with power lines.