Vegetation Management

Vegetation Management

Vegetation Management Terms

For an article on vegetation managment terms and their usage, follow the link: 

What are the Brushing Requirements?

Brushing is a safety concern as well as an economic and operational concern, therefore, minimum clearance distances must be maintained. Your local Rural Electrification Association (REA) owns the distribution system and when REAs first came into existence in the late ‘40s and ‘50s, the founding members did their own brush clearing to help make the cost of a new installation affordable to their new members. This tradition continues today.

Before the REA can construct the new power line to your farm, you must clear trees and brush a minimum of 6 meters from each side of the proposed power line. Trees should be cut to a flat stump less than 10 cm ( 4”) high. The right-of-way must be cleared and cleaned to allow construction equipment access. As an REA member, it is your responsibility to clear the right-of-way to the specifications of the REA and obtain any easements for clearing on lands other than your own. Brushing and handling of wood and debris on Crown Land must meet stringent requirements as set out by the Provincial Government. In all cases, you must make the necessary arrangements for brushing and disposal with all parties concerned.

Following the completion of your service installation, the REA is responsible maintaining the cleared right-of-way. The Electric Service Contract allows the REA to go onto the property to manage vegetation; however, in most cases the member is first notified.

The Utility Right-Of-Way gives the REA the right to carry out vegetation management programs, including the removal of trees and brush. The REA is responsible for all vegetation management on all the high voltage lines up to and including the transformer pole. The member is responsible for all vegetation management on his/her secondary low voltage lines.

The member also agrees not to plant any trees that are capable of encroaching on the safety clearance requirements within the right-of-way. If such trees are planted the REA shall have the right to remove them at the member’s expense. 

The Premise Behind Cooperation and Power Lines

REA power lines are constructed on private property. By joining the REA and signing an Electric Service Contract, the REA is granted easement to extend the power across the property stated on the contract to serve other members.  If the power line must cross property owned by others, then it is your responsibility to obtain the require easements from these landowners.

Most of the REAs in Alberta were built over 55 years ago and were a cooperative effort between neighbors and friends. A vital part of the development of the cooperative was each member agreed to an easement for the poles to cross their land so the next member who required power service could obtain electricity at a reasonable cost. This co-operative spirit has continued for more than 60 years.

Many members have power lines on their property; however, these members might not realize that in order for the electricity to reach them, an infrastructure of poles and wires had to be constructed and cross many others members’ properties prior to reach theirs.                                                            (source New Customer Service Booklet, AFREA)