Vegetation Management

Clearing Right-of-Way is critical to keeping our members’ lights on. Right-of-Way (ROW) refers to a strip of land underneath or around power lines that electric utilities have the right and responsibility to keep clear.

In 2016, Stearns Electric hired ACRT, an independent utility vegetation management company, to assess the Cooperative’s ROW maintenance program. ACRT used mathematical algorithms to analyze over 2,600 miles of power lines and provided a precise analysis of the ROW needs for our distribution system. After taking the study results into consideration, Stearns Electric hired ACRT and Carr’s Tree Service in 2017 to begin work on a four-year ROW tree and brush clearing project to help reduce potential power outages and energy hazards. ACRT marks the problem trees and Carr’s Tree Service, a subsidiary of Stearns Electric Association, clears the ROW.

In 2020, the first four-year cycle was completed. Since 2016, we have seen a 62.4% decrease in tree-related outages for members. In 2021, we hired a full-time arborist to continue maintaining the Cooperative’s ROW.

For more information on the ROW program, please contact us at (800) 962-0655 or email our arborist.