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11/23/2022 08:00 AM

A Good Decision

I live next to River Road in Madison. Two weeks ago, a neighbor informed me that Eversource was planning to remove more than 300 trees in a 1.1-mile stretch of Mill and River Roads. Although Town officials had known about this plan since August, they did not inform the public. Instead, I learned about the project by starting a conversation with Eversource employees standing on River Road. The employees told me that, because power lines along Mill and River Roads connected to other lines, Mill and River Roads required an expanded hazard zone. Even healthy trees would be removed since they could be future threats. In addition, to secure resident acceptance, Eversource offered to remove healthy trees on private property well away from the lines if residents agreed.

Obviously, trees threatening power lines must be removed. But, while the Town cannot prohibit tree removal on private property, it has acted to protect healthy trees in the Town-controlled zone along Mill and River Roads. At a Nov. 7 Board of Selectmen meeting, Madison's Tree Warden reported that 57 of the 77 trees Eversource had tagged for removal in the Town-controlled zone should remain while 12 should be posted for public comment - a stunning difference from Eversource's assessment.

We need our trees. Healthy trees reduce heat and pollution; foster bird, animal, and insect habitats; and preserve the beauty of neighborhoods. Eversource customers throughout Connecticut will pay for this wasteful tree removal through higher utility bills. Madison officials have made a good decision.

Cynthia Horan