Cooperative Energy is the only Tree Line USA® utility in Mississippi
HATTIESBURG, MISS. – The Mississippi Forestry Commission recently designated Cooperative Energy as a Tree Line USA® utility for 2021. The designation reflects Cooperative Energy’s commitment to implement best practices in caring for trees along its rights-of-way. Cooperative Energy’s right-of-way team demonstrates how trees and utilities can co-exist for the benefit of communities, citizens, and the Cooperative’s consumer-members. Cooperative Energy is currently the only utility in Mississippi with this status.
“This recognition is another building block in our foundation of using environmentally-sound principles in what we do. This is just one more validation of our dedication to doing the right thing,” Wes Graham, transmission field biologist, said.
Tree Line USA® is a national program of the Arbor Day Foundation. Utilities must meet five program criteria to earn the designation: provide quality tree care, administer annual worker training, conduct tree planting and public education, facilitate a tree-based energy conservation program, and host an Arbor Day celebration.
Cooperative Energy’s right-of-way team maintains approximately 28,000 acres of rights-of-way across the state using integrated vegetation management techniques that control growth through environmentally-sound and cost-effective control methods. Graham and fellow team members Tommy Garrard, Brad Morris, and William Murphy, work diligently to balance the Cooperative’s needs as a utility with their commitment to the environment.
“Trees which are properly planted and maintained result in lower line clearance costs, improved rights-of-way management, lower peak energy demand, and increased reliability of service. This aligns with our mission to provide our 11 Member systems and their 432,000 consumer-members with reliable and affordable energy in a safe and environmentally-responsible manner,” Jeff Bowman, president and CEO, said.
About Cooperative Energy
Cooperative Energy generates and transmits electricity to 11 Member-owned electric distribution cooperatives. Known as the Power of 12, Cooperative Energy and its Member cooperatives work together to provide, safe, reliable, and affordable power from the Mississippi Delta to the Coast. The 11 electric cooperatives own and maintain more than 57,000 miles of distribution lines and provide service to approximately 432,000 home and businesses throughout 55 counties.
Mississippi Forestry Commission representatives Misty Booth and Meacham Harlow present Cooperative Energy’s right-of-way team with a plaque honoring their recent designation as a Tree Line USA® utility. Pictured left to right: Wes Graham, Cooperative Energy; Misty Booth, Mississippi Forestry Commission; Meacham Harlow, Mississippi Forestry Commission; Tommy Garrard, Cooperative Energy; William Murphy, Cooperative Energy; and Brad Morris, Cooperative Energy.