Bad move, PG&E

The tree-cutting could have waited

It’s hard to understand why Pacific Gas & Electric Co. would saw down four of the heritage trees outside the Oroville Cemetery on Monday in the face of such opposition from the community, including protesters watching vigil over the more than 100-year-old sycamores and elms. Talk about a poor public relations move.

After all, just two days later, a hearing was scheduled at Butte County Superior Court in Chico to address both PG&E’s request for an injunction to keep protesters away from the trees and the protesters’ request to halt work pending environmental review. The judge sided with PG&E, so work can now move forward. With only 13 of 242 trees left to fell, cutting down those trees ahead of the hearing makes PG&E look like a bully. Its haste in the matter only made the members of Save Oroville Trees more angry, and rightfully so.

PG&E’s Pipeline Pathways project moves next to Paradise, before heading to the Midway south of Chico. The CN&R will be watching, and we hope our readers will join us. We must ensure that the decision to cut down heritage trees is not rushed—as it seems to have been in Oroville—and that alternatives are considered.