Power Line Relocation

One of the most important parts of the BBHSP restoration work is our bold plan to remove the offensive power and phone lines and poles (including supporting guy wires, bracing, and electromagnetic emissions) that currently cross the river directly over the main hot spring, known as the “Mother Source.”  The Madesi called this place Lah-la-pis-mah.  We are currently working on complex plans to re-route the lines and finally clear the sacred site of these eyesores (and symbols of insensitivity and disrespecting sacred places) once and for all.

Power Lines at SourceSince they were installed decades ago (perhaps in the 1950s?), electric and telephone lines cross the River Ahjoomah directly over the main Lah-la-pis-mah Hot Spring (also known as the “Mother Source”).  BBHSP is currently working with PG&E engineers on very complex and expensive plans to re-route these lines and poles to cross the river further upstream, far away from the sacred hot springs.  This is part of the cleaning up and healing of the land that has been a priority for BBHSP.

BBHSP Power Line Relocation Map

Update on Power Line Relocation Project:

After years of researching and considering various strategies to find a way to bring these power lines across the river in a different location, we learned that this goal is much more complex than imagined, and of course, way more expensive than one would think. WE WILL NOT GIVE UP, but moving the power lines has turned out to be a more involved and a more delayed part of our land stewardship goals and plans, and it looks like the best option will be a huge effort and expense, without as much improvement as we had hoped for.

That’s because of the complications of getting power line easements across the properties on each of the top-choice path options. What that means is that to reroute the lines, all property owners of the land where the new routing will go must agree to allow an easement for PG&E to install the new poles and lines. For some property owners, this is no problem and they are fine with signing an easement agreement with PG&E for such proposed rerouting, but all it takes is one disagreeable landowner on the route to make the plan impossible.

Power Line Rerouting: Trying to Consider All Options

Unfortunately, not all land owners on our proposed routes are willing to allow any new easements for a new power line. This is understandable, because some residents have had very difficult experiences dealing with PG&E in the past, and therefore refuse to allow any new lines across their land. This has made it necessary for BBHSP to consider all kinds of indirect and less-than-ideal ways to reroute the offending lines, and we have faced unforeseen obstacles with each new proposed plan.

BBHSP even purchased a 60-acre parcel from the much despised mega-corporation clearcut criminals (California’s largest non-government landowner), Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI), which will drastically simplify the rerouting challenges we face. But even that strategic move can not guarantee a way to get the power line routed to the best place to cross the river: the Big Bend Road bridge by the Pit Stop Store, where several power lines and poles already exist and cross the river. That dream has apparently proven to be impossible.

Almost every potential route ended up having one or more fatal obstacles.

So, it’s looking like our only option is to instead move the offensive power line only slightly upriver, where the wires, cables, and poles will still be an eyesore, highly visible on one of the most beautiful sections of the mighty river. This has been a frustrating and time-consuming effort, resulting in only a very small potential improvement. But we still feel that it would be a significant-enough improvement (for spiritual, aesthetic, and energetic reasons) to do this.

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A POSITIVE VISION! We hope and believe that some day, when we can raise the right amount of funding, we will indeed remove the power lines that currently cross the river at the sacred and unique Mother Source Lah-la-pis-mah Hot Spring. This will hopefully help in the healing process that the land and humanity so desperately need, even though the lines will still cross the river on BBHSP property and be an ugly symbol of the untold vast human impacts on countless pristine and wild places.

Some day, we hope to have a community effort and grant fund-raising project to help pay for this small but significant (and expensive) effort to free the Mother Source area of the poorly-placed piece of “the grid”. Let’s make it happen! We refuse to give up, despite all the obstacles, expenses, and the highly limited options available. Thanks for keeping this goal in your prayers!

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