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 Source

Since 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.

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 have 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 significantly delayed part of our land stewardship goals and plans, and the current best option is in progress, despite it being a huge effort and expense, without moving the line as far upriver as we had hoped for.

The main complications proved to be obtaining the required power line easements across the properties on each of the top-choice path options. All property owners of the land where the new routing will go must agree to allow an easement for PG&E to install and maintain 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 or unreachable landowner on the route to make any particular route plan impossible.

Power Line Rerouting: Trying to Consider All Options Almost every potential route ended up having one or more fatal obstacles. So, it looks like plan 4b is the winning ticket!

Not all land owners on our proposed routes are reachable and/or 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 almost every proposed plan. However, each obstacle we have overcome has brought the project closer to getting completed.

Drone view of Mother Source Area, with Power and Phone Lines in Foreground

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 drastically simplifies the rerouting challenges we face. But even that strategic move could not guarantee a way to get the power line routed to the best place to cross the river, which is 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 proven to be impossible.

So, it was decided that the best remaining option is to instead move the problematic power line only slightly upriver, where the wires, cables, and poles will still be an eyesore on one of the most beautiful sections of the mighty river. This has been a frustrating and time-consuming effort, resulting in only a small but significant improvement. We still feel that it would be a significant-enough improvement to do this- for spiritual, aesthetic, and energetic reasons, in addition to the protection of the hot springs, the fragile hydrogeology, and the promise of generating green energy from some of the hot water.

Plan “4b” is to move the invasive power line slightly upriver to finally rid the hot springs area of these dangerous plight. This detailed plan was started by the late great Skip Towne in 2011, and will soon be accomplished more than a decade later…
Never give up hope and best intentions!

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A POSITIVE VISION! We hope and believe that we will indeed continue working with PG&E and finally relocate the power lines that currently cross the river at the sacred and unique Mother Source Lah-la-pis-mah Hot Spring. This will protect the unique resources at the site and help 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 a sad symbol of the untold vast human impacts on countless pristine and wild places.

THANK YOU: We have huge gratitude for the community effort, prayers, and contributions to help pay for this significant (and expensive) effort to free the Mother Source area of the poorly-placed section of “the grid”. Despite all the obstacles, expenses, and the highly limited options available, we refused to give up, and after several attempts, we are making it happen. Soon, the alignment and cooperation of the PG&E bureaucracy, PG&E engineers, PG&E line crews, our power-line-sharing neighbors , and BBHSP will successfully collaborate to bring this goal to fruition! Thanks for keeping this project in your prayers.

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