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E-M:/ Re: Utility tree trimming question

Enviro-Mich message from James Clift <jamesmec@voyager.net>

There is a lawsuit pending in Onekama against Consumers Energy regarding
the trimming of trees.  The issue is an interpretation of the statute
citing below that prohibits the cutting of shade and ornamental trees. 
There is also another law that makes it a criminal offense to remove
trees in a right-a-way without the permission of the "owner". 

I have also heard (but have not pulled the direct reference yet) to one
of the recommendations of the Land Use Leadership Council to place
utility infrastructure underground in cities.

Is anyone aware of:

1) The statute being used in other locations?

2) Local standards being adopted for when tree removal is appropriate
and when it is not. 


James Clift
Michigan Environmental Council

MCLA 247.185 Paramount rights of public; injury to trees and shrubs;
regulation of rights.

Sec. 15.  The construction and maintenance of all such telegraph,
telephone and power lines, cable television lines, pipe lines, wires,
cables, poles, conduits, sewers and like structures shall be subject to
the paramount right of the public to use such public places, roads,
bridges and waters, and shall not interfere with other public uses
thereof and nothing herein contained shall be construed to authorize any
telegraph, telephone, power, or other public utility company, cable
television company or municipality to cut, destroy, or in anywise injure
any tree or shrub planted within any highway right of way or along the
margin thereof, or purposely left there for shade or ornament or to
bridge across any of the waters of this state. Nor shall anything in
this section or sections 13 and 14 be construed to grant any rights
whatsoever to any public utilities or cable television companies
whatsoever, nor to impair anywise any existing rights granted in
accordance with the constitution or laws of this state, but shall be
construed as a regulation of the exercise of all such rights.

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