Vegetation Management Program

Basin Electric has a vegetation management program to ensure the transmission of safe and reliable electrical power while minimizing adverse impacts on the environment. The Transmission System Maintenance Division (TSM) is responsible for the Transmission Vegetation Management Program that maintains approximately 2,505 line miles of electric transmission right of way, which are operated at voltages from 115 kV to 345kV.

Our vegetation management strategy

  • Non-compatible vegetation will be cleared from the right-of-way as per the easements granted.
  • Compatible vegetation that does not interfere with access, operation or maintenance of the line will be left undisturbed. The ultimate goal is to convert the right-of-way to low growing plants that keep tall growing vegetation out. Every effort will be made to preserve natural habitat whenever practical and possible. All pruning practices will follow modern guidelines and standards.
  • Herbicide application to prevent regrowth on right-of-way may be applied to control small brush for right-of-way access for operation and maintenance of power lines.

Vegetation planted within Basin Electric rights-of-way must not interfere with Basin Electric's access and/or maintenance requirements. If your tree planting plan includes area with the power line right-of-way, it must be pre-approved by Basin Electric right-of-way division, even if it is part of an NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) or other federal or state agency-sponsored conservation plan. Vegetation planted on Basin Electric power line rights-of-way must be approved by Basin Electric right-of-way division.

Basin Electric's annual work plan

  • Aerial patrol of all lines a minimum of three times per year to update and verify tree spans
  • Ground patrol all tree spans a minimum of two times per year
  • Remove or cut dangerous trees at time of ground patrol inspection
  • Identify other problem trees during ground inspection for remedial action and notify landowner of work plan
  • Document all activity on appropriate inspection and action forms
  • Report all vegetation related outages as soon as possible

National Electric Safety Code requirements

The National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) requires that vegetation does not interfere with workers maintaining, upgrading or repairing a line. NESC requires removal of any trees or other vegetation that is a hazard to the power system or that could become a hazard to the system. Other requirements include:

  • All transmission spans with non-compatible vegetation will be identified and listed for each transmission line;
  • Side trees outside of the right-of-way that would strike the line when falling will be removed or top trimmed at a 45 degree angle away from the line. Landowner notification will be sent before cutting trees outside of the right-of-way if allowed in the easement;
  • Right-of-way width to be maintained:
    • 115 kV = 100 feet
    • 230 kV = 125 feet
    • 345 kV = 150 feet

NESC required clearance

All vegetation heights will be maintained to comply with NESC required clearances. A right-of-way agent will contact you if vegatation needs to be removed on your property.



For questions or more information regarding the vegetation management plan or your right-of-way, call Basin Electric's right-of-way division at 701-223-0441.