Landowners left in charge of maintenance

Dear Editor

Aha! SaskPower (the elephant) has acknowledged the noisy mouse in the room (that would be me).

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The director who wrote, on behalf of SaskPower, a letter which appeared in the June 3 News-Optimist apparently does not realize that not only were trees destroyed, but here anyway, the ground was roughly tilled.

What is the landowner to do now that SaskPower has left the maintenance of the corridor to the landowner?

Previously, an agricultural machine could be driven in a straight line along the trees. Now, to keep weeds down, the land will have to be worked in a serpentine effect. When the operator reaches the apex of each serpentine loop, he will be on someone else’s land. (Has the director ever driven any of the modern machines?)

Does he say to the other landowner, “I say! Do you mind if I drive on your land?”

“Oh, go ahead, everyone else does: quad runners, power tobogganers, hunters, the oil business, SaskPower. I don’t really own the land. I just pay the taxes.”

And then, west of where I live, there are huge guide wires slanting into the ground. Whenever native species are removed, foreign weeds rush in (sounds allegorical). Machinery must be kept away from these wires. Will SaskPower come to spray the weeds? Not likely. If a landowner sprays the weeds, will SaskPower pay the bill? Not likely. Will SaskPower send me a birthday card. Not likely.

This venture has created another headache for landowners, each and every one of whom believed the trees would be trimmed every six to eight years.

Perhaps the best thing to do with this new bare, roughed up land would be to finish working it down and let local cattle owners know a deal could be made about seeding it to hay.

Up to this point, after many years since the giant line was marched across our farmland to serve a foreign-owned company, we have never heard of poplar trees causing a hazard along the line. They are not inclined to get very tall.

Oh, we enjoy our electricity to be sure and I have always had respect for men who maintain the lines. However, the men behind the desks have often been more arrogant and rude, and certainly ignorant about farming practices, or the costs involved.

Remember, we did not ask for these giant lines, but we are the ones who have to put up with them and put up with the fact that SaskPower seems to think public relations is not necessary when dealing with farmers.

Christine Pike

Waseca

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