Rocky Mountain Power halted tree trimming efforts along the Iowa String Road just long enough to check out the dozen or more bald eagles who had taken up temporary residence in a stand of old cottonwood trees just past 8000 N.
Robert Vanderhoof, forester with RMP, said a thorough study of the trees determined that no nests were present, as eagles seldom nest in Utah. The birds, he said, were “just passing through,” on their annual migration.
He added that a few of the branches required trimming as a protection for the eagles themselves, as trees are good conductors of electricity and any branches touching the power lines could be a hazard to the federally protected birds.
Trimming crews picked the late morning hours to work, as most of the birds had left for the day. Vanderhoof said the branches nearest the line were cut back to a distance of about 12 feet, and the eagles will likely return and not be affected at all.
The forester added that the condition of the aged trees was in question and would be put on RMP’s hazard list, meaning that about half of them would needed to come down soon to avoid them falling onto the nearby power lines.
“It’s a matter of public safety,” he said.