Cries for cutting down trees before another storm hit were heard far and near. The Greenwich Tree Conservancy grew concerned that, after the power outages of Hurricane Irene in August, 2011, and the Halloween Storm in October, 2011, there were constant calls for radical tree removals as the way to reduce power outages in the future. The GTC formulated the idea of sponsoring an educational forum to provide an assessment of the storm response and identify measures that would reduce the frequency and duration of outages and improve reliability of the power supply. Working with the League of Women Voters of Greenwich and other Fairfield County towns, as well as interested Fairfield county tree organizations, the idea came to fruition on the night of February 28th.
The forum featured a panel of five stakeholders; representatives included the chair of the Governor’s Two-Storm Panel, CL&P, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Connecticut Forest and Park Association and a representative from the Concord, Ma. Municipal Light Plant, a municipality that has buried many of their power wires underground.