PG&E Protects the Big Sur Condors

Wednesday, Aug 17, 2011  |  Updated 10:40 AM PDT
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PG&E Protects the Big Sur Condors

Getty Images/David McNew

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. crews have begun burying power lines in Big Sur to help protect the endangered California condor.  Condors have the largest wingspan of any North American bird - up to 9 feet - and tend to come in contact with the lines during flight.

Dozens of wooden power poles and about 13,000 feet of overhead utility lines are being taken down over a three-mile stretch of land on the south side of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

 The $4.2 million project is expected to be completed by December.

 Ventana Wildlife Society Executive Director Kelly Sorenson tells the San Jose Mercury News the Big Sur power lines are responsible for the deaths of three condors since 2001.

"Any level of mortality from a single cause like this is a cause for great concern," Kelly Sorenson, with the non-profit group that has released condors in Big Sur since 1997 told the paper.

PG&E made the point that it was not required to remove the line by a federal agency or a court.

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