From the desk of the president:

The Utility Arborist Association (UAA) contacted Transmission & Distribution World to see if both organizations could collaborate on a special supplement on vegetation management. By covering this topic in greater detail in a special section, we thought we could give the topic justice. The editors of T&D World supported the idea wholeheartedly.

The UAA is an international organization with more than 1500 members, including a broad spectrum of vegetation managers, vendors, consultants and academia. The UAA's mission is to provide leadership through education, research, training and networking.

Although the UAA has its own quarterly newsletter that reaches the UAA membership, it does not reach a wide audience throughout the utility industry. Therefore, in essence, we were preaching to the choir. We wanted to get our message out to the entire T&D community, so that vegetation management would receive the same attention and resources as T&D operations, facilities maintenance and construction. To do this, we realized we needed to shape our message to reach a broader audience of decision makers.

The staff of T&D World has been covering vegetation management for decades, but the editors decided it was time to crank up the coverage on this topic, particularly now that major tree-initiated blackouts have been experienced around the globe. With the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) looking at recommended standards and practices, the timing couldn't be better.

We're proud of the results of this collaborative effort of UAA contributors and T&D World editors to bring you the first of two special sections on utility vegetation management that will run in 2005.

With highest regards,
Lynn Grayson
Utility Arborist Association

About the Utility Arborist Association

Pruning and removing trees near power lines and managing vegetation on rights-of-way requires a great deal of training, knowledge and skill. The Utility Arborist Association has the resources to help. The UAA works to ensure the highest level of quality in utility arboriculture through leadership, education, research, training and networking. UAA members include tree workers, ground crews, herbicide applicators, foresters, arborists, equipment and herbicide suppliers, engineers, landscape architects, university educators, regulators and interested individuals. These are the professionals who actively ensure or support the efforts to maintain safe, reliable electric service to customers.

UAA membership is open to anyone who has an interest in enhancing the quality of utility arboriculture. Members network at UAA meetings and training workshops, and keep up on innovations as reported in the UAA Quarterly. UAA is an aggressive industry advocate responding to inquiries from regulators, federal and state agencies, municipalities, media and individuals on behalf of the mutual interests of the vegetation management community.

We encourage you to become involved with the UAA and share your voice on utility arboriculture and vegetation management.

For more information on the UAA, visit www.utilityarborist.org or contact Executive Director Derek Vannice at 217-355-9411 or dvannice@isa-arbor.com.