Don’t blame woodpeckers for damage to PUD power poles

The Snohomish County Public Utility Districts knows that there are lots of insects that love to eat trees. Many trees in natural habitat provide housing and a food source for flickers, woodpeckers and and sap suckers (“Woodpeckers blamed for $1.5M in utility pole damage near Lake Stevens,” The Herald, May 31).

These birds were here because the natural habitat of Western Washington was originally well forested. When locals clear cut a half acre of all trees, they displace the birds and insects. This is the fault of urban growth in Snohomish County for greed. The trees that provided the natural insects and nesting areas until colonial growth began the process of deforestation which continues today harming these species of woodpeckers and many other birds.

The poles used by PUD provide a supply of insects, no longer available to birds as urban sprawl removes acres of natural habitat. From 2001 to 2023 Washington lost a massive amount of tree cover equal to 22 percent of the available residual cover in 2001. The loss of habitat requires birds, especially woodpeckers to take what is available.

In a sense they are squatters, but were here before we were. We cut down their homes and food source. It is bad enough we have lost 22 percent of our carbon absorption as well now costing ourselves millions to replace what used to be above ground lines that should have been below ground from the very beginning. Nature would have thanked you, the birds and insects would have thanked you and climate change would not be confronting us today as it is.

Samuel Bess

Stanwood

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