T&D World Magazine
J. M. Sparkman: Forester

J. M. Sparkman: Forester

ECI’s Manager of Consulting Services, J. M. Sparkman will be presenting “Justifying, Designing and Funding an Effective Risk Tree Program” and “How Trees Cause Outages: Review of the Research and How to Use the Knowledge” at the upcoming CEATI Vegetation Management Workshop on Nov. 12-13, 2014, in Vancouver, BC Canada. 

J.M. Sparkman is the manager of the consulting services Group at Environmental Consultants, Inc. (ECI). He directs an array of distribution and transmission consulting services at ECI designed to assist electric cooperatives, municipals, and investor-owned utilities with improving their vegetation management programs.  He holds a B.S. in Forestry from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His experience includes over 25 years of utility vegetation management forestry including: contract and project management, budgeting, storm logistics, and local VM operations for the largest utility in the state of Florida.

About 'Justifying, Designing and Funding an Effective Risk Tree Program'

You have been successful in securing additional vegetation maintenance funding, have shortened your circuit maintenance cycles, increased overhang clearances, and implemented an effective herbicide program; yet tree-caused outages continue to plague your system. Why? Because routine right-of-way maintenance typically focuses on preventing vegetation from growing into the facilities. However, “grow-in” outages account for less than 15 percent of the total tree outages. Limb and whole tree failures from within and outside the right-of-way represent the bulk of all tree outages. An effective risk tree program can help in identifying these failure risks, but they can be very expensive.  This presentation will review how to determine your specific needs, how to justify it to upper management, how to prioritize this work, and how to effectively fund your risk tree program to identify and selectively target those trees presenting the greatest failure risk.

About 'How Trees Cause Outages: Review of the Research and How to Use the Knowledge'

More than a decade ago, ECI led groundbreaking research into how and under what conditions trees cause sustained and momentary outages. This presentation reviews that research and discusses how that research is and should be used within vegetation management programs.

TAGS: Safety
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