Tree Falls in the Forest—Yes, We Hear It
APS’s Joe Weathersby, Forestry and Special Programs Planner
August 2016
Joe Weathersby loves the forest and the outdoors. He loves it so much that he spends nearly every day hiking or snow-shoeing his way across remote locations in northeastern Arizona. And the best part about this? Joe gets paid for his service.
Joe is a Forestry and Special Programs Planner with Arizona Public Service​ (APS), Arizona's largest and longest-serving electric company.
To enhance its reliability, APS invests in forestry planning. The goal of APS’s program is to provide safe transmission and distribution services and to minimize disruptions to customers that could be caused by trees and other vegetation, while maintaining a harmonious relationship with the environment.
Arizona, despite being known for its desert landscape, has its fair share of trees. In fact, from palm trees to pine trees, Arizona’s diverse geography leads to diverse vegetation. And that vegetation can seriously threaten the safety and reliability of APS’s energy infrastructure.

Enter Joe—forestry planner extraordinaire. Joe has worked with APS for more than 10 years in various areas of vegetation management, including with federal, state, county, and city compliance projects, and with non-electrical substation projects.
More important, as a part of APS’s northeast forestry team, Joe helps to ensure that power lines are consistently unimpeded by trees and brush. By hiking his way around APS’s service territory, Joe monitors vegetation across the region, safely and responsibly keeping flora away from critical infrastructure. Joe also contributes to storm restoration efforts, ensuring lines are properly cleared of debris before they are put back in service.
The energy grid efficiently delivers reliable and safe energy so customers always get the power they need. Forestry planning is just one way electric power companies are creating value for customers, while maintaining electric reliability.