Marshall and Carol Treadwell have a home on the land that Marshall’s father bought in 1948. Located at the southern end of Rusk County, Texas, near the small town of Sacul, the Treadwells grow hay and hardwoods. His family also uses the land for recreational purposes and land improvements.
“We fish in the river, and I have taught my children and grandchildren to respect and honor what the land provides us,” Marshall says.
In 2008, the Treadwells were contacted by a TransCanada land agent who inquired about establishing a pipeline right of way that would parallel two existing right of ways on their property. The couple didn’t have any objections. A few months later, TransCanada contacted the Treadwells to negotiate compensation for the right of way, which would affect a timber planting Marshall made in 1998.
“The negotiations for the right of way and damages were exceedingly fair, and the people who I negotiated with were very professional,” explains Marshall. “My experiences with TransCanada and their sub-contractors have been a very positive association, and I gained a lot of knowledge and respect for the company.”
This respect for the company increased during construction of the Gulf Coast Pipeline last year after they read a letter to the editor in the local paper stating that the pipeline was “an ugly scar on the land.”
The Treadwells contacted TransCanada about an idea to create a wildlife corridor on the part of their property where construction had occurred. As TransCanada always reclaims the land we work on, the company saw this as a unique reclamation opportunity and supported the Treadwells in the initiative.
TransCanada is helping to replant trees that are beneficial to wildlife, such as oak, chestnut, pecan, hickory and bald cypress, along with local native shrubs such as pawpaws and mayhaws.
On the part of the land that can’t support trees, the Treadwells plan to plant food for wildlife such as peas, clover, vetches, sorghum, corn and sunflowers which will provide seed and nutrition to a variety of wildlife.
In order for the project to begin immediately, TransCanada proposed buying two and three-year-old trees rather than use seedlings. The project is expected to be completed by the end of May or early June.
“Pray for rain this summer,” says Marshall. “This will benefit not only the wildlife on my property, but all of the family that uses it as a recreational haven.”
The Treadwells have only positive things to say about their experience with TransCanada, stating that their dealings with the company have been “open, honest and exceedingly fair.”
The couple has followed the progress of the Gulf Coast Pipeline Project closely, and has even responded to negative letters to the editor in their local paper. This has given them the opportunity to communicate to others their positive experiences with the company.
“Any time TransCanada had surveyors or employees of any type on my property they would always call me to notify me when they would be on my property. As the actual construction phase began, I was notified as to when they would arrive. Any changes or modifications to the right-of-way were to be made, I was called and informed of what, where and when, and at no time did I feel that TransCanada was anything but honest with me about the construction phase,” says Marshall.
Marshall says he supports the Gulf Coast Pipeline, recognizing the tremendous economic boom that it has brought to East Texas. Workers have been living in the area during construction and have rented motel rooms, RV parks, apartments and are using local amenities such as restaurants and grocery stores.
“After the construction is finished, the product delivered to our Gulf Coast refineries will not only benefit our state, but the entire nation. I am proud to have supported the construction from Cushing, Oklahoma, to the Gulf Coast and I support the construction of Keystone XL as well.”
TransCanada is extremely proud of the strong relationships we have built with more than 60,000 landowners across North America. Transforming the Treadwells’ right of way into a wildlife corridor shows how TransCanada and landowners can work together to reclaim land, support local wildlife and promote biodiversity.
“The relationship that we have with the Treadwells is an example of the type of relationship that we aim to have with all of our landowners,” explains Corey Goulet, vice president of Keystone Pipeline Projects. “It starts with treating them with respect and understanding what is important to them. We realize that people own land for various reasons and, to the extent possible, we want landowners to be able to use their land the way they did before we asked them for an easement agreement to allow us to build a pipeline on their property. In some cases, like this one, it is great to be able to work with the landowners to innovatively improve the land use for generations to come.”
Learn more about the Treadwell’s landowner negotiations experience in our recent blog post: Texas landowners voice their support.