Young poplars and indigenous shrubs
Over the past two years, the ageing trees lining the alley alongside the canal leading to the Gösgen hydroelectric station have had to be felled due to rot and decay. While the municipality of Winznau decided in favour of reforestation by planting poplars, the municipality of Obergösgen wanted first to gauge the local population's reaction. The results of a survey showed that a narrow minority was in favour of reforestation. After consultation with the municipal authorities, Atel Hydro Ltd has now decided to plant new Lombardy poplars above the canal bridge and as far as the municipality border. The existing shrubbery below the bridge will be maintained. Due to the height of the dam embankment (more than ten meters), it is considered more advantageous to retain and maintained the indigenous green belt. The cost of reforestation, amounting to CHF 130,000, will be fully borne by Atel Hydro Ltd. This does not include the cost of more intensive maintenance of the existing shrubbery. Atel Hydro has already spent some CHF 420,000 on replacing poplars in the upper canal region during the first stage of the project.
Since the reforestation, the young trees planted in Winznau have several times been victims of vandalism. Several dozen trees were maliciously chopped down.
Beavers have also been at work on some of the poplars. The municipalities of Winznau and Obergösgen, as well as Atel Hydro Ltd, urge the local population to report such incidences immediately.