El Dorado County Takes Step towards Securing State Assistance to Remove Dead and Dying Trees That Threaten Public Infrastructure

by Placerville Newswire / May 19, 2016 / comments

Placerville, CA – The El Dorado County Supervisors took another step towards securing California Disaster Assistance Act (CDAA) funds for the State and County state of emergencies due to pervasive tree mortality. The Board approved a Tree Mortality Hazard Tree Removal Plan, which was developed with collective input from representatives from numerous local agencies including: CAL Fire, the El Dorado County Fire Safe Council, El Dorado Fire Chiefs Association, PG&E, Caltrans, and several County departments. The plan will help the County with removal of hazard trees that threaten public infrastructure. The plan is a requirement to be eligible for CDAA funds.

The CDAA funding, from the State of California, is only available for counties, cities and special districts for the removal of hazard trees that threaten public infrastructure (e.g. county roads, county buildings, etc.). CDAA funding does not provide assistance to private individuals or businesses. El Dorado County is working with different government organizations to see where there might be funding available for private landholders.

To help provide information on the tree mortality issue in El Dorado County and the State of California, the County has created a website. The website provides background information about the issue, information from state agencies and locations to obtain contact information from technical specialists that could help individuals if they have a tree mortality problem. Visit the website at the following address: www.edcgov.us/Living/Tree_Mortality.aspx

Background Information 

On October 30, 2015, Governor Brown proclaimed a State of Emergency due to unprecedented tree mortality caused by the conditions of extreme drought and related bark beetle infestations. The Governor's Emergency Proclamation contains 18 distinct actions that direct state agencies, utilities and local governments to remove dead or dying trees in high hazard areas across the entire State of California. 

Data collected by state and federal agencies demonstrates that due to drought conditions and bark beetle infestation, over 29 million trees in the State of California are dead and that tens of millions more are likely to die over the next five to six years. Surveys conducted by the U.S. Forest Service in August 2015 estimate that tree mortality in the County of El Dorado has affected 200,000 trees on 62,000 acres.