Placerville, CA – El Dorado County announces the start of tree mortality operations in Grizzly Flats and Camino. Within the next month, County staff will be contacting landowners who have dead or dying trees that threaten County roads. County staff will be asking property owners to sign right-of-entry documents, which are mandated by the State of California funding for the tree mortality crisis, so forest/timber professionals can mark and eventually remove dead and dying trees.
The initial County tree mortality operations are planned for the Mount Pleasant section of Grizzly Park and the areas around Cable, Mace, and Carson roads in Camino. These areas are planned for the first tree removal projects due to the amount of dead and dying trees in the areas and traffic volume (cars, school buses, etc.) that are threatened by the trees. The County is targeting late February or early March for trees to be removed along the roads in these areas. Future projects along County roads are currently being planned with State, Federal and private partners (e.g. PG&E).
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. The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors proclaimed a local state of emergency due to pervasive tree mortality on March 28, 2016. In May 2016, the Board of Supervisors approved the County’s Tree Mortality Hazard Tree Removal Plan. On October 11, 2016, the Board of Supervisors accepted grant/project funding from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services for California Disaster Assistance Act (CDAA) funding, which will provide 75% cost share of total eligible costs for projects related to the tree mortality emergency, plus a 10% administrative fee. County, city and special districts are eligible for reimbursement through CDAA. CDAA does not provide assistance to private individuals or business. For information on programs that provide assistance to private landowners please visit the County’s tree mortality website: http://www.edcgov.us/Living/Tree_Mortality.aspx.
Data collected by state and federal agencies demonstrates that due to drought conditions and bark beetle infestation, over 102 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. Based on the May 2016 overflight of El Dorado County, by the National Forest Service, the County has about 512,000 dead trees of those 200,000 are in the Eldorado National Forest.