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Placerville, CA – It was announced by CAL FIRE that El Dorado County received approximately $200,000, which is the maximum dollar amount one organization can receive, to help senior citizens with income limitations to remove and dying trees that endanger their residence. The County will announce more specifics about the program (e.g. criteria to apply, contact person, etc.) in February after the funds have been received from CAL FIRE.
In addition to El Dorado County receiving funding, different organizations (e.g. fire safe councils, utility districts, Tahoe Regional Planning Authority, etc.) in the County obtained another $868,840. In total, $1,068,838 was awarded to organizations in El Dorado County to remove dead and dying trees and perform fuel treatments. El Dorado County organizations helped the County receive the fourth largest amount of CAL FIRE grant funding for Fiscal Year 2016-17. Only Fresno, Tuolumne and Mariposa counties, to the south, received more funding.
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 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.