Fighting Tree Mortality: Progress as We Move Out of Peak Fire Season
November 17, 2016
As much of the state is transitioning out of peak fire season, the Governor’s Tree Mortality Task Force is continuing its work to address the impact of more than 66 million dead trees in California. Drought conditions are extending into a sixth year in the state and more and more counties are being impacted by the tree mortality crisis.
Local Emergency Proclamations have been made in Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Fresno, Kern, Madera, Mariposa, Placer, Tulare, Tuolumne, and Nevada County. Many other counties are working to develop their own internal Task Forces and become a part of the larger effort to address this growing crisis.
Please click here to see a video about CSAC’s Advocacy efforts relative to Tree Mortality
To assist in this effort, the Governor’s Task Force met this week to talk about progress being made on the allocation of resources, among other items. The FY 16-17 budget included funds for a number of different programs all geared at assisting in the removal and disposal of dead and dying hazardous trees. CAL FIRE’s State Responsibility Area Fire Prevention Fund and Tree Mortality Grant Program received 264 grant applications with a request of approximately $39 million.
The grant applications review process is under way, with awarded grant recipients to be notified in December. In addition, the budget also includes $31.6 million for the Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) to provide assistance to counties through the California Disaster Assistance Act (CDAA). CDAA applications have been approved for nine counties, including El Dorado, Fresno, Madera, Mariposa, Tulare, Tuolumne, Amador, Placer and Calaveras County.
Federal funds are also now available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help address tree mortality and other drought-related damage to improve forest health. Please click on this link for additional information. Progress is being made, but more resources are needed. CSAC will continue to make this issue a priority and work to help impacted counties across the state.