Placerville, CA October 13, 2016 – The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors took the final step to secure California Disaster Assistance Act (CDAA) funds for the State and County state of emergencies due to pervasive tree mortality. The Board approved the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services CDAA funding at its meeting on October 11, 2016. The County will be finalizing the plans for tree removal over the next couple of months with Federal, State and local partners.
The CDAA funding, from the State of California, is only available for counties, cities and special districts for the removal of hazardous 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. For current programs, from cooperating partners (e.g. PG&E, National Resources Conservation Service, etc.), that can assist private landholders please visit the County’s tree mortality website at the following address: www.edcgov.us/Living/Tree_Mortality.aspx. The County’s tree mortality website also provides background information about the issue, information from state agencies and locations to obtain contact information for technical specialists that can help individuals if they have a tree mortality problem.
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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. Since May, the County has been working with the State to secure funding.
Data collected by state and federal agencies demonstrates that due to drought conditions and bark beetle infestation, over 66 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.