Tag Archives: Forestry

PG&E Checking in Shasta County for Drought-stricken Trees

The following is a press release from PG&E dated December 5. The initial import of the release is to notify and explain to residents of Round Mountain, Montgomery Creek, and Big Bend the reasons that helicopters would be flying low over their areas on Tuesday, December 7.

The release gives details about the growing number of trees that have died as a result of the drought or are threatened by insects and disease as a result of weakened resistance. After the aerial check, foresters will follow up on foot to inspect trees. Then private landowners will be contacted. Dead or infected trees will need to be trimmed or removed.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will be flying low by helicopter in Shasta County on Tuesday to check for drought-stricken trees near power lines. Flights will occur over Round Mountain, Montgomery Creek and Big Bend.

Residents are advised that the helicopter will fly low – about 200 to 300 feet – along distribution power lines.

PG&E is using a contract helicopter service to fly foresters to check for trees weakened by the drought. This patrol is in addition to the annual patrols PG&E does along power lines to identify trees and vegetation in need of pruning and removal. Weakened trees and branches can fall into power lines, leading to outages and even wild land fires.

The drought has weakened and killed many trees and left others susceptible to disease or insects.  After the flights, foresters will hike to the trees in question for an up-close inspection to verify tree conditions.  Once a forester confirms a tree needs to be removed, PG&E will work with the property owner to schedule a contractor to cut the tree.

Consecutive years of drought have taken a toll on trees and even some trees deemed healthy six months ago have since succumbed to the dry conditions. The U.S. Forest Service recently identified an exponentially growing rate of tree mortality in California.  In 2014, 11 million dead trees were identified throughout the state. That number grew to 40 million in 2015 and 102 million in 2016.

While tree mortality is more serious in 10 counties in the southern and central Sierra Nevada Mountain region, the Forest Service also identified increasing mortality in the northern part of the state.

Weather permitting, all flights will occur between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.B>>

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Filed under Big Bend, Montgomery Creek, PG&E, Pit River, Round Mountain, Timber and Forestry

Governor signs Dahle forestry bill

Press release from 1st Assembly District of California

AB 2029 extends effort to streamline fuel reductions

SACRAMENTO — A bill extending a California law that reduces the paperwork burden on landowners working to thin their forests in fire-prone regions of the state has been signed into law.

Assembly Bill 2029, authored by Assemblyman Brian Dahle, R-Bieber, extends a pilot program created in 2013 by Dahle’s AB 744.  The law grants landowners exemptions from the requirement to file a Timber Harvest Plan for small-scale thinning projects that cut trees up to 24 inches in diameter, preserving larger trees and making room for them to grow.  The pilot program targets regions of California at high risk of wildfires.

“This program is still new,” Dahle said, “but I’ve heard from multiple landowners in Northern California that it is a critical tool. The cost of preparing a Timber Harvest Plan makes basic forest maintenance — the work we want to encourage for long-term health of the trees — a money-loser. Streamlining the bureaucratic burdens makes this work affordable for landowners. And doing that creates jobs in rural California.”

In addition to extending the pilot program through the year 2021, AB 2029 requires a study from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection on the use of the exemption, and creates a path toward expanding the largest trees that can be cut under the exemption from 24 inches to 26 inches, measured at 8 inches from the ground.

“We need to strike a balance so landowners don’t neglect their property because of the cost of regulation,” Dahle said. “I’ve seen these projects on the ground. The results make me confident this is a path that allows sound forestry while protecting the environment. I thank my colleagues in the Legislature for their support and Governor Brown for his signature.”

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Filed under Timber and Forestry