TREE REMOVAL EFFORTS There are a number of tree removal efforts taking place in Amador County and will continue as new dead trees are identified. Below is an outline of the various agencies and companies removing trees around Amador County.
1. County of Amador: The County is marking and removing trees that can fall onto or over a County maintained road, or County maintained structure. The County contracts with Certified Arborists and Registered Professional Foresters to mark trees that meet CDAA qualifications. After the trees are marked, the County then contracts with Licensed Timber Operators to fell the tree. CAL FIRE is also providing crews to assist the efforts. To learn about the County's Tree Removal efforts visit the Current Upcoming Projects page, the GIS Maps page, or read the full Mitigation Plan.
The County will send out Right of Entry permits to homeowners who may have dead trees on their property that could potentially impact County maintained roads or County maintained structures. Once the homeowner signs and returns the right of entry permit, they will be entered into a secure database which notifies the contractor which properties they can access.
2. CAL FIRE:CAL FIRE's mission is to serve and safeguard the citizens and protect the property and resources of California through both its' Resource Management and Fire Proection programs. In addition to providing forest practices oversight, technical support and public information, locally CAL FIRE is managing dead and dying trees on its' own facilities and the Mount Zion State Forest, as well as providing fire crews and engine companies to support various local tree mortality and wildland fire fuels reduction projects within Amador County.
3. PG&E: PG &E is removing trees they have identified and is continuing to conduct inspections to identify recent tree deaths, although dead and dying trees may have already been marked in an area. PG&E also has a new Debris and Wood Management Program which is intended to remove trees cut by PG&E. An expanded debris and wood management is now available for qualifying customers in the following counties: Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Fresno, Kern, Madera, Placer, Tulare and Tuolumne. In all other counties PG&E will consider wood and debris management on a case-by-case basis. Download the Debris Management Program brochure to learn more. To report dead, dying, or diseased trees neear power lines or to sign up for the Debris Management Program contact PG&E at 800-743-5000. Some signs of a dead, dying or diseased tree are bare branches, brown leaves or needles, a cracked or leaning trunk and trails of fine sawdust near the tree base indicating an insect attack. If you identify such a tree and it is close to a power line, don't attempt to remove or prune it.
4. Caltrans: Caltrans is removing any trees that may fall within their infrastructure, typically any dead or dying tree within 200 ft of a state highway. Due to the large amount of dead and dying trees in neighboring counties such as Tuolomne, Mariposa, and Calaveras, Caltrans does not expect to be able to begin removing trees in Amador County until at least the Summer of 2017.
5. Amador Water Agency (AWA): Amador Water Agency is marking and removing trees that could potentially fall onto AWA infrastructure and water lines. AWA estimates 400 trees are needed for removal in order to mitigate impact to agency water and wastewater facilities. To learn more about AWA tree removal efforts, contact Damon Wyckoff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. Wood Angels: The Wood Angels is a local non-profit organization that delivers wood to those in need, to help in heating their homes. Last year they delivered more than 150 cords of wood, absolutely free, to seniors, vets, the physically disabled and others who are having a hard time making ends meet. Anyone interested in supporting the Wood Angels’ effort, with donations or labor, is invited to call Nancy Fort, at (209) 295-4876 or (209) 256-2226, or by email, to email@example.com.
INFORMATION FOR PRIVATE LANDOWNERS If your tree is near a power line you can contact PG&E at 1-800-743-5000. If your tree is near a water system you can call Amador Water Agency at 209-223-3018. If your tree threatens Amador County infrastructure (road, building, etc.), please submit your information to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org For a list of local tree service providers, see this guide.
The US Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service has released federal funding to assist in the removal of trees on private forest lands. For more information please call 209-223-6535. The press release can be viewed here.
SUPPORT EFFORTS Calaveras Amador (CalAm) Forestry Team: The CalAm Team is working diligently to assist tree removal efforts in Amador and Calaveras counties. Founded in 2014 in response to available funding to restore the Mokelumne Rivershed, the team consists of a small group of retired foresters and biology professionals who write grant proposals, provide professional advice and scientific data to our local governments and agencies, and provide public educational venues. In the past 16 months, they have analyzed 18 forestry projects and applied for $9,300,000 in grants for roadside brush removal, Butte Fire erosion control, landscape fire fuel reduction, and the abatement of hazard trees killed by drought and beetles in the urban forests where we live. Regarding tree mortality, CalAm drafted five grant applications in September 2016 valued at $1,000,000 to assist private landowners in the abatement of hazard trees that threaten damage to their homes. CalAm speculates that grant funding for tree abatement will increase in 2017 and beyond and urges homeowner’s associations, road districts and neighborhoods to apply for the allocated grant funds through their Fire Safe Councils and Resource Conservation Districts with CalAm assistance if needed. The next grant rounds will be in 2017, but it is not too early to collect basic data on tree mortality numbers and draft your neighborhood abatement program.