CALIFORNIA – Residents of Tulare County and five other Valley counties may be able to receive financial aid to cut down dead trees on their property, according to a Visalia Times-Delta report.
The money is being made available because trees have been dying at unprecedented rates in California’s forests. According to estimates by the U.S. Forest Service, more than 22 million trees were already dead as of November. Tens of millions more were expected to die by the end of 2015.
“The dead trees, this is the largest thing anyone’s had [to] deal with,” said David Durham, a district conservationist for the service’s Fresno office. According to Fresno, the dead wood is a not only a serious fire hazard, it can take down power lines, block crucial roads, crash into buildings, and injure or kill people.
“Right now there’s $500,000 [available], but there may be more later,” said Durham. The financial assistance will be available to property owners in Tulare, Fresno, Kern, Madera, Amador and Mariposa counties.
Durham said some portions of the program are still being worked out, including whether property owners can be reimbursed if they already have cleared dead trees.
For more information, call the Natural Resources Consecration Office in Tulare County service center at 559-734-8732.