California adopts emergency regulation for removing dead and dying trees

by Cate Moore on June 24, 2015

The California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection has adopted an emergency regulation for removal of dead and dying trees.

The emergency regulation will allow individual landowners or professional foresters to apply for an exemption to cut dead and dying trees of any size without the typical timber harvest plan, submission requirements, and completion and stocking report requirements.

Landowners who do not want their dead or dying trees to become wildfire fuel or falling hazards, removing them would still require hiring loggers, timber operators or tree services.

It will mostly benefit property owners with parcels of 20 acres and up. But “technically, yes, if the dead and dying component is met” owners of small properties would be able to use the emergency regulation as long as existing exemptions were met.

Officials say the regulation will facilitate the cutting and removal of dead and dying trees, reduce the risk of fire, decrease structure losses and fire suppression costs.

The California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection says trees classified as dying are those with 50 percent or more of the crown foliage dead or fading in color (excluding normal autumn coloration changes), or with evidence of successful bark beetle attacks around the circumference of the tree trunk.

 

Submission of the regulation to the Office of Administrative Law will happen July 1, public comment will close on July 6 and the emergency rule may be approved on July 11 and be in effect for six months.

For the exemption application (1038k), go to http://calfire.ca.gov/resource_mgt/resource_mgt_forestpractice_harvestingforms.php after July 11.

Source of information: James Herrera at the Monterey Herald.

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