Drought and bark beetle infestation has killed thousands of Twain Harte's majestic pine trees over the last two years. As we mourn the change of our beautiful landscape, we also become aware of the potential dangers that tree mortality brings to our community. Many dead trees have already been removed, but the number of dead trees seems to outpace removal. It seems like a problem too large to tackle, but our residents and local agencies are banding together to help keep our community safe.
What is our District Doing?
The District received California Disaster Assistance Act (CDAA) funding to pay for 75% of the costs to remove dead and dying trees that threaten at-risk water and sewer infrastructure. We are pleased to report that we removed 433 trees in the District, protecting our facilities and the community.
We continue to keep an eye out for additional dead and dying trees and may undertake a future project if tree mortality continues to spread and threaten our facilities.
What are Other Agencies Doing?
Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E)
PG&E has removed more than 80,000 trees in Tuolumne County and continues to mark and remove trees that threaten powerlines at a fast rate. PG&E has also implemented a debris management program to help remove eligible logs after falling. It is important to note that log removal may occur up to four months after trees are felled. Contact PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 if you believe you have dead tress that threaten powerlines.
Tuolumne County is undertaking CDAA funded projects all over the County to remove dead and dying trees that threaten County roads and other County facilities, including removal projects along Twain Harte Drive and North Tuolumne Road. They have sent right-of-entry forms out to many residents in Twain Harte and will soon begin a project that will remove approximately 380 trees along County roadways throughout town. For more information on the County's work and on tree mortality work in our County, click HERE.
Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD)
TUD is undertaking CDAA funded projects to remove dead and dying trees that threaten their high risk water and sewer facilities. They have already completed tree removal projects near high risk tanks and along the ditches in Twain Harte and are working toward removing around 1,700 trees along the Eureka Ditch.
Caltrans recently completed a hazard tree removal project that removed approximately 9,000 trees along the Highway 108 corridor. They plan to undertake a second hazard tree removal project along Highway 108 in early 2018.
Tree Mortality Assistance Progam
The Sonora Lions Club, Sunrise Rotary, Sonora Kiwanis, Sierr Non-Profit, Highway 108 Fire Safe Council, Yosemite Foothills Fire Safe Council and Area 12 Agency on Agining have teamed up to create a program to help seniors over 60 years old and disabled adults without sufficient financial resources remove dead and dying trees. For more information, call (209) 532-6272, Ext. 208.