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May 14, 2015
Vol. 2, Issue 4
May 2015
Save the Date!  

June 3 - Shasta County Forest Landowner Field Tour; Camp McCumber, Shingletown

June 10 - Central Sierra Forest Landowner Field Tour; Blodgett Forest Research Station, Georgetown

July 14 - 16 - CFPC 2015 Golf Tournament (7/14) and Weed Tour (7/15-16); Weed; CEUs are pending.

July 22 - California Forest Pest Council Summer Insect and Disease Field Tour, Klamath National Forest, Happy Camp; Registration is free. DPR credits are pending.

Early Aerial Surveys Find Millions of Dead Trees 

The US Forest Service, Forest Health Protection conducted special early season aerial surveys of Southern California and the Southern Sierras in April to get a preliminary assessment of forest conditions in some of the most severely drought-impacted areas of the state. The Southern California survey covered more than 4.2 million acres and identified approximately 2 million dead trees over 164,000 acres. It included most of the Cleveland, San Bernardino, Angeles, and Los Padres National Forests as well as Pinnacles National 

2015 Pine Mortality Near Tehachapi. By J. Moore, USFS. 

Monument and nearby private lands. Noteworthy finds included a substantial increase in pine mortality on the Descanso Ranger District of the Cleveland National Forest as well as a large area of scattered live oak mortality south of the Palomar Ranger District. Increased pine mortality was also observed on the San Jacinto District, and large areas of live oak mortality were observed along the southern extent of the Angeles National Forest. In Los Padres National Forest, expanded severe Jeffrey and pinyon pine mortality was observed, and private lands north of Pinnacles National Monument had extensive areas of Coulter and gray pine mortality, as well as live oak mortality, for a third year in a row.


The Southern Sierra survey included more than 4.1 million acres and identified nearly 10½ million dead trees over 835,000 acres. It covered western portions of Stanislaus, Sierra, and Sequoia National Forests and Yosemite and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National 

Hardwood Mortality in the Sierra Foothills.
By Z. Heath, USFS. 

Parks as well as the Tehachapi Range and nearby private lands. Mortality in the Southern Sierras was quite severe in many pine species, especially ponderosa and pinyon at lower elevations and to the south, and foothill mortality was often widespread and severe, especially in ponderosa and gray pine. Mortality on the Stanislaus roughly doubled since July 2014 in the areas resurveyed this spring, with severe pockets of ponderosa and other pine mortality seen in the low areas to the south. On the Sierra and Sequoia National Forests, western pine beetle-associated pine mortality was common and severe at lower elevations, with an estimated 5 million trees killed, compared to about 300,000 trees last year in the same area. Southeastern portions of the Sequoia National Forest and wilderness areas further east also had intense pinyon mortality, and on the Tehachapi Range and private lands along the Sierra foothills, extensive areas of pine mortality were common.  

CHECK IT OUT: The 2014 California Forest Pest Conditions Report is now available online in its new condensed format.  The report highlights insect and disease conditions throughout the state for 2014. 

Cambria's Monterey Pine Forest in Critical Condition 

Cambria's 3,200-acre forest is in massive decline, with more than 60% of the trees dead, dying, or severely stressed. Drought and pest-related mortality of Monterey pine, coast live oak, and scrub oak are at an all-time high, with pines on western- and southern-exposed slopes experiencing 60% to 70% die-off and north-northwest-facing stands losing approximately 15% of the trees. Local homeowners are faced with tree removal expenses that can cost thousands of dollars per tree. Approximately 6-10 trees are being cut daily to mitigate the threat of hazards to power lines and roadways. The County of San Luis Obispo has slated 170 pines on its right-of-ways for removal, of which 130 are standing dead trees. Thousands more remain untreated in the upper reach of the forest north of town.

Cambria East Village. By R. Hawley, Greenspace.

Loss of this forest is critical environmentally because it includes a genetically unique Monterey pine, and is one of just three stands left in California. Understory native plants such as coffeeberry on the south and west slopes are also showing signs of stress. For more information, read about Critical Issues impacting Cambria's forest and about the Cambria Forest Management Plan, a document on fire safe and ecologically protective management of the coastal pine/oak woodlands.

Newsletter feedback and ideas are welcome.  Please submit comments to

Spring is here and camping season is just around the corner! Remember to always buy or gather firewood from local sources, helping to minimize the spread of pests and diseases - Buy It Where You Burn It


Katie Harrell (formerly Palmieri)
Communications Director  
California Forest Pest Council
California Forest Pest Council | (510) 847-5482 | |

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