San Andreas, CA – With more than 102 million dead trees estimated across California due to drought and the bark beetle infestation, finding money to help private property owners remove trees can be hard to find, unless you know where to look.
The funds are limited, according to the Calaveras County Tree Mortality Task Force, which acknowledges that dollars available through State and Federal Grant programs only address state and federal lands, local roads and infrastructure. For most property owners, taking down the dead and dying trees on their property is a daunting task not only physically and financially. The county provides this list of possible grants available to property owners:
- Groups such as local Fire Safe Counsels and other non- profits have applied for SRA Grants each totaling up to $200,000. If they receive those grant dollars, the funds can then be used to help private property owners remove their trees. How those dollars would be dispersed is yet to be determined.
- The National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) has grants available for those who have private forest lands. Applications for Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) grants can be found by clicking here.
- The USDA Rural Housing Service has a program with low interest loans and grants up to $27,500. This program is incomed based and is focused on low income homeowners and the elderly to remove health and safety hazards from their property. To learn more click here.
- Financial institutions are another option. There are home equity loans and lines of credit with fairly low interest rates available to qualifying applicants through their current lender or other financial institutions.
- Service groups like Lions, Kiwanis’s, and Area 12 Agency on Aging have developed a program called “Tree Mortality Assistance Program” or” TMAP”. They are raising money through several events and plan to use those dollars to help those that are not able to afford the cost of removing the trees. For more information on Tree Mortality click here.