Sonora, CA — Homeowners can find out what their options are regarding funding for cutting down dead trees.
The Tuolumne County Office of Emergency Services will host a free Tree Mortality Community Workshop on Saturday, March 4th in the Manzanita Building at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Last week the county received Cal Fire grants for SRA (State Responsibility Area Fire Prevention Fund) Tree Mortality Grants totaling $2.4 million, with a cost share for homeowners outlined here. About $800,000 of that money is marked for removing trees on community service roads not maintained by the county, which are private roads that citizens use often and need to remain open for emergency responders as well, according to Tuolumne Sounty Office of Emergency Services (OES) spokesperson Ethan Billigmeier. The rest, roughly $1.6 million, will be available to property owners in the hardest-hit areas of the county, which provides this list of the areas approved for the SRA funding:
- Cedar Ridge
- East Sonora
- Mi-Wuk Village
- Phoenix Lake
- Twain Harte
Noticeably not on the list is Sonora and Jamestown. Billigmeier shares, “Those areas are not what Cal Fire has constituted as SRA’s that it maintains. They are also not a heavily forested area so they did not receive funding.” He adds there is no funding for those areas right now but if it comes up the county “will definitely go for it.” However, for now he advises those homeowners to call the Tree Mortality Aid Program or TMAP at 532-6272 ex 208 for possible assistance.
In related news, the county OES office reports that the U.S. Forest Service will be putting up $2 million dollars that will fund the removal of hazard trees on USFS property adjacent to county roads.
On hand at the workshop will be representatives from Tuolumne County OES, the U.S. Forest Service, PG&E, Cal Fire, Caltrans, State Parks, TUD, Mi-Wuk Sugar Pine Fire District, Highway 108 Fire safe Council, Yosemite Foothills Fire Safe Council and Tree Mortality Aid program.