Senate unanimously approves Berryhill bill to help fight deadly forest fires

Thursday, June 1, 2017

SACRAMENTO – A bill to help Tuolumne County with the emergency removal of dead trees cleared the Senate unanimously on Wednesday.

“This bill will save lives,” said Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Twain Harte, the bill’s author. “I look forward to working with members of the Assembly and the governor on this important issue.”

If made into law, SB-265 would increase the amount of state aid to Tuolumne County from 75 percent of emergency removal costs to 90 percent.

There are more than 102 million dead trees in California, many of which are in Tuolumne and the surrounding counties. Other counties are watching SB-265 and considering taking the actions necessary to qualify.

Drought, bark beetle, and other stresses have led to massive tree die-offs in California’s forests. The tree mortality crisis worsens wildfire risk across whole regions of the state and presents life safety risks from falling trees in many forested communities. On October 30th, 2015 Governor Brown declared a state of emergency due to the tree mortality crisis.

This issue and SB-265 were both covered extensively in a recent local news article:
http://www.uniondemocrat.com/newsroomstafflist/5265146-151/berryhill-gets-one-win-one-loss