TUD On Task To Take Out Drought-killed Trees
October 15, 2015
Tuolumne, CA - An increasing concern throughout the state and certainly in the Sierras, tree death was a top topic in a local water district's meeting on Tuesday.
In its monthly report, the Tuolumne Utilities District (TUD) staff has identified 485 dead and dying trees due to drought-related causes, including bark beetle infestation. A more detailed presentation on the issue by Operations Manager Don Perkins reveals that over 400 trees now impact TUD's ditches in Section 4, Upper and Lower Soulsbyville, Upper Columbia and Eureka. To date, the district has had eight trees in Section 4 removed at a cost of $900. Dead trees are also an issue at seven TUD facilities, according to the presentation. Of 125 trees around the Twain Harte WWTP, 99 were removed at a cost of $6,740; of 10 at Tuolumne WTP, nine were removed for $3,500; one near the Michigan Tanks was removed for $500. Several other trees were identified near Rainbow Reservoir, Cedar Ridge WTP, CR Upper Tanks, and Phoenix. "We've identified the location of the current trees [impacted]...we've also identified the property owners associated with the trees, so we're sort of at the starting point right now," stated interim TUD General Manager Dave Andres. He pointed out, "This is not a one-year operation - there might be 800 trees next year, if we continue the drought - and even if we don't, you might have to continue to harvest over the next five years to keep the ditch safe. So, there's a lot of issues that have to be worked out."