California’s drought has killed so many trees that the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection is adopting emergency regulations to remove them. The board is concerned about the growing threat of wildfires.
12.5 million trees are dead, most of them in southern California and the southern Sierra Nevada. That’s four times more than all of the tree die-off in 2014 and it doesn’t include many of the hardwood species that are also likely dying.
The Board of Forestry and Fire Protection says it's taking an unprecedented step of allowing public and private landowners to remove dead and dying trees of any size without following typical timber harvest plan requirements.
It says the threat of wildfires this year is too severe. The Board has enacted regulations like this before but has usually limited the amount of removal.
The emergency rule could be approved as early as July 11 and would be in effect for six months.