Hazardous tree removal project underway
The California Department of Transportation aims to remove hundreds of trees along nearly 70 miles of highways in the Tahoe Basin because of mortality issues.
The work was scheduled to begin this week along State Route 89, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) said in a statement. Tree removal work on other highways — 28, 50, and 267 — is scheduled for spring.
“As part of ongoing work to reduce risks associated with tree mortality, all highways on the California side of the Tahoe Basin have been evaluated by professional foresters and certified arborists to identity dead, dying, and diseased trees that pose a hazard to life, property, and vital infrastructure,” the TRPA said.
Because of the scope tree mortality issue in the Tahoe Basin, Caltrans plans to inspect highways next year for dying hazardous trees. The transportation agency has also reached out to affected property owners with letters and door hangers to provide information about the tree removal project.
The TRPA Governing Board approved an emergency permit on Aug. 24 that paved the way for Caltrans to remove the trees. The move came nearly two years after Gov. Jerry Brown declared tree mortality emergency in October 2015 because of tree die-offs after years of drought.