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Forest Tree Mortality

Overview

The conservation goals and funding priorities of the Forest Tree Morality ranking pool are to provide immediate resource protection in drought-affected forestlands where elevated levels of forest insect tree mortality has occurred on, or where forest insects are an imminent threat to, non-industrial private forestlands in Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Fresno, Kern, Lake, Los Angeles, Mariposa, Madera, Nevada, Placer, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Tulare, or Tuolumne counties.

The State Conservationist has determined that the geographic scope of a Forest Management Plan and nonindustrial private forest land does not include areas within 100 feet from a building or a greater distance if required by state law, or local ordinance, rule, or regulation.

Priority resource concerns for the Forest Tree Mortality ranking pool necessitating immediate management of dead and dying trees include fire hazards resulting from dead tree debris fuel loads; pest control to reduce spread of insect mortality; and degraded, understocked forest conditions resulting from the insect damage and loss of forest trees.

The immediate consequence of tree mortality on California forestlands is the potential for increased wildfires, further spread of forest insect tree damage, threats to critical public safety infrastructure from falling trees, reduced forest carbon stocks, loss of commercial timber values to landowners, and diminished forestland benefits such as wildlife habitat and aesthetics.

The following sections include the applicable land uses, resource concerns, and conservation practices for the ranking pool. A map is included at the end of the page.

Land Uses

The descriptions below are the general NRCS land use definitions - applications should fit within, but do not need to exactly match, these descriptions. Below are the applicable land uses for the ranking pool.

  • Forest: Land on which the primary vegetation is tree cover (climax, natural or introduced plant community) and use is primarily for production of wood products or non-timber forest products.
  • Associated Agricultural Lands: Land associated with farms and ranches that are not purposefully managed for food, forage, or fiber and are typically associated with nearby production or conservation lands. This could include incidental areas, such as odd areas, ditches and watercourses, riparian areas, field edges, seasonal and permanent wetlands, and other similar areas.

Resource Concerns

The goal of conservation planning is to help each client attain sustainable use and sound management of soil, water, air, plant, animal, and energy resources, based on related human considerations (SWAPAE+H).  Below is a list of priority resource concerns for the ranking pool.

SWAPAE+H
Resource Concern Category
Resource Concern
Soil
Soil Quality Limitation
Aggregate instability
Compaction
Concentration of salts or other chemicals
Organic matter depletion
Soil organism habitat loss or degradation
Subsidence
Wind and Water Erosion
Sheet and rill erosion
Wind erosion
Water
Field, Sediment, Nutrient, and Pathogen Loss
Nutrients transported to groundwater
Nutrients transported to surface water
Pathogens and chemicals from manure biosolids, or compost applications transported to groundwater
Pathogens and chemicals from manure biosolids, or compost applications transported to surface water
Sediment transported to surface water
Field Pesticide Loss
Pesticides transported to groundwater
Pesticides transported to surface water
Source Water Depletion
Groundwater depletion
Inefficient irrigation water use
Surface water depletion
Storage and Handling of Pollutants
Nutrients transported to groundwater
Nutrients transported to surface water
Pesticides transported to surface water
Petroleum, heavy metals, and other pollutants transported to groundwater
Petroleum, heavy metals, and other pollutants transported to surface water
Weather Resilience
Drifted snow
Naturally available moisture use
Ponding and flooding
Seasonal high water table
Seeps
Air
Air Quality Emissions
Emissions of airborne reactive nitrogen
Emissions of greenhouse gases - GHGs
Emissions of ozone precursors
Emissions of particulate matter (PM) and PM precursors
Objectionable odor
Plants
Degraded Plant Condition
Plant productivity and health
Plant structure and composition
Pest Pressure
Plant pest pressure
Fire Management
Wildfire hazard from biomass accumulation
Animals
Aquatic Habitat
Aquatic habitat for fish and other organisms
Elevated water temperature
Terrestrial Habitat
Terrestrial habitat for wildlife and invertebrates
Energy
Inefficient Energy Use
Energy efficient equipment and facilities
Energy efficient farming/ranching practices and field operations

Conservation Practices

NRCS conservation practices eligible for financial assistance through this ranking pool are listed in the below table. For more information about NRCS conservation practices visit the following website link: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/technical/?cid=NRCSDEV11_001020.

Practice Code
Conservation Practice Name
Practice Units
Lifespan (Years)
314
Brush Management
ac
10
315
Herbaceous Weed Control
ac
5
342
Critical Area Planting
ac
10
383
Fuel Break
ac
10
384
Woody Residue Treatment
ac
10
394
Firebreak
ft
5
472
Access Control
ac
10
484
Mulching
ac
1
490
Tree/Shrub Site Preparation
ac
1
500
Obstruction Removal
ac
10
560
Access Road
ft
10
578
Stream Crossing
no
10
580
Streambank and Shoreline Protection
ft
20
612
Tree/Shrub Establishment
ac
15
654
Road/Trail/Landing Closure and Treatment
ft
10
655
Forest Trails and Landings
ft
5
660
Tree/Shrub Pruning
ac
10
666
Forest Stand Improvement
ac
10
 

Interested Applicants

For more information about EQIP, how to apply and program eligibility, interested applicants should contact a NRCS field office in the county which you own land or where you have an agricultural operation. 

Visit https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/ to find the NRCS representative for your county.