Nevada County supervisors hear update on bark beetle problem | TheUnion.com

Nevada County supervisors hear update on bark beetle problem

Nevada County faces more problems than just bark beetles.

There are too many trees fighting for sun and nutrients, and too much vegetation and wood on the ground waiting for a fire to erupt.

The bark beetles add to those problems by attacking weak trees, killing them and creating more fuel for a fire that officials fear will eventually rush through Nevada County.

"That's our future if we don't do something," said Robert Ingram, with the county's Resource Conservation District.

"If I can find a solution, I'll come back," he added later.

Ingram spoke Tuesday at the Board of Supervisors' meeting, delivering what Supervisor Richard Anderson called a sobering presentation on the state of the county's trees and bark beetle infestation.

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Two trees at the Nevada County Fairgrounds are dead. Twenty-two others should be removed, Ingram said.

The beetles eat cambium, a spongy layer in the tree. This destroys the trees and creates more potential fuel for fire.

Adding to that fire danger are trees battling for water, nutrients and root space, Ingram said.

People, when allowed, can burn some of the fuel, though removing massive, dead trees proves problematic.

According to Ingram, trees must be thinned and ground vegetation removed.

"It has taken decades to get here," Ingram added. "Too many trees, too close together."

In other matters the board:

• Entered a closed-door session to evaluate Julie Patterson Hunter, the board's clerk. The board took no action afterward.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.

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