When we visited the Idyllwild campground from San Diego 13 years ago, we brought our firewood.

Thankfully, it wasn’t oak, but we had zero knowledge of the oak borer problem. There was no information to residents to not transport wood when we drove out of San Diego County.

When I visited the dying oak grove in Descanso right after the Cedar Fire, I wondered what was killing the trees and falsely assumed it was the fire. I lived in Poway at the time and no information was being spread to that community which was not that far away.

Yet, when there was a fruit fly problem in the 1970s, every home in an infected area in San Diego city received a flyer stating to not move fruit out of the area. I guess when it comes to commercial grown produce, money is spent to educate people.

Right now, I am frustrated that there is no sign at the foot of our Hill at Mountain Center stating do not bring in firewood to this area.

How is a San Diego County resident to know? I checked with a family member in Chula Vista who watches the news every day and she knew nothing of the oak borer beetle.

What is being done to educate the people in our town who don’t read the paper? Do the private and public campground websites have a notice?

A notice posted at a campground to not bring in wood is too late. They need education before they reach our area. If someone arrives with oak, do they know to put it in a heavy plastic bag and knot it shut?

It was not surprising to me that the beetle has been found here, when the education has been inadequate.

I’ll never forget Descanso’s oak grove and truly saddened that could be our future here for our black oaks. A sign at the foot of the Hill in Mountain Center would be helpful.

No, I haven’t contacted anyone with my idea, because I don’t have a clue whom to contact; thus, my letter.

Merrie VonSeggern

Editor’s note: After receiving Ms. VonSeggrern’s letter, we contacted Kevin Turner, the Goldspotted Oak Borer Program Coordinator for the UC Cooperative Extension Office at the University of California, Riverside, who provided the following sites with information about activities addressing the Goldspotted oak borer’s California infestations.

Readers may visit the following websites:

• GSOB.org

• ucanr.org/sites/gsobinfo/

• ucanr.edu/sites/oak_range/

• Gold_Spotted_Oak_Borer/

• cisr.ucr.edu/blog/invasive-species/cisr-goldspotted-oak-borer/

• fs.usda.gov/detail/r5/forest-grasslandhealth/?cid=fsbdev3_046707

• rivcoag.org/opencms/quicklinks/GSOB.html

• firewood.ca.gov

• dontmovefirewood.org

• parks.ca.gov/?page_id=26137

There was no outreach for the Goldspotted oak borer before 2008 because no one knew that the insect was killing the trees in San Diego until Dr. Tom Coleman made the discovery of its presence and associated it to the mortality.

The GSOB Steering Committee in San Diego was formed in late 2009 and a grant was awarded to provide funds for GSOB outreach, which began in earnest in 2010.