Last week, Andrea Hefty of the U.S. Forest Service conducted training on the Gold-spotted oak borer at the Mountain Resource Center. Photo by Gregg Bratcher, division chief for Riverside County Fire Department, forestry.

Cal Fire has given the Riverside County Fire Department $766,500 to combat the Gold-spotted oak borer. This is in addition to the $1 million grant last August for removal of dead and dying trees.
The county plans to conduct most of the work fighting the GSOB in the Idyllwild Infestation Area. Some funds will be directed to combating a second GSOB infestation that has begun in the Beaumont and Banning areas within the San Bernardino National Forest.
The work will begin with a survey of the oak tree population on the Hill, creating a map of the infested areas. This will identify its heal and infestation status. For trees with infestation, a treatment plan will be prepared or the tree will be removed.
The initial estimate is that 2,350 trees will receive pesticide application and up to 200 trees may be removed, if necessary.
County fire officials also said, “The program also has a research component that will be led by the University of California, Riverside, to create an analysis and quantification tool for GSOB infestation issues, GHG reduction, and carbon sequestration.”