The Cambrian

Forest committee grapples with knotty issues

Cambrians soon will get an update on their landmark Monterey pine forest, how they and others could better care for it, who’s been cutting trees in it or plans to do so, and how a utility firm wants to compensate for removing and trimming hundreds of pines and oaks.

The Cambria Forest Committee’s monthly meeting starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 14, at Rabobank, 1070 Main St.

The volunteer group of forest stakeholders — from governmental officials and representatives of conservation organizations and utility firms to individual property owners — has been active in forest protection for several decades and has guided its Cambria Forest Management Plan from concept to a working document.

Since 2002, the committee has tried to find support and funding for that plan.

Among things scheduled to happen at the April 14 meeting are:

Last year in Cambria, the utility trimmed and cleared twice under two separate programs: a compliance program (which is what is happening now) and a reliability program that targets specific troublesome areas.

Davey Tree Service currently is cutting and trimming trees that foresters identified late last year as being likeliest to fall onto utility wires. That compliance program work is done regularly to protect the stability of electrical service, as required by state laws on maintaining tree and branch clearance around the lines. The corporation has repeatedly been found liable when trees affect power lines tangle and start fires.

Kory Raftery, PG&E spokesman, said Tuesday, April 6, that Davey’s current work is about 65 percent complete, but arborists are having trouble notifying some absentee property owners about work that needs to be done.

Raftery anticipates the project work will be complete in June.