CA Pub Res Code Section 4750.1

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:


The need for expanding the current efforts to slow the spread of sudden oak death grows more urgent with the discovery of each new plant host and the spread of the disease to an increasing number of counties.


The cause of sudden oak death, a fungus known as Phytophthora ramorum, has only recently been discovered. There is currently no known cure for trees and other plant species infected with this fungus, leaving removal as the only current option. Although costly, infected trees and other plant species can be removed.


Ten counties have now confirmed the presence of sudden oak death in several trees and other plant species. The counties are Marin, Sonoma, Monterey, Mendocino, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Solano, and Alameda. Trees and other plant species in several other counties are potentially affected with sudden oak death, but are not yet confirmed.


In addition to the tens of thousands of tanoaks (Lithocarpus densiflorus), coast live oaks (Quercus agrifolia), and black oaks (Quercus kelloggii) that are currently dying of Phytophthora ramorum, the fungus has also been confirmed in Shreve’s oak (Quercus parvula, var. shrevei), rhododendron (Rhododendron species, except azaleas), California bay laurel (Umbellularia californica), madrone (Arbutus menziesii), huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum), arrowwood (Viburnum x bodnantense), bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum), California buckeye (Aesculus californica), California coffeeberry (Rhamnus californica), a honeysuckle (Lonicera hispidula), manzanita (Arctostaphylos manzanita), and Toyon or Christmas berry (Heteromeles arbutifolia). Several more species are suspected of infestation.


Research is urgently needed to determine the range of host trees and other plants that may be infected, to help develop sufficient control strategies.


There is now a significant danger that sudden oak death may spread to other regions of California, other states, or countries. Currently, federal agencies, California, Oregon, Canada, and South Korea have imposed quarantines in an attempt to halt the spread of the fungus.


The effect of the spread of this devastating disease is potentially disastrous: massive die-offs of oak trees covering thousands of acres; a serious increase in fire threats in areas that include densely populated areas; a dramatic change in forest cover and ecosystems with a devastating effect on California’s wildlife; and severe consequences to California’s economy, including threats to tourism and the continued sale of nursery stock and forest products.


Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature to provide continuing funding to the Resources Agency for its program to combat sudden oak death. Funding is necessary to address this situation quickly and adequately, and to ensure that necessary actions are taken to protect the public safety and the environment. It is the intent of the Legislature that the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, with recommendations from the California Oak Mortality Task Force, administer this program.
Last Updated

Aug. 19, 2023

§ 4750.1’s source at ca​.gov