Two Rivers Tribune, By Kristan Korns
Hoopa Tribal Forestry and UC Berkeley researchers are working to prevent the spread of an infestation of tree-killing spores which is now less than five miles from the boundary of the Hoopa Valley Reservation.
The spores, known as Phytophthora ramorum or Sudden Oak Death, can infect dozens of plant species and they kill Tan Oak trees. The disease has had devastating effects on forests in California and Oregon.
Darin Jarnaghan, the Hoopa Forestry Department manager, said, “The alarming thing is it’s getting closer. It’s moving eastward towards us.”
The disease is new, and isn’t fully understood yet by researchers and biologists. It wasn’t named until 2000, and was first found in Southern Humboldt in 2002. It has had devastating effects on forests in California and Oregon.
Yana Valachovic, the Director of the Humboldt and Del Norte University of California Cooperative Extension based out of Eureka, said that everyone was taken by surprise when the disease first appeared.
“This is an introduced pathogen to California. It’s not native, and we don’t know where it comes from,” Valachovic said. “The disease was discovered in Southern Humboldt around the Garberville/Redway area, but at the time they didn’t know what to do or how it spread.”