Oak Conservation

Premature Removal of Oak Trees

On April 1, 2008, the Board of Supervisors adopted Ordinance 2903 which added chapter 9.24 to the Tuolumne County Ordinance Code. Chapter 9.24 is intended to discourage the premature removal of oak trees by establishing procedures and penalties for such removal. Premature removal means:
  • Removal of native oak trees resulting in a 10% or greater average decrease in native oak canopy cover within an oak woodland
  • Removal of any old growth oak tree
  • Removal of any valley oak tree measuring five inches or greater in diameter at breast height (DBH) from a site within the five years preceding the submission of an application for a discretionary entitlement from Tuolumne County for a land development project

The premature removal of native oak trees is subject to penalties, including withholding approval of an application for a discretionary entitlement on the site for a period of up to five years, and monetary penalties as high as three times the in-lieu fee established by the Board of Supervisors.

Tuolumne County Oak Woodland Conservation Fund

On February 5, 2008, the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors adopted resolution 14-08, establishing the Tuolumne County Oak Woodland Conservation Fund for the collection of fees to mitigate impacts to oak woodlands and net loss of old growth oaks. The money collected in the fund may only be allocated by the Board of Supervisors.

The fund may be used to purchase land in fee or conservation easements for the protection of native oak woodlands or for other measures that will restore or enhance native oak woodlands, or otherwise mitigate the impacts associated with the conversion of oak woodlands or impacts to old growth oaks.