Gonzalez Secures $5 Million in California Budget to Contain Tree-Killing Beetle

Friday, June 28, 2019

SACRAMENTO – (Friday, June 28, 2019) – California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) has secured $5 million in the 2019 State Budget toward Cal Fire efforts to eradicate an invasive species of beetle that is rapidly spreading across California, decimating thousands of mature trees and causing millions of dollars of damage.

Native to Southeast Asia, the Polyphagous and Kuroshio shot hole borer beetle has already affected many southern California communities, including the San Diego River Valley. When this tiny beetle bores into trees, it brings with it a symbiotic fungus that can infect and kill the host trees. The beetles have greatly affected efforts to cool urban hot spots and have made these areas more susceptible to wildfires.  

 “We need to do everything we can to protect our communities from wildfires and that includes investing in preventive measures. The shot hole borer beetle is taking out our trees and putting us in increased danger of wildfires,” Assemblywoman Gonzalez said. “This funding will support CalFire’s ongoing pest management efforts in our urban areas, where the impact is the greatest.”

The $5 million state budget funding will be allocated directly to CalFire with language directing the development of Instant Action Plans to immediately deploy on activities that suppress shot hole borer beetles and the diseases associated with their spread. 

Last year, Assemblywoman Gonzalez also took on the spread of the invasive beetle as joint-author of Assembly Bill 2470 with Assemblyman Timothy Grayson (D-Concord). The measure directs the Invasive Species Council to coordinate a comprehensive effort to prevent the introduction of invasive species in the state – including the shot hole borer beetle.

For questions or to schedule an interview with Assemblywoman Gonzalez, contact Sami Gallegos (209) 658-7617.