The forests of California are threatened with exotic species of insects, plants and diseases - pests for which California's native organisms have little defense. Discovered in 1995, Sudden Oak Death (Phytophthora ramorum) has done tremendous damage to State Park forests, killing thousands of tanoak, coast live oak, Shreve Oak, and California black oak tress from Humboldt County to Big Sur. This fungus also infects California bay laurel, pacific madrone, California buckeye, coast redwood, Douglas-fir, big leaf maple, California honeysuckle, California coffeeberry, toyon, rhododendron, manzanita and huckleberry.  Symptoms of this disease can be found at the California Oak Mortality Task force Web site:

These dead oak trees pose a severe fire risk, especially in dense forests. But more importantly they are a loss of a valuable and treasured California resource.

If you are in any of the affected counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Humboldt, Marin, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano or Sonoma) please take the following precautions:

  • Do not collect and transport plant material (including leaves, twigs, branches or firewood).
  • Do not collect soil and avoid muddy areas.
  • Park your vehicle only in designated parking areas.
  • Stay on established trails - respect trail closures.

If you are leaving any of the parks in the affected counties, please:

  • Wash mud or soil off of tires, wheel wells and the undercarriage of your vehicle and trailers at the nearest vehicle wash station.
  • Clean soil and mud from shoes, mountain bikes, horse’s hooves, and pet's paws.