Tree Mortality Mitigation Project

Welcome to the Mariposa County Tree Mortality Webpage

Our company, Blue Ridge Services, was selected by Mariposa County to oversee and manage their tree mortality mitigation project, and each week, we will be posting project updates in this column.

We are currently working with stakeholders to develop and finalize our mitigation plan. In addition to being a resource for education and information for the general public, our team has been tasked with developing a prioritized plan to mitigate the risks of tree mortality to public safety and infrastructure, obtaining grants and pursuing California Disaster Assistance Act (CDAA) reimbursements, meeting all environmental requirements, securing property owner permissions where mitigation is necessary, coordinating efforts with partner agencies, and executing the developed plan in accordance with all appropriate regulations.

Learn More about Right of Entry Forms and Download a Form

To keep up-to-date with the project, check out our weekly column in the Mariposa Gazette. We are also available to answer questions you might have about this project and the tree mortality crisis. You can call 209.966.7777 or email

We look forward to partnering with the community of Mariposa County to tackle this very important project.

Frequently Asked Questions about Tree Removal

Tree Removal FAQ’s

Blue Ridge Services was contracted by Mariposa County, to serve at the County’s Operations Management Team for Tree Mortality. Our company has been hired to oversee and manage the County’s tree mortality mitigation project, with the objective to fall dead and dying trees resulting from drought and subsequent bark beetle attack, which are affecting County infrastructure and are a threat to public safety.


Q: Who can I contact if I have dead trees near my home?

A.     If the tree is near a PG&E power line, please call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000. If the tree is near a County maintained road or building, please call Blue Ridge Services at 209-966-7777.

· PG&E cut down trees on my property but did not remove them. Who can I contact for clean up? Please call the PG&E help desk at 1-800-743-5000.


Q: What is the Right of Entry Permit and do I really need to sign it?

A:   A signed Right of Entry Permit gives Blue Ridge Services and their subcontractors, permission to work on your property.   We must receive a signed Right of Entry Permit from you before our foresters and tree crews can begin work on your property to mark and fall trees.

If you choose not to sign and return the Right of Entry Permit, we will not cut trees on your property. You may be responsible for any damage the trees may cause if they fall on a road or structure.

You may also have received Right of Entry Permits from PG&E (and their subcontractors), or Caltrans, but you must also sign our form in order for Blue Ridge Services crews to work on your property.


Q. Is there a charge to have my trees marked and felled?

A.   No, the County of Mariposa through Blue Ridge Services, will mark and fall trees that are impacting County infrastructure. This service is being offered to you, free of charge.


Q: Will Blue Ridge Services be removing trees that they fall?

A:   We expect that the majority of trees will be felled and left on the ground. The ultimate decision will depend on accessibility and funding. Felled trees will be lopped and scattered, meaning limbs will be cut down to within 18 inches of the ground where possible, and tree tops will be cut into manageable lengths.


Q: When do you anticipate the project will start?

A:   It is difficult to give an exact date because we must receive a majority of the Right of Entry Permit forms before developing a project to put out to bid. Blue Ridge Services will be posting current tree removal projects on our tree mortality web page.


Q: What if I don’t live at my home full-time but want to be there when the work is being done. Can you let me know when the work will take place?

A:   You can be alerted when tree marking and removal projects begin by checking the Blue Ridge Services Tree Mortality web page,, but unfortunately because there is no way of telling how fast crews will advance from property to property, it is not possible to alert property owners regarding the exact time when work will begin on specific property(ies).


Meet The Team

Read More about Neal

Project Role: Tree Mortality Project Director

Project Responsibilities: Project oversight, project budget management, document oversight and review, and Professional Engineering approvals.

Education: Attended Sacramento State University ‐ Construction Engineering
Attended Montana State University ‐ Construction Engineering

Registrations: Registered Civil Engineer — California (C48062)
Licensed General Engineering Class A Contractor — California (482821), Licensed Timber Operator.

Background: Mr. Bolton is a registered civil engineer with over 38 years of experience in heavy construction, landfill, transfer station, organics processing and recycling center operations. As the principal of Blue Ridge Services, Inc. (BRS), he is considered one of the foremost landfill operations experts in the country. He literally wrote the book on effective landfill operations (The Handbook of Landfill Operations) and has authored hundreds of articles on topics ranging from landfill operations, safety, efficiency, and more. Mr. Bolton has pioneered the use of various industrial productivity improvement tools, such as Six Sigma and Lean in the areas of solid waste equipment utilization and material flow/handling. He has performed consulting, speaking and training projects in 38 states in the US and abroad.

Mr. Bolton has been involved in hundreds of operational audits and efficiency studies at landfill, transfer stations and other types of solid waste facilities ranging in size from regional facilities handling thousands of tons per day, to small rural sites handling a few tons per week. We have conducted operational audits for landfills that often focused on improving operating procedures, waste handling, equipment utilization and maintenance, environmental controls, process improvement, refuse placement, load checking, surveying, safety and landfill compaction. Mr. Bolton has worked on numerous landfill siting, expansion and closure projects. He has prepared scores of landfill development plans that included: site layout, access roads, waste footprint placement, base grade and final grade design. He has worked on several projects involving landfill airspace enhancement, maximization and waste compaction optimization.

During the early 1990’s, Mr. Bolton worked closely with dozens of landfills during the transition to the EPA's subtitle D rules. Mr. Bolton has presented training programs to thousands of people through the hundreds of training programs he has taught. He has provided training for the State of Indiana, State of North Carolina, State of Montana, State of Kansas and State of California and scores of other private and municipal clients. These training programs range from generic 1-4 hour sessions, to custom sessions that deal with site-specific operational issues for landfills and transfer stations.

Mr. Bolton has designed and implemented various testing procedures for evaluating solid waste equipment and operating methods including soil use minimization studies, compaction tests, and productivity analysis. Many of these were done in cooperation with Caterpillar, Ingersoll-Rand, Caron, Compactor, and Waste Management Inc. Mr. Bolton has provided recommendations on equipment selection and utilization for numerous landfills and transfer stations. He has developed and performed various equipment productivity analyses for dozers, wheel loaders, scrapers, compactors and other types of specialized waste handling equipment. Based on his broad level of experience, knowledge and reputation, Mr. Bolton is often retained as an expert witness on cases involving solid waste operations.

Publication History

Author: The Handbook of Landfill Operations – used as textbook for SWANA’s 1-day certification course entitled, “Operational Issues for Landfill Managers.” Also used for many years as the textbook for certification in the State of Virginia.

Author: The Handbook of Landfill Safety

Produced: 150+ safety videos for the waste industry. Many translated to Spanish and Greek. Translations to Portuguese and Arabic in process.

Author: 200+ landfill articles and technical papers, presented on three continents.

Instructor: 200+ training classes (including ~50 for SWANA) across the U.S. Prepared training materials and training for the State of California (24 classes for CalRecycle), the State of Indiana, and State of Kansas, State of Montana, State of North Carolina.

Presented: 50+ webinars for landfills, transfer stations, green/wood waste processing facilities, and recycling facilities

Read More about Samuel

Project Role: Tree Mortality Project Coordinator

Project Responsibilities: Main point of contact, logistics, County staff communications management, drone mapping and public outreach.

Background: Mr. Bolton worked previously as the Blue Ridge Services Safety Video Editor. His responsibilities include oversight of Terra-Track projects as the Terra-Track Field Manager and maintenance of the on and off-road equipment for Blue Ridge Services/Terra-Track. Mr. Bolton is also part of the Blue Ridge Services Drone Mapping Team.

Read More About Trish

Project Role: Tree Mortality Project Development Manager

Project Responsibilities: Grant Writing

With more than 20 years of experience, Patricia Gilger has been active in the grant process, from the initiation of ideas, through to submission and completion of projects. She has served as a grant writer, administrator, evaluator for community-based organizations, corporations and academics. Patricia’s skills include business planning, marketing, and the establishment of nonprofits, research; she is also versed in academic research proposals, and international and national policies.
Patricia earned her Bachelor of Science/Genetics degree at the University of Kansas. She is the founder of Mariposa Youth Impact Project (MyIP) and Assistant Director for Community Engagement for the UC Merced Alliance for Family and Child Health and Development, a center dedicated to the healthy development of children and their families in and around the San Joaquin Valley and nearby rural mountain regions.

Read More About Lloyd

Project Role: Tree Mortality Field Manager/ Chief Safety Officer

Project Responsibilities: Safety Inspections, job audits, project budget design, document oversight and review, logistics, scheduling, special projects, plan/timeline management, report management, county staff communication, and field activities.


California State University East Bay – Bachelor of Science

Oral Roberts University – Master of Divinity; Master of Arts Missions



  • 12 Years with C & P Trees Service of Oakland, CA.
  • 3 Years Director of Security/High Rise Fire Safety Director – Allied Universal, San Francisco
  • Blue Ridge Service – Field Manager and Chief Safety Officer of Mariposa Tree Mortality Project



Mr. Hanebury began work with tree care, trimming and removals from the age of 12 with his grandfather’s business, C & P Tree Service in Oakland, CA.  There he witnessed all manner of hazards and utilized OSHA mandated and approved safety procedures to mitigate dangers to workers and the public. He was certified as a High Rise Fire Safety Director in San Francisco and was the operating Director of Security and High Rise Safety Director for Hills Plaza in S.F. (Google’s San Francisco HQ) for 3 -years under Allied Universal.

Most Recently, Mr. Hanebury has been employed by Blue Ridge Services as the Field Manager for the Mariposa County Tree Mortality Project.  In this role, he has developed and standardized Safety Audits for the field crews of county subcontractors, to ensure the safety of the workers and the public.  He developed the Daily Activity Reports (D.A.R.) and Project Activity Reports (P.A.R.) to track the work done by the subcontractors to confirm completion of the work in accordance with the projects’ Scopes or Work.  Additionally, he creates Scopes of Work for the various projects, conducts job walks with the contractors bidding on the work, and audits the invoices against the P.A.R.s.  Mr. Hanebury also developed the Cashflow Model for the Mariposa County Tree Mortality Project enabling the County to maximize the benefits of reimbursements from OES and CalFire while factoring in the limited seed money available from the County.

Project Responsibilities:  Tree Mortality Project Support, Right of Entry Forms, Outreach/Communication with Members of the Public

Education: Clarion University of Pennsylvania – Bachelor of Science in Anthropology

Experience: Mr. Jones spent his childhood and young adult life in California State Parks with his family, and the experience sparked his interest in anthropology. He graduated from Clarion University of Pennsylvania with a degree in anthropology and spent many summers working for California State Parks. He worked as a seasonal lifeguard for Folsom Lake, worked as an archaeological aid in Sacramento, and in the Park Pass Sakes Office. After graduation, Mr. Jones attended an archaeological field school in Colorado and a conservation core in Utah. He currently resides in Mariposa, CA and assists Blue Ridge Services with tree morality projects.

Press Release

Press Release

County of Mariposa


For Immediate Release

February 7, 2017


Contact Information:  Dallin Kimble, Interim County Administrative Officer, 966-3222


Mariposa County Contracts with Blue Ridge Services, Inc. for Tree Mortality Operations

County plans to escalate efforts to reduce public risk


(Mariposa, CA - Tuesday, February 7, 2017)--The Mariposa County Board of Supervisors has approved an agreement with Blue Ridge Services, Inc. for tree mortality operations management services. This agreement provides for an escalation in the county-wide effort to reduce risk to public infrastructure resulting from tree mortality.  

Drought and insect infestations have killed millions of trees in Mariposa County. As many as 500,000 of those are located in high-hazard zones that may present a risk to County infrastructure. The County has responded with a strategic, multi-layered approach focused on reducing risks to public safety and protecting affected infrastructure.

The first layer of this effort, in partnership with CAL FIRE, has been to clear dead trees from County property and easements for county-maintained roads where fire or falling trees could damage critical infrastructure (roads, parks, facilities, etc.). This effort is significant, ongoing, and has benefitted from the complementary efforts of PG&E, Caltrans, the Mariposa County Fire Safe Council and many others.

After significant discussion through the summer and fall of 2016, the Board of Supervisors directed staff to develop additional capacity to fell trees that present risks to public safety or infrastructure, but may be located on private land and require the landowner’s permission prior to initiating work. This step is the second layer of the County’s approach to the tree mortality issue. Blue Ridge Services, Inc. was selected through a competitive bidding process to manage these mitigation efforts for the County.

In addition to servicing and educating the general public, Blue Ridge Services, Inc., is tasked with developing a prioritized plan to mitigate the risks of tree mortality to public safety and infrastructure, obtaining grants and pursuing California Disaster Assistance Act (CDAA) reimbursements, meeting all environmental requirements, securing property owner permissions where mitigation is necessary, coordinating efforts with partner agencies, and executing the developed plan in accordance with all appropriate regulations.

“Felling these trees would dramatically reduce the public risk; working with Blue Ridge Services, we hope to fell as many dead trees as possible with minimum impact to the General Fund,” explained District 1 Supervisor Rosemarie Smallcombe. Smallcombe and fellow supervisor Kevin Cann are members of the Governor’s Task Force on Tree Mortality and have been active participants in every step of the process.

In most cases, felled trees are expected to remain on the property where they are felled into order to maximize the impact of limited funding. Another member of the Governor’s Task Force on Tree Mortality, Sergeant Kevin Packard, explained, “Using this approach enables the County to focus on providing as much public safety and infrastructure benefit as possible with the available resources.”

The Board of Supervisors has approved $40,000 for tree mortality mitigation with another $40,000 to be considered at a future meeting. With matching CDAA funds, these allocations could be used to complete up to $320,000 in tree mortality mitigation efforts in Mariposa County.

Blue Ridge Services, Inc. is expected to begin the planning phase of their work immediately. They will be publishing a weekly column in the Mariposa Gazette and providing periodic updates to the Board of Supervisors to keep the public informed of their activities.