Santa Clara County is home to many forested parks throughout its varied landscape. County Parks develops Forest Health Plans to address the unique challenges and opportunities of each forest in our Park system. Forest Health Plans identify forest health issues, define projects and practices to improve forest health, and provide a framework for long-term forest management.
Forest Health Plans were first developed in response to an increase in tree disease spread and tree failures at Mount Madonna Park in the early 2000s, leading to the removal of hundreds of affected trees. As the largest forested park, Mount Madonna was the first park to receive a completed Forest Health Plan in 2018. As of 2022, Natural Resource Management staff are working on completing a Forest Health Plan for Sanborn and Upper Stevens Creek County Parks. Like Mount Madonna County Park, Sanborn and Upper Stevens Creek County Parks have had an increase in forest pests and disease in many of the camping and picnic areas of the park, including the presence of Sudden Oak Death. The development of a Forest Health Plan for these parks will guide management activities to improve forest health and resiliency to climate change, drought, and wildfire.
Natural Resources Management staff design Forest Health Plans to:
- Remove hazards to the public and infrastructure
- Monitor forest stressors and threats
- Reduce wildfire threat
- Improve forest conditions to promote long-term forest health
- Implement practices that minimize effects of forest management activities
- Evaluate the effectiveness of forest management activities.