Expert: State hazard tree removal program working

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An independent forester hired to do a quick review of the state’s controversial hazard tree removal program has concluded that 96% of the 2,200 trees he recently examined were appropriately marked for removal. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports he said the program also has the necessary protocols in place to identify which trees damaged by the 2020 wildfires are hazardous. And he said the arborists and foresters who were supposed to be marking those trees have the appropriate qualifications called for by the state. The report is likely to satisfy the Oregon Department of Transportation and its main contractor monitoring the program. But the forester’s report, released Monday, contradicted or didn’t vet some allegations whistleblowers made to lawmakers.