El Dorado County Christmas Tree Farms Join 'Fish-Friendly' Movement
Some fresh-cut Christmas trees come with dividends downstream.
In their annual search for the perfect fir or cedar, visitors to the Sierra foothills may notice something different this holiday season. Some farms have joined California's "fish-friendly" movement and have posted their smiling salmon signs proudly.
These farms follow environmental practices to preserve water quality and be kind to wildlife. They're part of the same trends that bring us "slow food" and river-friendly landscaping. But instead of farm-to-fork, their product is farm to floor.
"We started talking about it five years ago," said Dee Kobervig, co-owner of Crystal Creek Tree Farm in Camino. "We got certified fish-friendly this year. We've got three tree farms so far in the program – all family farms. It helps keep our area rural. If people can't make a living farming, we lose those farms."
Also selling fish-friendly trees this season are Carson Ridge Evergreens and McGee's Christmas Tree Farm, both in Placerville.
Their customers will be folks who want to know where their tree grew – and that it helped wildlife and not hurt it...
So far, 44 sites in El Dorado County have joined the Fish-Friendly Farm program, Hunt said. Altogether, they encompass 2,755 acres including 14.3 miles of creeks. Part of the American River watershed, those little creeks affect the quality of water that flows down to the Valley and everything that uses that water – including fish and people.
"We have Christmas tree farms, a lot of vineyards, tree fruit orchards," Hunt said. "We've been very proactive. We want to assure people that water leaving here is as pure as it can be."
As part of a voluntary program run through the U.S. ...