Get to Know Tree-Killing Bugs (Galbreath)

For the past decade, California’s forests have been experiencing unprecedented levels of tree mortality due to drought and invasions of non-native pests. Sonoma County’s Valley oaks are currently being attacked by the invasive Mediterranean Oak Borer, and pines and firs are declining due to increased attacks by beetles that are native to California. While Mendocino County has not seen the Mediterranean Oak Borer, if we aren’t all careful, we will. The sustained drought conditions have weakened many trees and shrubs, causing them to be more susceptible to attack, decline and potentially death, from insects and diseases. In this program you will learn about native and non-native pests, how to recognize them, and what you can do to stop their spread.


  • Curtis Ewing, Forest Entomology and Pathology Senior Environmental Scientist for Northern California, CalFire
  • Chris Lee, Pathologist for the Northern California coastal area, CalFire


We will meet at 9:30 in front of the Yorkville Market (26701 Highway 128) which is closed at this time. There we will form carpools to drive up to the preserve. We will need AWD or 4-wheel drive vehicles on the reserve, so if you have one and are willing to drive, please let me know. 

Participants must sign a waiver upon arrival.  All minors must be accompanied by a legal guardian or a group leader who can legally take on that role (e.g., Girl Scout group). Pets and smoking are not permitted. No previous experience or knowledge is required. 

We will be walking over uneven and potentially steep ground in forested areas, but the walk will not be strenuous – perhaps half a mile total with minimal elevation gain. Walking sticks may be helpful.

There is a restroom available at the Galbreath Preserve, but no drinking water.

COVID-19 Safety

All staff are vaccinated. Do not attend if you test positive for COVID-19 or if you have any symptoms that may be indicative of COVID-19, even if you are vaccinated. You are highly encouraged to get vaccinate and properly wear a mask when indoors (e.g., while driving in carpools). We will spend all of our time outdoors where social distancing is possible. All SSU updated guidelines can be found here.

What to Bring

Please bring a suitable mask to wear while carpooling. Wear a hat, sturdy shoes for hiking, long pants & sleeves, and sun and insect protection Poison oak and ticks are present. Bring water and a snack.

How to Sign Up

See registration link below. Each person should register separately. This event is free of charge.

About the Center

Sonoma State University’s Center for Environmental Inquiry empowers university students to work with community members on the environmental challenges of the North Bay. Our mission is to create an engaged and environmentally ready society, one where all people have the skills to find solutions to the challenges facing our earth. SSU Preserves are open to everyone engaged in education or research. Reservations are required.

Galbreath Wildlands Preserve
Admission Fees
Contact Email
Contact Phone
Contact Name
Margot Rawlins
Date & Time Registration Link
Saturday, April, 29, 2023, 9:30am to 2:00pm