VALLEJO, CA – In September 2019, the City of Vallejo announced
the launch of the first step in the effort to restore and preserve the historic Mare Island Naval Cemetery, in conjunction with the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training
Following the September 25, 26 and October 1, 2019 brush fires at the Mare Island Preserve, City staff and professional contractors have been working to restore the Preserve for public use. The fires burned more than 40 acres, including areas within the Naval Cemetery and Navy-owned lands adjacent to the Preserve. In December 2019, staff retained an independent arborist to assess trees in the Preserve and Cemetery and provide recommendations.
Per the arborist’s findings:
- Over 200 trees in the Preserve and Cemetery areas suffered moderate to severe fire damage, having charred and/or dead branches, or experienced a whole tree failure
- Approximately 150 trees were recommended for immediate removal
Consistent with the IRT Project and the arborist’s recommendations, additional eucalyptus and invasive acacia trees have been removed
in the Cemetery. These trees did not experience direct fire damage, however were removed to allow for installation of drainage infrastructure, due to poor tree structure, and/or liability concern. Healthy trees remain in the Cemetery, including a large eucalyptus with good structure. The City of Vallejo fully understands the beauty and environmental significance of the tree canopy; as with any other public trees, the remaining trees have or will be pruned to protect the health of the tree and reduce liability to visitors and Cemetery infrastructure.
Consistent with the arborist’s recommendations, staff recently planted over 30 coast live oak trees in fire damaged areas to support wildlife and aviary habit. Additional tree plantings are planned for the future as a part of a broader community effort that will occur once the Preserve and Cemetery
are re-opened to the public later this Spring.
Future project updates will be posted on the City’s website