Amy Quinton / Capital Public Radio

Aerial surveys around the state show more than 20 million dead trees so far this year. The drought has a partner in crime – the pine beetle. If this deadly combination continues it could drastically change California’s forested landscape.  

To understand the impact of the drought in the Sierra Nevada forests, one need only visit Al Anderson’s 800-acre ranch in Mariposa County.

Loggers are busy cutting down dead trees on his property. Anderson says over the last two years, he’s watched his trees die.

Year’s Dry Start Hurts Ranchers, Farmers

Jan 16, 2014
Vinnee Tong

Many people across California are thinking the same thought lately: If only I could make it rain.

The state just endured its driest year ever, according to the National Weather Service. And rainfall levels this year -- at halfway through our rainiest months -- aren’t much improved. Now the state has created a team to address the drought, with many waiting for Gov. Brown to officially declare it an emergency.

Farmers and ranchers are already feeling the pain.