Loggers from across the country converging on Oakhurst after historic levels of dying trees

OAKHURST, Calif. (KFSN) -- What is typically the slow, quiet time of year for Oakhurst has seen an unexpected jolt to its local economy.

Out of town tree loggers staying there to help with the region's dead tree population have given the foothill community a nice stream of revenue before tourism season ramps up next month.

"They're from as far as Maine, Florida, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, Oregon, and all over California," said Kathy Janzen, Sierra Mercantile.

Janzen has gotten to know many of them and says half of her business comes from the brave men and women who are busy chopping trees this time of year.

Janzen's store is the only place in town loggers can find the proper work gear needed to wear while on duty

"We just had one guy after another guy come in and say, 'you know what, if you guys carry this stuff we'll come in.'"

Hotels and restaurants have also benefited from the influx of all the tree loggers visiting the area

"Beginning of a very good season, it seems to be picking up a little faster than normal. I think that's because we have quite a few of the loggers here," said Bill Putnam, Best Western General Manager.

"Those hundreds of loggers have been an incredible new revenue stream for all the businesses in the Sierra and that's what's really saving us," said Jerry Rankin, Comfort Inn General Manager.

The loggers are expected remain in the area for the next several years to deal with the number of dead trees.
Copyright © 2019 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.