The Standing Dead: The towering emotional and financial toll of living among dead trees

Imagine a force so brutal and unrelenting that it can kill 100 million giants. 

Such was the California drought.

Across the Sierra Nevada, whole hillsides turned from brown to orange to gray as trees of all sizes succumbed to lack of water and infestation by bark beetles. Millions more are expected to die despite last winter’s rain and snow. For those who watched the forests die around them and are now dealing with the aftermath, the emotional and financial costs are enormous.