The vast majority of the Redwood Temperate Rainforest is in private hands. Some of those lands are managed better than others, but ultimately the general public has very little input over the restoration and recovery of California’s great Redwood forests. National and state parks cover a significantly smaller area than private lands in the Redwoods and opportunities for restoration are limited. Every once in a while the public has the opportunity to acquire more forested lands, but rarely does this occur in productive Redwood forests. EPIC is proud to support two recent initiatives that will hopefully result in the creation of two new publicly-owned Redwood forests in Humboldt County.
First, EPIC recently sent a letter to the California Wildlife Conservation Board in support of a grant for the Humboldt State University Forest/Arcata Jacoby Creek Forest Expansion. This project proposes to transfer 10 parcels totaling 978 acres from Sierra Pacific Industries, Inc. to the City of Arcata and Humboldt State University. The tremendous success of the City of Arcata’s community forests and parks in offering recreational opportunities and leading the way in restoration forestry methods is well recognized. This exciting new public forest will be contiguous to existing public lands managed by the City of Arcata and will further solidify protections for the headwaters of Jacoby Creek, a critical watershed for Coho Salmon, Pacific Fisher and Northern Spotted Owl.
Second, EPIC recently attended a meeting with a large number of community members to express support for the creation of a new community forest outside of Eureka, CA in an area locally known as the McKay Tract. The County of Humboldt is beginning a public process that will hopefully result in a strong community supported management plan. The County is maintaining a webpage for posting public documents and is encouraging input from community members. EPIC will be engaged in this process to ensure that the lands to be acquired will be managed in a respectful way, moving the industrial timberlands to a more structurally complex and older forest over time, while providing critical open space for nearby residents.