McKay Tract

Community Forest

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The Humboldt Trails Council is your connection

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Volunteer Trail Stewards

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Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul.              

        ~ John Muir

Humboldt Trails Council  .  info@humtrails.org

The Volunteer Trail Stewards is a project of the Humboldt Trails Council, Friends of the Dunes, City of Arcata, City of Eureka, and the County of Humboldt.

RSVP


Volunteers 55+ years of age might be interested in joining a new VTS effort with RSVP, a program of the Volunteer Center of the Redwoods and the Area 1 Agency on Aging...  RSVP is a national volunteer program providing the following benefits to those 55+ who sign up and report monthly hours: limited mileage reimbursement, supplemental volunteer insurance, invitation to their annual Recognition event, and support from RSVP staff to get the word out about Volunteer Trail Stewards.

If you are interested, please contact Stacy or Rees.

 

Get Your VTS Vest!

Volunteer Trail Steward vests are available for $30 or with regular and devoted service, you may earn one, or discounts are available.  VTS are encouraged to wear these whenever you are on the Hammond, at the Friends of the Dunes Nature Center or in Arcata’s Community Forest.  Not only do they provide some protection against the weather but they help us be more visible.   

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McKay Tract
Trail Stewards

For more information on the McKay Tract, please go to:

https://co.humboldt.ca.us/pubworks/mckayforest/

Help support the vision of a community forest in greater Eureka!

Humboldt County is currently considering accepting and managing forestland adjacent to Myrtletown and Cutten as a community forest, in collaboration with the City of Eureka, and community support is needed to bring this vision to reality.

 

The proposed McKay Community Forest would stretch for roughly four miles along the west side of Ryan Creek and the eastern perimeter of Eureka, from Park Street on the north to the land east of Ridgewood Drive on the south.  The Forest would be situated adjacent to Redwood Acres Fairgrounds and Cutten, starting at 1,000 acres and potentially growing over time. The vision is that the McKay Community Forest would be managed for habitat conservation, sustainable timber production and public recreation, much like the Arcata Community Forest.

 

The purchase of the Forest is being coordinated with state and federal funds by The Trust for Public Land from Green Diamond Resources Company, the current property owner and willing seller. The County has analyzed projected future revenues from sustainable timber management and is currently developing a financial plan to cover the total costs of the recreational, public safety, and restoration needs of the Forest. The challenge for the County will be finding the resources in the short term to improve access, develop a network of multi-use trails, restore old logging roads, etc.  

 

Volunteer Trail Stewards (VTS) have partnered with several local jurisdictions to reduce trail maintenance and construction costs while also fostering greater community support for recreation and conservation projects. Trail Stewards contribute to trail development and maintenance through volunteer work-days and also serve as “eyes and ears” on local trails. The creation of a McKay Community Forest VTS group with community members pledging support would help show the County and the City of Eureka the level of interest for the Forest, and demonstrate the community resources that will be available to help them in the management and maintenance.

 

At the end of March or early April, the County Board of Supervisors will make a final decision whether to accept and manage the McKay for a community forest. Pending this ultimate decision at the Board of Supervisors and securing a final funding source in May, the County may begin managing the forestland as early as this summer. Although the process of building the trail network would not begin until Fall 2014 at the very earliest, it is important to know the level of community support now. The commitment of citizens will go a long way toward helping the Board of Supervisors support this investment in our future.

 

IF HUMBOLDT COUNTY ACCEPTS THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR OWNING AND MANAGING THE PROPOSED McKAY COMMUNITY FOREST, I AM READY AND WILLING TO SERVE AS A VOLUNTEER TRAIL STEWARD or SUPPORT THE PROJECT IN ANOTHER WAY.

Contact Dave Hayes, HTC Board Member and McKay Tract Volunteer Trail Stewards Coordinator

h_d_hayes@yahoo.com

Sign me up!  I WANT TO PLEDGE!

create an emailmailto:h_d_hayes@yahoo.com?subject=McKay%20Tract%20Pledge%20to%20help!

Humboldt County Accepts Funds to Establish 1,000-acre Community Forest near Eureka


On April 15, 2014, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to accept funds that will allow the County to purchase 1,000 acres of forestland southeast of Eureka to establish a community forest. The community forest will be managed in collaboration with the City of Eureka for multiple purposes including public access and recreation, sustainable timber harvest, and watershed and resource conservation.


The County will receive nearly $6.8 million from the California Natural Resources Agency, State Coastal Conservancy, and California Wildlife Conservation Board to acquire the 1,000-acre property, which is a portion of the McKay Tract owned by Green Diamond Resource Company. The property is situated adjacent to salmon-bearing Ryan Creek, a tributary to Humboldt Bay. Until a permanent name is established, the property will be called the McKay Community Forest.


Continuation of a working forest is essential to financial viability, with revenue generated through timber harvest used to offset management costs. Grants and donations will provide additional financial assistance. The financial plan has been developed based on no new encumbrance to the County’s General Fund.


“This project represents a strategic opportunity for a long-term investment in our community,” said Rex Bohn, Chair of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors. “Redwoods are part of our heritage, and this property is a treasure in Eureka’s backyard. It will be wonderful to make it accessible to the public in the near future, while maintaining productive timberland and contributing to economic productivity and local jobs. We’re going to use this forest for work and play, and we’re going to do it the right way.”


The project has been facilitated by The Trust for Public Land, a national conservation organization, which has pledged to provide $125,000 to the County to assist in start-up costs. According to David Sutton, Director of California Land Conservation, “This is an unusual grant for The Trust for Public Land, but we feel it speaks to the importance of this conservation project and the significance of the growing community forest movement in the West, a movement that we have supported since its inception.”


The City of Arcata’s longstanding community forest has demonstrated how forestland near the edge of town can be managed in a manner that balances public use, wood production, and forest conservation. After purchase is complete, the McKay Community Forest will become the first community forest owned and managed by a county government in California.


The new community forest will depend on active public involvement including trail building and maintenance, donations, volunteer patrols, and other activities. “The public is going to make the McKay Community Forest special,” said Supervisor Mark Lovelace. “I’m looking forward to their involvement because that will ensure this project is a reflection of our community.”


The property will be transferred from Green Diamond to the County within the next two to three months, however the property will not be open to the public until appropriate access points and trail segments are developed. The timeframe for making the property accessible will depend on fundraising and grant opportunities, volunteer interest, and coordination with neighboring landowners.


For more information, visit http://www.co.humboldt.ca.us/pubworks/mckayforest. You can also get emails with periodic updates by sending an email to: mckayforest@co.humboldt.ca.us.