Mike Dronkers / Thursday, Jan. 16 @ 2:27 p.m. / McKay Tract
The county was hoping to have all the funding in place to acquire some timberland for recreation, conservation, and revenue behind Eureka, but there's been a slight holdup with one of the funders.
Hank Seemann, Deputy-Director of Environmental Services for Humboldt County Public Works gave KHUM an update this afternoon about the proposed McKay tract community forest.
"There are three funding sources for this first phase of acquisition. The first two have already allocated their funds for a total of 2.2 million dollars and then the third source was the state wildlife conservation board for almost 4 1/2 million dollars. They have meetings every quarter, and we'd been thinking that they were gonna have their meeting to approve their funding in December, then that got pushed to February, and then we just got word in the last few days that it got pushed to May."
Seemann said the delay was due to a technicality on the land's appraisal, but that it was actually a relief.
"It shouldn't jeopardize the likelihood of that funding being available, it's just pushing it back. But in reality, I think it's actually a fortunate delay...
"What's a challenge is that it's a long-term enterprise and it's a large undertaking. So we're still working on putting the pieces together, so this extra time is very welcome."
Hear the KHUM interview below:
In other McKay Tract forest news, those wondering about revenue projections should pour this financial report into their eyes. According to a mass email from the Public Works department:
Humboldt County staff continue to analyze the projected costs of developing access points and trails, improving roads, and performing the necessary functions and services (management, operations and maintenance, patrols and public safety). Staff will develop a financial plan to support the Board of Supervisors’ decision whether or not to accept the property to own and manage as a community forest. A project report with the financial plan will be made available to the public when it is completed and a public meeting will be scheduled. A date for the public meeting has not been scheduled, but the most likely timeframe for the meeting is March 2014.
- McKay Tract Supervisorial Summit
- Supes to Get Earful About McKay Tract
- McKay Tract: I’m Yours?
- Massive Community Forest Planned For Eureka
Mike Dronkers / Friday, Dec. 13, 2013 @ 5:09 p.m. / McKay Tract
At 2 pm Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors will get an update from staff as well as comments from the public regarding the not-a-done-deal-yet McKay Tract Community Forest. Have a look-see at the staff report below for a quick rundown.
At preliminary public meetings, both enthusiasm (cool trails! recreation!) and concern (sustainable timber harvest! traffic congestion!) for the project was expressed by members of the public.
Background: Essentially, Eureka may gets its own version of the Arcata Community Forest, under the county's jursidiction. According to the county's informational site:
A community forest is being planned for timberland located southeast of Eureka near Myrtletown, Cutten, and Ridgewood Heights. State and federal funds are being pursued by The Trust for Public Land (TPL) to acquire a portion of the McKay Tract which is owned by Green Diamond Resource Company. TPL is working with Green Diamond in order to convey the land acquired for the community forest to Humboldt County who would become owner and manager of the forest.
Want to email your supervisor about the McKay tract?
County of Humboldt's Hank Seemann spoke with KHUM about the meeting, the hurdles, and the process.
The county is gearing up to acquire hundreds of acres behind Eureka. The McKay Tract, currently owned by Green Diamond Resource Company, could become accessible to the public for hiking, biking, wildlife viewing, watershed protection, with sustainable timber harvest defraying the cost of management.
[Photo: Three miles up main McKay trail]
This is not a done deal, and the county is begging for public comment. Are you for this? Will this be another meeting proponents don't show?
- What: Public input for McKay Tract proposal
- When: 6:00-7:30pm p.m., Tuesday April 30th
- Where: Winship Middle School, 2500 Cypress (Off Walnut Drive in Cutten)
County informational flyer below the jump.
Good news for outdoor enthusiasts: the county is working to acquire the McKay Tract, a large forest behind Eureka. It's not a done deal, but things are looking good. If successful, it could double the size of land managed by the Humboldt County Public Works Department, and create a tremendous new destination for recreation and outdoor activities in Eureka’s backyard.
The county says it will be solicit public input in April. How can the McKay park learn from the mistakes and successes of the Arcata Community Forest?
- A timber-harvest element that would pay for the management [think Arcata Community Forest]
- Hiking, biking, and equestrian trails
- Carbon [sequestration] markets
- Conservation easement
[More details, photos, and maps below the jump]