The McKinleyville Community Forest Project Overview
The 553-acre tract of the Community Forest is located along the eastern boundary of McKinleyville and lies south of Murray Road, extending to near Hunts Drive. The forest is within the watersheds of Widow White Creek and Mill Creek.
The property is within the McKinleyville Community Services District (MCSD) boundary.
The McKinleyville Community Forest consists of second-and third growth Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis), redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) forest located near Humboldt Bay in north-coastal California. The forest also includes riparian areas along Widow White Creek and Mill Creek. Other conifer species found on the forest include grand fir (Abies grandis), western hemlock (Tsuga hetrophylla) and non-native Monterey pine (Pinus radiata).
The McKinleyville Community Forest will be managed for multiple purposes including public access, outdoor recreation, timber production, fish and wildlife habitat, carbon sequestration, education and research and soil and watershed conservation.
Brief History of “How We Got Here...”
In 2013, the MCSD board adopted a five-year strategic plan that included for the first time an objective to create a community forest. The McKinleyville Municipal Advisory Committee, (McKMAC) a citizen group, voted unanimously at its Nov 18, 2015 meeting to create a community forest based on one of three potential land base options.
In 2015, responding to community interest, the McKinleyville Community Services District and The Trust for Public Land (TPL) created a partnership to aid in creation of the MCF. A presentation was later made about the proposal to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, and the Board unanimously voted to support the concept. At a later meeting of the McKinleyville Community Services District, the MCSD Board voted approval and to consider sources of funding for the project. Beginning in 2016 and continuing through 2020, MCSD and TPL jointly applied for numerous grants to acquire what the McKMAC described as Option 2 for a community forest.
On Dec 9, 2020, the California Natural Resources Agency awarded a $3.8 million grant to TPL for the purpose of acquiring 553 acres of Green Diamond Resource Co. land and then conveying that land to the MCSD.
Currently the MCF property is in the appraisal process. While that takes place MCSD and Green Diamond Resource Co. are working to identify the access points which will be included in the property title transfer language. There will be two access points on Murray Rd. and at least one access point established on the west side of the forest. This access point will require Green Diamond Resource Co. to include an access easement in the transfer of the MCF property to MCSD as all of the potential access points are across GDRC property that is not included in the MCF property acquisition.
Public input regarding the potential access points is currently being sought and will be critical to the decision making by GDRC as to which of the potential access points are granted an access easement for development by MCSD for public access to the Community Forest.
The map on this page outlines the proposed potential access points. Several of these locations are currently being used by the public to illegaly access GDRC forest property for various recreation purposes. (All access without a permit from GDRC is illegal at this time.)
The MCF project will develop 1-2 of the points identified by a Green Star on the map. Public input is critical to the selection of which access point or points will be developed. Each potential access point has different opportunities, challenges and limitations to be considered.
Each potential access point has unique challenges and opportunities. It is important to note that any access point will likely require the development of a road across the GDRC holding that is between the existing residential areas and the MCF property. Parking, trails and other amenities for public recreational use will not be developed in the residential area or on GDRC property, any such amenity development will be on MCF property.
MCSD: Patrick Kaspari: General Manger, firstname.lastname@example.org, 707-839-3251
MCSD: Lesley Frisbee, Parks & Recreation Director, email@example.com, 707-839-9003