Ridge Trail Gains Key Northern Link – December 30, 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011

Kevin L. Hoover

Eye Editor

ARCATA – The City of Arcata and Green Diamond Resource Company issued a press release today (see below) announcing closure of escrow on a key link in the Arcata Ridge Trail – the northernmost piece, which connects the Arcata Community Forest to West End Road.

Environmental Services Director Mark Andre said the acquisition allows access to the Ridge Trail from the north, enabling logging trucks from the future harvests to bypass residential neighborhoods. It will also ease construction of the trail. “It allows us to get busy building the trail, which already exists, but now we can properly rock and sign it.”

That leaves just two parcels to be acquired until the 4.3 mile Ridge Trail is fully owned by the citizens of Arcata. One is the 22-acre Schmidbauer Property, which connects the trail all the way from from Fickle Hill Road to Buttermilk Lane. The Schmidbauer parcel has been authorized for full funding $630,000 by the Dept. of General Service  and is set for probable approved by the state Wildlife Conservation Board on Feb. 23, 2012.

“The outlook is good for that transaction to be funded,” Andre said. “It’s on pace.”

Once Schmidbauer is secured, all that will remain will be the 4.5 acre Humphry Parcel on the north side of Fickle Hill Road. That will cost an estimated $200,000 to $300,000 and will add the last 490 feet to the Ridge Trail.

Andre noted that with all its twists and turns included the trail’s actual length is closer to 4.5 miles. The Humphry section is just 1.8 percent of that total.

Those wishing to contribute to the Forest Fund for creation of the Ridge Trail may find information on the trail’s Facebook page.

Below is the City of Arcata/Green Diamond press release issued today:

Arcata Secures Key 16-acre Open Space Property Near Janes Creek


(Arcata, CA) On December 30, 2011, the City of Arcata closed escrow on a 16.3-acre open space riparian forest parcel that will eventually provide public trails connectivity to the Arcata Community Forest. The property, formerly owned by the Green Diamond Resource Company, is a significant addition to Arcata’s public open space system.

The $262,000 purchase was made possible by a $100,000 grant from the State Coastal Conservancy, $100,000 from the Janes Creek Trust Fund authorized by the California Department of Fish and Game, $10,000 from the Save the Redwoods League, $7,500 from Ducks Unlimited and local fundraising efforts including: $10,000 from the Eureka Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, $9,500 from the Humboldt Area Foundation (Arcata Forest Fund individual and community group fundraising), $2,000 from the Redwood Region Audubon Society, $2,000 from the Northern California Horsemen Association and $500 from the Humboldt Bay Trails Council.

“The City of Arcata is very pleased to be in partnership with state agencies, non-profits and community groups on this important conservation effort,” said Mark Andre, the City of Arcata Environmental Services Director. “The opportunity to acquire this was a top community open-space priority. This acquisition protects a half-mile of riparian habitat along Janes Creek, improves and enhances flood control facilities, allows public access to the northern portion of the Arcata Ridge Trail and improves administrative access to the Arcata Community Forest. It is a significant milestone in the eventual completion of the more than four-mile-long trail as well as creating an open space and habitat protection corridor.”

“We greatly appreciate Green Diamond Resource Company’s willingness to make this land available to provide open space for the community and appreciate Green Diamond’s ongoing positive relationship with the City of Arcata,” said Arcata Mayor Michael Winkler.

For information about Arcata’s forestry and open space programs, visit  cityofarcata.org/departments/environmental-services, call (707) 822-8184 or e-mail eservices@cityofarcata.org.