ARCATA – Cypress Grove Chevre has abandoned plans to install a 1,200-goat dairy on the Arcata Bottom and will look for an alternate site. The decision follows a meeting last night in which neighbors voiced multiple objections.
Below, a press release issued Tuesday afternoon:
Arcata Cheesemaker Decides Against Proposed Arcata Bottom Property
Arcata, CA – (June 15, 2011) – Humboldt County-based Cypress Grove Chevre announced today that it will no longer pursue the purchase of the 23-acre pasture west of Q Street in the Arcata Bottom to develop a new goat dairy adjacent to its existing creamery.
Cypress Grove hosted a neighborhood meeting on Monday, June 13 to share up-to-date plans with those living nearby the initially proposed site. After a brief presentation of the plan, the overall tenor of the meeting convinced Cypress Grove management to look for another property. “I'm proud of our standing in this community, not only for our cheesemaking, but as excellent neighbors,” said Mary Keehn, founder of Cypress Grove Chevre. “It's clear that many of our neighbors have deep concerns about the dairy being near their homes.”
“In the end, what spoke loudest to us was the fervor of the opposition rather than the accuracy of information being circulated,” commented Pamela Dressler, General Manager of Cypress Grove Chevre. “The reality of the situation is that land zoned "Ag General‟ that is bordered on three sides by the City of Arcata, is de facto not really viable "Ag General‟ land. We met with 100 neighbors firmly intent on stopping an otherwise legal and productive agricultural project without knowing much about it. Ultimately, this community is important to us and we‟re confident that we will find another suitable site.”
Cypress Grove still plans to build a modern, humane certified, 1,200 to 1,400 goat dairy using a proven western-European model of maintaining herds within well-ventilated and naturally lit indoor spaces while providing outdoor access for all animals. The vast majority of animal waste will be closely monitored, collected and composted with straw. This mixture will be stored in large, covered concrete bins, resulting in a final product of excellent fertilizer. The dairy will create 12 living-wage, fully-benefited jobs between the two facilities.
Cypress Grove will continue searching the area from McKinleyville to Ferndale for suitable property.
About Cypress Grove Chevre (www.cypressgrovechevre.com)
Cypress Grove Chevre is the leading producer of fine American goat cheese, including the top- selling American artisanal classic, Humboldt Fog. Founded in 1983 by Mary Keehn, Cypress Grove continues a tradition of innovation by introducing original American cheeses to the marketplace, such as Truffle Tremor and new Herbs de Humboldt. Based in Humboldt County, CA, where the Redwoods meet the Pacific, Cypress Grove‟s award-winning family of products can be found at fine retail outlets and restaurants across the country. Cypress Grove‟s mission is to provide its customers with an innovative and unique selection of cheeses while taking care of its employees, community, dairies and the environment.