Kevin L. Hoover
Mad River Union
JACOBY CREEK FOREST – Arcata’s “other” municipally-owned woodland, the 1,340-acre Jacoby Creek Forest, is about to expand by 80 acres thanks to a $1,754,000 grant from the California Dept. of Fish & Wildlife.
The grant also helps make possible the acquisition of 887 acres for a new Humboldt State University-managed forest. The seller of the $4.5 million property is California’s biggest private landowner, Sierra Pacific Industries.
According to Environmental Services Director Mark Andre, three more grants will be required to seal the deal – approximately $800,000 from Cal Fire, $226,000 from the California Resources Agency and $1.7 million from the Wildlife Conservation Board.
Still, Andre said, “This is the linchpin. This gets us there.”
HSU and the city will manage the properties as a conservation project, but that doesn’t mean the forest lands won’t be used – they’ll have multiple purposes. “It buffers the Jacoby Creek Forest from fragmentation and rural estate development,” Andre said. “There’s a carbon component, a wildlife component, a research component, an education component.”
According to a staff report, the acquisition is located at the headwaters to Jacoby Creek and compliments the City of Arcata/Jacoby Creek Land Trust conservation plan for the watershed by adding one-and-a-half miles of protection corridor to the current eight miles of the creek, forming a protection corridor from the creek’s source to the estuary on Humboldt Bay.
While there is no public access at present, Andre said that could come about in cooperation with HSU in the future as the project matures.
The new acquisition is consistent with the City Council’s goals and the Forest Management Plan, and was approved by all relevant city advisory committees.
City of Arcata
SUPPORT THE FOREST FUND The Arcata Forest Fund at the Humboldt Area Foundation provides a source for private tax deductible donations to assist the City of Arcata in purchasing forest lands to be added to the Arcata Community Forest, the Sunny Brae Forest and the Jacoby Creek Forest. Donations to this fund will go only towards the purchase and restoration of forest lands, and will help the city leverage state and federal grants. Forest lands purchased through these funds preserve and expand open space around the city, and will be managed for recreation, watershed and habitat protection, carbon sequestration, and sustainable forestry use. Donating to the Arcata Forest Fund is easy online. Or call the Humboldt Area Foundation at (707) 442-2993 or mail at 363 Indianola Rd, Bayside, CA 95524. For more information on the Arcata Community Forest including the volunteer workday schedule, contact the Arcata Environmental Services Department at (707) 822-8184 or visit cityofarcata.org/190/City-Forests.