Mad River Union
McKINLEYVILLE – McKinleyville may have found a solution to ongoing complaints about people shooting guns and hunting along the banks of the Mad River. It turns out that an ordinance passed by the county Board of Supervisors about three decades ago bans shooting firearms along most of the river in town.
The McKinleyville Municipal Advisory Committee (McKMAC) took up the issue at its March 28 meeting after receiving numerous complaints about gunfire near homes along the estuary.
A representative of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office was going to attend the meeting to discuss the issue, but was unable to do so after he came down with a “terrible case of poison oak,” said committee member Kevin Jenkins.
Instead, Fifth District Supervisor Ryan Sundberg was in attendance to speak on behalf of the county.
Sundberg said there’s an ordinance that bans firearm discharge along most of the riverfront in McKinleyville.
A map provided by the county shows that shooting is prohibited from the Hammond Bridge all the way to an area just north of Murray Road on both sides of the river.
Neighbors said that they’ve been complaining for years, but have repeatedly been told by law enforcement that there was nothing that could be done because it’s a legal area for hunting. Somehow, over the years, the existence of the three-decade-old ordinance had been forgotten.
Now that it’s been unearthed, the county plans to put up signs informing hunters that the area is off limits.
Sunderg said the signs will cost about $500 to $600 to install. The budget appropriation will be considered by the Board of Supervisors at an upcoming meeting.
The McKMAC unanimously supported the effort and asked that the signs be erected at several locations, including near the Hammond Bridge and at the west ends of School Road, Murray Road and at Hiller Park and the Mad River Boat Ramp across the river.