News Release

For Release: March 27, 2008       
Contact: Jeff Fontana (530) 252-5332 or Bruce Cann (707) 825-2300
CA-N-08-37

BLM, Partners Accepting Comments on Ma-le'l Dunes Initial Study/Environmental Assessment

Those interested in management of the Ma-le’l Dunes area of the Samoa Peninsula have the opportunity to comment on an initial study/environmental assessment (IS/EA) recently released by the Bureau of Land Management, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and State Coastal Conservancy.  It contains revisions made after public comments were received on the initial release of the document last year.  The document addresses public access improvements and environmental impacts to the area.
 
A notice of availability was published locally on March 21, starting a 30-day public comment period that ends April 19, 2008.
 
The IS/EA and accompanying the public access plan are available for review at the following websites:  www.fws.gov/humboldtbay; www.blm.gov/ca/arcata; www.friendsofthedunes.org; and www.coastalconservancy.ca.gov.  Hard copies and CDs are available at the BLM Arcata Field Office, 1695 Heindon Rd., Arcata, Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge Office, 1020 Ranch Rd., Loleta, and Friends of the Dunes Office, 200 Stamps Lane, Manila.

Comments should be sent to the State Coastal Conservancy via email to scorbaley@scc.ca.gov, via fax to Su Corbaley at 510-286-0470, or by mail to State Coastal Conservancy, 1330 Broadway, 13th Floor, Oakland, CA  94618, attention Su Corbaley.
 
The Ma-le’l Dunes Cooperative Management Area (CMA) consists of 444 acres of public land along a mile-and-a-half of coastline on the Samoa Peninsula of Humboldt Bay, just north of Manila.  The area has a rich cultural history and a unique combination of coastal dune, wetland, and forest ecosystems.

The BLM-managed southern portion of the Ma-le’l Dunes CMA (Ma-le’l South) is open to the public for hiking, wildlife viewing, photography, horseback riding and dog walking.  The northern area of the CMA (Ma-le’l North) is managed by the USFWS and comprises the Ma-le’l Dunes Unit of the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge. 

The public access plan proposes opening Ma-le’l North to the public for a variety of activities including hiking, wildlife observation, photography and environmental education (no dog walking or horseback riding).  Following the approval of the public access plan and environmental review documents, access improvements will be implemented. 

-BLM-

Arcata Field Office     1695 Heindon Rd.     Arcata, CA  95521