For Release: Feb. 26, 2009
Contact: Chris Heppe (707) 825-2300 or Jeff Fontana (530) 252-5332
BLM, Partners Marking 10th Anniversary of Headwaters Acquisition
Improved public access, forest improvements and miles of stream restoration are among the accomplishments completed in the Headwaters Forest Reserve since its transfer into public ownership 10 years ago.
The U. S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), in partnership with the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG), will mark the anniversary March 1. Through the coming year, the partners will share information about the anniversary, and encourage people to learn more about the important headwaters ecosystems when they visit to hike, bike, or just enjoy the grandeur of the reserve and its groves of thousand-year-old redwoods.
"We manage the Headwaters Forest Reserve primarily to protect old growth redwoods and to restore critical habitat for coho and Chinook salmon, steelhead, marbled murelets and northern spotted owls, all threatened species," said Lynda Roush, manager of the BLM Arcata Field Office. "At the same time, we provide opportunities for people to recreate, learning more about these resources while they hike and bike on a greatly expanded trail network."
Roush noted several key accomplishments in the 7,500-acre reserve:
- Since completion of a management plan in 2004, existing recreation trails doubled to more than 13 miles. Recreational trails are designed for visitors with varying levels of ability.
- New trails provide ecologically-sound public access into old growth redwood groves.
- The first mile of the Elk River Trail has been paved and is accessible by wheelchairs. Signs explain the history and significance of the historic logging town of Falk.
- An historic engine house at Falk was disassembled and then restored and rebuilt along the Elk River Trail in the reserve’s northern area. It will serve as an education center.
- More than 10 miles of roads and 50 stream crossings have been removed, reducing sediment flow into streams and improving fish habitat.
- Thinning has been completed on more than 1,000 acres of harvested forest to accelerate growth of the stands.
- Crews have treated more than 200 acres of invasive weeds.
- A guided hike program has been established at the Salmon Pass Trail near Fortuna. Educational programs are offered for schools and members of the public.
"We are particularly pleased that we have been able to contract with local companies who employ local workers to complete these projects," Roush said. "Strong support from partners has been a key to our success."
The reserve southeast of Eureka was acquired with congressional and state appropriations totaling $380 million. It is part of the BLM’s National Landscape Conservation System, established to conserve some of the nation’s most dramatic landscapes.
A scenic and informative video presentation, part of BLM's "Beyond the Brochure" series, is available online at http://www.blm.gov/ca/media/video/btb/headwaters.
Arcata Field Office 1695 Heindon Rd. Arcata, CA 95521