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Northern California District
Release Date: 10/25/10
Contacts: BLM Contact Jeff Fontana , (530) 252-5332 or (530) 260-0189 (cell)  
  Navy Contact Lee Saunders , (619) 532-3100  
News Release No. NC-11-07

Ceremony Will Mark Transfer of Former Centerville Beach Navy Facility

The Bureau of Land Management and the U. S. Navy will formally complete the transfer of the Centerville Beach Naval Facility near Ferndale to BLM management for future public access in a ceremony Thursday, Oct. 28, at 11 a.m.  The public is invited.

“After much planning and excellent work by the Navy to return the former base to its natural condition, we are excited to be able to complete the transfer and open up this stunningly beautiful landscape to the public,” said Lynda Roush, manager of the BLM Arcata Field Office.  “Our ceremony will be brief, but an excellent opportunity to thank Congressman Mike Thompson for his vision and leadership, and the Navy for their public spirit and contributions.”

“This ceremony marks an important transition of the property back to open space and public access,” said Alexandra Elias, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest Real Estate Division special projects director for the Centerville Beach Naval Facility transfer. “We are grateful to Congressman Thompson and the local community for their support, and for our partnership with BLM that has gotten us to this day.”

Speakers at the ceremony will include Congressman Thompson, who in 2002 championed the transfer and later obtained $9 million in federal funding for cleanup.

“Under the Bureau of Land Management’s guidance, the public will soon be able to enjoy this spectacular area,” said Thompson.  “The Navy and BLM have worked very hard to restore the land and the official transfer marks the beginning of a renewed opportunity for everyone – especially those who appreciate the beauty of our rugged coastline and the great outdoors.”

Other speakers at the event include Humboldt County Supervisor Jimmy Smith, NAVFAC Southwest Assistant Operations Officer Cmdr. Bryan Heller and BLM Acting State Director Jim Abbott.  Light refreshments will follow the ceremony.

Work to clean up the former base and transfer it to BLM management began with a 2008 agreement between the Navy and the BLM.  The Navy oversaw demolition of the former Navy base buildings and other facilities and disposal of the material.
“The result is an open landscape with outstanding views of the Pacific Ocean,” Roush said.

Transfer of the facility is part of a larger grassroots effort called the Lost Coast Headlands Project.  Initiated in April 2000, it aimed to transfer four parcels totaling about 650 acres into public ownership and BLM management.  The California Coastal Conservancy, California Wildlife Conservation Board and The Conservation Fund have been instrumental in the project, which has provided more public access to the coastal bluffs, streams and beaches.

The BLM Arcata Field Office is working with local communities to develop a management plan for this area that will provide for public access, recreation, picnic sites, and trails. Completion of the plan is expected in the spring of 2011.

The dedication site is on Centerville Road, about five miles west of downtown Ferndale.  It will be marked with signs. Parking spaces are limited and carpooling is encouraged.


Northern California District   355 Hemsted Drive, Redding, CA 96002  

Last updated: 10-25-2010