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Contact: Leonel Arguello, 707-465-7780The National Park Service (NPS) and the California Department of Park and Recreation (CDPR) are holding two public meetings to gather input on a proposal to continue restoration efforts of forests and streams in 9,200 acres in the lower Prairie Creek watershed that were affected by historical land uses. The project, the Greater Prairie Creek Ecosystem Restoration Project, is in Redwood National and State Parks (RNSP) north of the town of Orick in Humboldt County.
The project area was extensively logged from the 1930s to the mid-1970s. Since that time the second-growth forests have regrown unmanaged and are now too dense. Tree growth and development is hindered, species composition doesn’t reflect the original old-growth condition, and habitat quality is low. The unmaintained logging roads, landings, and stream crossings are eroding, leading to sediment entering stream channels. These past land uses have degraded aquatic habitat and reduced the number of large pieces of wood needed for fish habitat in lower Prairie Creek.
The parks are proposing to thin these second-growth forests to reduce stand density and to promote growth and development of remaining trees, understory vegetation, and a multi-story canopy; to remove or repair old logging roads to reduce potential for erosion and sedimentation of streams; to restore stream habitat complexity; and to augment riparian corridors by planting native vegetation. These actions are intended to accelerate development of forest characteristics more typical of late-seral forests; prevent chronic and catastrophic sediment input into creeks; and to enhance habitat for populations of aquatic species, especially salmon and steelhead.
The parks are partnering with Save the Redwoods League (SRL), under the umbrella of Redwoods Rising, to begin planning for this project. Redwoods Rising is collaborative partnership between the NPS, CDPR, and SRL created to assist RNSP with planning, funding, and implementing landscape-scale restoration within the parks. The partnership builds upon past park efforts to protect and improve the health of redwood ecosystems and seeks to work in tandem with stakeholder groups and community members to meet the partnership’s restoration goals.
The parks are preparing environmental documents to satisfy both the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Members of the public are invited to attend one or both meetings to provide comments on the full spectrum of issues and concerns to be addressed in the draft environmental documents; to assist with defining a suitable range of alternatives; to advise on the nature and extent of potential environmental impacts; and to suggest possible protection measures that could reduce project impacts.
Two meetings in an open house format will be held:
Tuesday, July 17:
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Arcata Office (upstairs conference room)
1655 Heindon Road
Arcata CA 95521
Wednesday, July 18:
National Park Service
North Operations Center
500 Aubell Lane
Crescent City CA 95531
If you cannot attend a meeting, we still want to hear from you. Comments can be submitted online athttp://parkplanning.nps.gov/
National Park Service
South Operations Center
Attn.: Leonel Arguello
PO Box 7
Orick CA 95555.
For more information, visit the project home page at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/