Improving Forest Health in the Yurok Community Forest and Salmon Sanctuary

2023_AR_SCC_Climate Ready_Carr Lake_01.jpg
2023_AR_SCC_Climate Ready_Carr Lake_01.jpg

A $4.3 million grant from CAL FIRE’s Forest Health Program to the Humboldt County Resource Conservation District is funding work to protect natural, cultural, and spiritual values in a key watershed in the Yurok Tribe’s ancestral homeland.

Blue Creek is the most important cold-water tributary to the Klamath River, serving as essential habitat for Chinook salmon, Coho salmon, and steelhead trout, as well as the federally threatened northern spotted owl, marbled murrelet, and Humboldt marten. The Yurok Tribe and Western Rivers Conservancy have worked together over the past decade to purchase lands in the Blue Creek watershed in an effort to return Yurok ancestral lands to Yurok ownership. Now, these partners are teaming up with Humboldt County Resource Conservation District and CAL FIRE to implement forest health and fuels reduction work in the watershed to improve the resilience of this special place.

The project consists of repairs to Blue Creek Bridge; construction of a 4.2-mile-long shaded fuel break along a ridge adjacent to the Six Rivers National Forest; and hand and mechanical fuels treatments on more than 1,300 acres of second growth timberland. When completed, the project will reduce fuel loads while retaining the healthiest and largest trees, facilitate the return of cultural burning practices, improve wildlife habitat, and create employment opportunities for Yurok Tribe members. CAL FIRE estimates that the project will have a greenhouse gas benefit of more than 57,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent over its lifetime, thanks to increased carbon sequestration on the landscape.

“The CAL FIRE […]

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