Rep. Huffman calls for public input on balanced approach to land management, wild places and rivers

By on August 8, 2017
California Water Legislation Coming Soon

Rep. Jared Huffman (D-2nd District-San Rafael) is requesting public input on his new draft legislation to protect Northern California’s wild places and streams on public lands. The legislation features three primary goals including:

  • Restore and Revitalize Forests and Watersheds:
    • Designate a 700,000-acre South Fork Trinity-Mad River Special Restoration Area in the South Fork Trinity River watershed and the Forest Service-portion of the Mad River watershed in southern Trinity and western Humboldt counties. This will focus on the ecological health of previously logged forests and the dangers of unnaturally severe fire.
    • Establish a partnership of federal, state, and local entities that can help to clean and restore federal public lands in northwestern California affected by illegal trespass marijuana grows.
    • Require federal agencies to cooperate and coordinate in managing fires in northwestern California’s wilderness areas. Thereby these agencies would be required to have a coordinated approach to managing fires in the area.
    • Conserve Ecologically Significant Areas
  • Protect over 326,000 acres of federal public lands as “wilderness” by expanding nine existing wilderness areas and establishing ten new ones. Logging, mining, the construction of new roads and other development would be prohibited.
  • Designate some 485 miles of stream as “wild and scenic rivers” In order to protect them from the construction of new dams or major new water diversions. Federal land managers will also be required to protect a half-mile wide corridor of federal public lands that border each of these streams. Protecting streams and watersheds would safeguard the habitat for endangered salmon and steelhead populations and conserve vital sources of clean water for drinking, fishing, and recreation.
  • Expand Recreation Opportunities
  • Direct federal entities to work collaboratively with each other, local communities and other interested parties to develop a regional trail development plan.
  • Require federal agencies to study the possibility of establishing the “Bigfoot National Recreation Trail” that will run from southern Trinity County to Oregon.
  • Authorize construction of specified mountain biking routes in Del Norte County, designate the Elk Camp Ridge Recreation Trail, and designate the Horse Mountain Special Management Area, which would enhance the recreational and scenic values.
  • Authorize the construction of an inter-agency visitor center in Weaverville in Trinity County.

“I’m grateful to Congressman Huffman for his support of our public lands communities and our unique needs,” said John Letton, co-owner, Indian Creek Lodge, Trinity County. “I believe that the package he is proposing supports the importance of local voices in guiding the future of our public lands, while also prioritizing activities and management that will benefit the long-term economic future of the region.”

“We are fortunate to have a congressman who is aware of the many public lands needs in our region,” said Ryan Sundberg, Humboldt County 5th District Supervisor. “Congressman Huffman’s potential legislation would address fire management on our public lands while still protecting prime fish habitat. Additionally, it only would apply to public lands, would have no impact on private property, and would not close any roads.”

Rep. Huffman, whose draft legislation is supported by the Northwest California’s Mountains & Rivers coalition, has said, “On the North Coast of California, we are privileged to live among some of the most stunning old-growth forests and pristine rivers in the world. But we can do more to manage these spectacular public lands to protect communities, restore forest health from illegal marijuana grows, and improve trails and recreational opportunities. I want to hear your ideas on how to protect our forests and watersheds while creating economic opportunities and safeguarding our homes. By putting our heads together, we can create collaborative solutions to protect our communities and the lands we value for generations to come.”

In addition to inviting constituents to provide comments online, Rep. Huffman will hold four public meetings to explain the draft legislation and take constituent questions and feedback at the following meetings:

August 14th – 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Wharfinger Building, 1 Marina Way, Eureka

August 15th – 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Educational Resource Center – 400 West Harding, Crescent City

August 16th – 5:30-6:30 p.m. – Trinity High School – 321 Victory Lane, Weaverville

August 29th-  1:30 to 2:30 – venue to be determined

Rep. Huffman is encouraging feedback, additions, suggestions, or edits at: ca02publiclands@gmail.com.