McKay Community Forest enters next stage of development

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HUMBOLDT COUNTY- A project that has been in the making for nearly five years took a step forward Monday, as Humboldt County leaders held a ribbon cutting for the McKay Community Forest.

The county recently bought the 1,000-acre piece of land near Redwood Acres from the Green Diamond Resource Company. It took several years to secure the $6.8 million needed from state and national resources. Today’s ribbon cutting signified a new phase for project, as the county can now move forward to develop a trail system for public use. Officials say the land will also double as a working timber forest, with the revenue from those operations funding trail maintenance. Those trails are expected to be completed and ready for the public in early 2015.

“The key ingredient will also be working with the community and volunteers and we've already got tremendous interest in volunteers to build trails, keep and eye on things,” said Hank Seemann, Deputy Director of Environmental Services for the Humboldt County Department of Public Works. “So we've got a lot of work ahead of us to get those projects lined up, find good access points that are compatible with the adjacent neighborhoods. So it's really kind of the right place, at the right time and a lot of people worked hard to make it come together.”