HSU Receives Grant to Promote and Protect Headwaters Forest Reserve

Humboldt State University and the Redwood Parks Association have received a $32,000 grant from the Bureau of Land Management and the Conservation Lands Foundation to promote stewardship of the Headwaters Forest Reserve.

The grant will fund development of a Friends of Headwaters website and social media presence and support coordination with community groups. It will also help organize and expand volunteer efforts at Headwaters, a 7,472-acre natural area southeast of Eureka.

In subsequent years, additional grant funding may support development of a Friends of Headwaters internship program for Humboldt State students and support the design and construction of Headwaters interpretive facilities.

HSU is located in a special place, where groups like Redwood Parks Association are committed to building bridges between local communities and their forested landscapes,” says assistant forestry professor Erin Kelly, the principal investigator on the grant. “This partnership is a great chance for both graduate and undergraduate students at HSU to get involved in building those bridges.”

“The public lands of Northern California provide world class opportunities for recreation and environmental education,” adds Cathy Bonser, Executive Director of RPA, a non-profit that fosters understanding and stewardship of Northern California’s public lands. “Expanding our work to Headwaters allows us to build new community relationships and expand the reach of our programs.”

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The Headwaters Forest Reserve is a 7,472-acre natural area southeast of Eureka. Courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management.

The partnership supports the BLM’s goals of expanding stewardship and environmental education opportunities related to the Headwaters Forest Reserve.

“I’m excited about the possibilities that this new partnership opens for our community partners,” says BLM Headwaters Manager Ben Blom. “In the long-term, I hope that this new partnership ensures Headwaters is viewed as a community asset for recreation, outdoor learning, and attracting tourism.”

The Headwaters Forest reserve, acquired for public ownership in 1999, is a popular hiking destination for Humboldt County residents and visitors. A pair of trails—Elk River Trail located about six miles south of Eureka, and Salmon Pass Trail in Fortuna, Calif.—make for easy access to sites like the ghost town of Falk and old-growth redwood forests. The reserve is managed jointly by the BLM and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

On August 30 at 10 a.m., the Headwaters Education Center will host Phillip Van Mantgem, a U.S. Geological Survey research ecologist, who will discuss his research on forest dynamics with an emphasis on climate change impacts, fire ecology and the management of forested ecosystems.