McKay Community Forest

The McKay Community Forest contains approximately 1,194 acres and is located southeast of Eureka within the watershed of Ryan Creek, a tributary of Humboldt Bay (overview map). The Community Forest is situated along the urban interface with residential and commercial areas of Myrtletown, Cutten, and Ridgewood Heights. The Community Forest was established in 2014 for multiple purposes including public access and recreation, timber harvest, and watershed and resource conservation.

The Community Forest is envisioned as a place for Humboldt County residents and visitors of all ages and abilities to enjoy walking, hiking, mountain-biking, wheeling (on approved mobility devices), horseback-riding, learning, and connecting with the natural world. The Community Forest is envisioned as a place that enhances the quality of life by providing opportunities to experience a diverse, dynamic, and productive forest.

Trail building within the McKay Community Forest is expected to start in the summer of 2022 after the environmental report for the Trail Plan is adopted.

Trail Plan

On December 16, 2020, Humboldt County released the McKay Community Forest Trail Plan. The Trail Plan provides a blueprint for the development of trails, access points, and amenities to support recreational and educational activities within the Community Forest. The Trail Plan describes the overall goals, objectives, guiding principles, design standards, and construction practices for building sustainable trails to support outstanding outdoor experiences for a diversity of trail users. The Trail Plan proposes a trail network with 31 miles of multi-use roads, multi-use trails, hiking trails, and mountain bike trails, with additional trails to be considered in the future.

On June 2, 2022, Humboldt County released a revised Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration of environmental impact for the Trail Plan in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act. The review period begins June 3, 2022, and ends July 5, 2022.  Public comments regarding the correctness, completeness, or adequacy of the Initial Study are invited. Comments received by the end of the review period will be considered before adoption of the Mitigated Negative Declaration. Written comments should be addressed to the Humboldt County Department of Public Works, 1106 Second Street, Eureka, CA 95501, or emailed to Hank Seemann. The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors is expected to consider adoption of the Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration on or around the meeting of August 16, 2022.

Trail Plan (49 Mb)

Full CEQA Document (Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration) (25 Mb)

Notice of Intent (154 kb)

Forest Stewardship Plan

On April 22, 2022, Humboldt County released a draft Forest Stewardship Plan for public review and comment. The Forest Stewardship Plan is the County’s guidance document for managing the McKay Community Forest through the next ten to fifteen years. The Stewardship Plan describes describes how silviculture, fire risk reduction, habitat restoration, carbon sequestration, monitoring, and adaptive management will be implemented through the next ten to fifteen years. The comment period for the draft plan ended on May 31, 2022. The final plan is expected to be released in July or August 2022.

Presentation Slides from May 12, 2022 Informational Meeting

Forest Stewardship Plan Summary Handout (240 kb)

Forest Stewardship Plan (no attachments) (20 Mb)

Forest Stewardship Plan (full document) (43 Mb)

McKay Community Forest Aerial View

McKay Community Forest aerial photo

Phase 2 Property Acquisition

In June 2020, Humboldt County acquired approximately 197 acres contiguous to the south end of the Phase I property as the Phase II expansion of the Community Forest.  

Phase 2 Staff Report

Phase 2 Expansion Maps

Non-Industrial Timber Management Plan

On April 19, 2022, Humboldt County submitted a Non-industrial Timber Management Plan (NTMP) to CAL FIRE for review and approval (1-22NTMP-00003-HUM). The NTMP is a regulatory document demonstrating how the County intends to comply with the California Forest Practice Rules and associated laws and regulations. Technical studies to support the NTMP include a forest inventory and analysis, inventory of controllable sediment discharge sites, and geomorphic and geological analysis. The review process for the NTMP will extend through the summer of 2022.


  • Green Diamond Resource Company
  • The Trust for Public Land
  • City of Eureka
  • California Natural Resources Agency
  • California Wildlife Conservation Board
  • California Department of Housing and Community Development
  • California Coastal Conservancy
  • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • Humboldt County Headwaters Fund
  • Redwood Community Action Agency
  • City of Arcata
  • California Conservation Corps
  • Humboldt Trail Council (Volunteer Trail Stewards)
  • Redwood Coast Mountain Bike Association
  • Redwood Acres

Background Documents:

Project Overview (April 2014)

Project Report (April 7, 2014)

Project Report Maps (April 7, 2014)

Historic Profile of the McKay Tract (March 2014)

Forestry Documents:

Cash Flow Analysis of Timber Management (December 2013)

Logging Road Assessment Report (March 2014)

Joint Timber Management Plan (April 2014)

Northern Spotted Owl Monitoring Report (December 2019)

Special-Status Plant Survey Report (September 2019)

Wetland Inventory Report (June 2018)