Restricted Area Access Pass Program
2023 application period is closed. Due to a high volume of last-minute applications and limited staffing, the processing and approval of passes will be delayed. Our office anticipates all remaining applications to be processed by August 31.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services, Agricultural Commissioner’s Office and Planning & Building Department have established a program through the issuance of a Restricted Area Access Pass, which may permit qualifying agricultural producers/cultivators and/or commercial livestock operators to gain entrance to evacuation zones, or other restricted areas, to provide feed, water, medical treatment, and other care to large scale commercial livestock, and/or to tend to crops.
The Restricted Area Access Pass does not grant authority to the applicant to stay at their residence and/or business when an evacuation order is issued. Access will not be permitted if conditions are unsafe. Evacuation zones that are safe to enter will be determined by fire personnel in consultation with the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) daily.
To be issued an Access Pass, you must complete the pass application form by August 1, 2023. Please make every effort to apply prior to an emergency. The goal of this program is to have businesses/operations pre-register for access before an incident occurs.
At this time, the Restricted Area Access Pass will only be valid for agricultural operations located in Humboldt County. The passes are valid through the end of the calendar year (December 31, 2023).
The passes will be administered and approved through the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services, in partnership with the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office and Planning & Building Department.
Traditional Agriculture and Livestock
Traditional agricultural producers and commercial livestock operators must apply for a Restricted Area AG Pass. Applications for 2023 will re-open in April.
Licensed commercial cannabis cultivators must apply for a Restricted Area CannAg Pass. Applications for 2023 will re-open in April.
Requesters must fill out applications for their specific agricultural industry (traditional agriculture or commercial cannabis). Applications will be denied if there is missing or incomplete information in the submitted form, if the wrong form is submitted, or if the applicant is unable to confirm that their operation is a bona fide agricultural operation using the methods/information contained in the application form.
Completion of the application online is recommended, however a hard copy of the applications can be download and submitted via U.S. Mail to the Humboldt County OES (826 4th St. Eureka, CA 95501) or in person at any Humboldt County Sheriff's Office station.
Applicants must sign an attestation at the time of application, agreeing to the Terms and Conditions of access. Applicants must also submit a photo of the individual’s head and shoulders, similar to a passport photo, to be used for the Pass ID. We accept digital photos in .JPG format, not more than 500 KB in size. We are unable to accept non-electronic photos. Paper applicants can submit their photo to: email@example.com.
Traditional Agriculture and Livestock Applicants
To become enrolled in the Restricted Area Access Pass Program (AG Pass), you need to provide contact information, APN(s) of your business/operation, and must be able to confirm that your operation is a bona fide agricultural operation by providing the following at the time of application:
- Humboldt County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office-issued Operator Identification Number;
- Parcel Number associated with your business (required).
Or two of the following:
- A redacted “Schedule F” tax form
- Agricultural land lease documentation
- United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Services Agency (FSA) Farm Number
- California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Bureau of Livestock Identification registered brand
- Proof of membership in local industry association (e.g., Farm Bureau, Cattlemen’s Association)
To become enrolled in the Restricted Area Access Pass Program (CannAg Pass), you need to provide contact information, APN(s) of your business/operation, and must be able to confirm that your operation is a bona fide commercial cannabis operation by providing the following at the time of application:
- Humboldt County issued Cannabis Cultivation Permit Number;
- Parcel Number associated with your business (required);
- Description of Critical Need to access your property.
Approval and Issuance of Pass
Upon submission and approval of the application, a pass will be issued by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services. The pass must be presented to law enforcement, fire personnel, or other emergency personnel at a point of entry in order to gain entrance to an evacuation zone, or other restricted area, caused by a natural disaster for the purpose of providing feed, water, medical treatment, and other care to large scale commercial agriculture operations, subject to the discretion of the emergency personnel. The Restricted Area Access Pass must be renewed annually.
The Restricted Area Access Pass registration database will be maintained and updated by the Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services and Agricultural Commissioner’s Office. Data will be available, but not limited to, Cal-Fire Humboldt/Del-Norte Unit, California Highway Patrol, and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. The Restricted Area Access Pass database may also be used for other emergency issues, e.g., cattle out on the road. During an emergency, law enforcement or other emergency personnel at the point of entry to an evacuation zone will be provided a current list of valid Restricted Area Access Pass Holders, permit numbers, along with a sample valid pass.
Access to Evacuation Zones
If your agricultural operation is located in an evacuation zone, you will need to notify your interest in using the Restricted Area Access Pass to gain entrance by contacting the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) at 707-268-2500, or the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office at 707-441-5620. There will be a coordinated effort to consolidate communication with the Sheriff’s Office and/or other emergency personnel; once access has been approved by law enforcement or other emergency personnel, the Restricted Area Access Pass holder will be notified. DO NOT GO TO A ROAD BLOCK AND ATTEMPT TO USE THE RESTRICTED AREA ACCESS PASS WITHOUT PRIOR NOTIFICATION.
Decisions for access can rapidly change during a fire or other natural disaster and will be dependent on safety conditions at the time and upon approval of emergency personnel. Access will only be granted during daylight hours, and all persons must immediately depart the restricted area by the same route as entry. An escort may be required in any instance and all restricted entry will be dependent on approval of onsite emergency personnel. During initial evacuation phases, do not expect to gain access to restricted areas by presenting/using the Restricted Area Access Pass, as during such time all efforts involve the safe removal of people. Once the situation has stabilized, which may take over 24 hours or even days, then the Restricted Area Access Pass will be considered an option by law enforcement, and fire personnel, or other emergency personnel.
NOTE: Access in an area closed to the public during a disaster may affect the coverage of your property liability insurance, vehicle or equipment insurance, and worker’s compensation coverage. As you re-enter your property be aware that hazardous conditions may still exist.
Considerations Regarding the Removal of Livestock
If you intend to remove livestock from the evacuation zone (e.g. veterinary care, alternative location), please provide prior notification to the OES or Humboldt County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office. The intent of this term is to prevent theft of livestock during an emergency.
During an emergency, do not contact Humboldt County Animal Control or Humboldt County Disaster Animal Rescue Team (HumDART) for assistance, or to notify them of your agricultural operation and/or livestock behind fire lines. Requests for assistance should be made directly to OES.
Terms and Conditions
Each requester will agree to these terms and conditions of entry by signing a virtual attestation at the time of the initial application.
The protection of life is at all times the priority of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and the Office of Emergency Services (OES).
Access will not be permitted if conditions are unsafe – this will be determined daily by fire incident command and the Emergency Operations Center will keep a daily updated list of which pass holders will be permitted entry by zone.
All decisions made by OES and fire incident command personnel pertaining to the entry into a restricted area are based upon the protection of human life which shall be prioritized over agricultural production.
Access is restricted to the date and time(s) identified to be safe by fire incident command personnel and Emergency Operations Center leadership, and will be limited to fulfilling the critical need listed by the requester in the Application.
Requester acknowledges the inherent risks and hazards associated with accessing restricted areas subject to official road closure as the result of a local emergency.
Requester acknowledges and understands that access to restricted areas is subject to orders of law enforcement, fire services, emergency services and the California National Guard.
Requester agrees that requester and any other individuals who access restricted areas will follow all orders of those agencies regarding entry and exit from the property.
Requester is solely responsible for the safety of those individuals included in this request and is solely responsible for any damage to property or equipment arising from restricted access.
Requester shall hold harmless, defend and indemnify the County of Humboldt and its agents, officers, officials, employees and volunteers from and against any and all claims, demands, losses, damages, liabilities, expenses and costs of any kind or nature, including, without limitation, attorney’s fees and other costs of litigation, arising out of, or
in connection with, Requester’s access to the restricted area.
Requester is solely responsible for the actions or omissions of the requester, its officers, agents, employees, volunteers, contractors and subcontractors.
Requester understands and agrees, if access is granted it is only to the location and activities described by the requester in the Application form.
Requester further understands that access is limited to the direct route to and from the location listed by the requester. The requester, his or her officers, agents, employees, volunteers, contractors and subcontractors are not to stop, wander, loiter or otherwise meander from the location, or perform activities other than those specified by the requester.
Requester acknowledges that only one (1) vehicle will be granted access to restricted areas per access pass.
Failure to adhere to these terms and conditions will result in the revocation of access and may subject the requester, his or her officers, agents, employees, volunteers, contractors and subcontractors to criminal prosecution under California Penal Code section 409.5.
NOTE: This is a new program and will be reviewed annually. To improve the program, modifications may be made annually and during the course of the year – in which case, any changes will be provided to the annual Restricted Area Access Pass holder via email.