Last week Green Diamond, one of Humboldt County’s largest private landowners, acquired another 9,400 acres in the South Fork of the Eel watershed — the company’s first major purchase of land in the southern part of the county.
The purchase came with a twist, though: The previous land owner, Boyle Forest Lp — one of the successors of the old Barnum Timber Company — granted a development easement to the Northcoast Regional Land Trust as part of the deal.
The easement means that the property can’t be subdivided or developed in the future, according to Dan Ehresman, the land trust’s executive director, but it does not restrict any logging activity on the land. (That’ll still be regulated by the relevant state and federal authorities.)
“All in all, this is a big year for the land trust,” Ehresman told the Outpost this morning, referring to the current acquisition and another last month. “We’ve more than doubled the number of acres under easement this year alone.”
The Sproul Creek property lies west of Garberville and Benbow, between Briceland Road and the county line.
Below is the map of all of Boyle Forest Lp’s Southern Humboldt holdings; about 2/3 of this land is included in the Green Diamond/NRLT deal. Press releases from each of the organizations follow.
From Green Diamond Resource Company:
On November 16, Green Diamond Resource Company finalized the purchase of the Sproul Creek tract of timberlands from Boyle Forests, LP. The tract is located southwest of Garberville, and contains approximately 9,400 acres.
“Our family is very pleased we reached an agreement with Green Diamond, a family owned, multi- generational timber company with a long history on the North Coast. We know they will be good stewards of these lands,” said a spokesman for Boyle.
Prior to the sale Boyle Forests granted a conservation easement to the Northcoast Regional Land Trust that will preclude any future subdivision or development. “The Northcoast Regional Land Trust offers our gratitude to Boyle Forests for their donation of an easement that will forever prevent subdivision and development in a watershed recognized as one of the best coho salmon strongholds in California,” said Dan Ehresman, NRLT Executive Director.
Green Diamond will manage the property under its long term, property-wide agreements with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Regional Water Board, and under Forest Stewardship Council® standards.
“Green Diamond is honored to purchase this tract. Boyle has done a great job restoring and managing these timberlands that include a very productive forest and a healthy watershed that is important to the South Fork Eel system,” said Green Diamond Vice President and General Manager Neal Ewald. “We look forward to incorporating this tract into our California Timberlands in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties.”
From the Northcoast Regional Land Trust:
The Northcoast Regional Land Trust (NRLT) announced today the completion of the Sproul Creek Conservation Easement in southern Humboldt County. NRLT will hold and steward the easement, conserving in perpetuity 9,291 acres of working forest in a watershed known to be critically important for coho salmon.
Located southwest of Garberville, the Sproul Creek Conservation Easement contains over twenty miles of streams that contribute to the South Fork Eel River watershed. The property is largely comprised of mixed Douglas-fir and redwood forest with a unique 21-acre oak woodland stand. The property’s forests, streams, and meadows provide habitat for a number of fish, bird, mammal, and amphibian species, including coho salmon, steelhead, northern spotted owl, and bald eagle.
“The Northcoast Regional Land Trust offers our gratitude to Boyle Forests for their donation of an easement that will forever prevent subdivision and development in a watershed recognized as one of the best coho salmon strongholds in California” said Dan Ehresman, NRLT Executive Director.
Following the completion of the conservation easement, Green Diamond Resource Company purchased the Sproul Creek property, which will be managed under their long term, property-wide agreements with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Regional Water Board, and under Forest Stewardship Council standards.
With the completion of the Sproul Creek Conservation Easement, the Northcoast Regional Land Trust has conserved over 50,000 acres in our region since its founding in 2000.