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Humboldt County Projects

North McKay Ranch

Final EIR


Partially revised DEIR*

Project Description, Land Use and Planning, Transportation (PDF)

Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR)** Dated May 15, 2020

Cover Title and Table of Contents
Executive Summary

Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Project Description
Chapter 3 Environmental Impact Analysis
Chapter 3.1 Aesthetics
Chapter 3.2 Agriculture
Chapter 3.3 Air Quality
Chapter 3.4 Biological Resources
Chapter 3.5 Cultural Resources
Chapter 3.6 Energy
Chapter 3.7 Geology and Soils
Chapter 3.8 Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Chapter 3.9 Hazards and Hazardous Materials
Chapter 3.10 Hydrology and Water Quality
Chapter 3.11 Land Use and Planning
Chapter 3.12 Noise
Chapter 3.13 Population and Housing
Chapter 3.14 Public Services
Chapter 3.15 Recreation
Chapter 3.16 Transportation
Chapter 3.17 Tribal Cultural Resources
Chapter 3.18 Utilities and Service Systems
Chapter 3.19 Wildfire
Chapter 4 Cumulative Effects
Chapter 5 Alternatives
Chapter 6 Other CEQA Considerations
Chapter 7 Effects Found Not To Be Significant
Chapter 8 Preparers and Organizations Consulted
Chapter 9 References


A. Notice of Preparation
B. Air Quality Assumptions
C1. Biological Resources
C2. California Natural Diversity Database
E. R-1 Geo Technical Report
F. Hydrology and Drainage Report
G. Noise Calculations
H. Traffic Study
I. Native American Consultation

*In accordance with Public Resources Code Section 21092.1 and State California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines Section 15088.5, Humboldt County (County), as the Lead Agency is recirculating portions of the North McKay Ranch Subdivision Project Draft EIR (Partial Recirculated Draft EIR) in response to shift in determining the significance of transportation impacts. On May 15, 2020, the County released the Draft Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIR) for the North McKay Ranch Subdivision Project. The Partial Recirculation was developed in response to changing provisions of the CEQA Guidelines, specifically Section 15064.3 Determining the Significance of Transportation Impacts, which became effective on July 1, 2020. Section 15064.3 was added to the CEQA Guidelines in response to Senate Bill (SB) 743. Because of this shift in determining the significance of transportation impacts, the County has decided to recirculate two environmental impact analysis sections that have been impacted by this shift from LOS to VMT: the Land Use and Planning section and the Transportation section, as well as provide an update to the Project Description.

**This document is provided by Humboldt County Planning Division and contains information prepared for the North McKay Ranch Subdivision Project. The availability of this document on the Web is meant to provide transparency and ease of access. This document may not be fully compatible with screen readers and/or keyboard navigation. If you are unable to access the information provided in this document, please contact the Humboldt County Planning Division at (707) 445-7541 (main line), email (Project Planner), or in person at the Planning and Building Department, 3015 H Street, Eureka, CA to access this information alternatively.

All information can be found on Humboldt County's Public Website at:

Climate Action Plan Public Review Draft (PDF)

Appendices included separately:

For further information, please email Michael Richardson or call Michael at 707-268-3723.  

What is a CAP?

A Climate Action Plan is a comprehensive road map that outlines the specific activities a local government will undertake to reduce GHG emissions within their jurisdiction. They typically include agency develops policies and programs to reduce emissions from transportation, building energy, solid waste, wastewater treatment and agriculture.

Why Develop a CAP?

The State of California requires local governments to assess and mitigate the GHG emissions associated with their major projects. CAPs have proven the most effective way to meet this requirement. To date, over 40% of cities and counties in California have created a GHG reduction plan.

The benefits to reducing emissions go beyond climate change. With this CAP, the County will work with residents to develop emissions reduction strategies that enhance our local economy, improve community health and build resilience to climate-related hazards.

A Regional CAP for Humboldt County

In early 2019, Humboldt County local governments decided to take a regional approach to climate action planning. The Regional CAP partnership consists of Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA), the County of Humboldt and the cities of Arcata, Eureka, Blue Lake, Ferndale, Fortuna, Rio Dell and Trinidad. Together, these local governments are working to develop strategies to reduce emissions throughout our region.

All information can be found at the City of Arcata website at:


The Community Development Department released the draft of the Gateway Area Plan on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 which provides details of how Arcata’s Gateway Area could be redeveloped to create more housing and job opportunities for the community. City staff has been holding a series of public meetings to discuss the contents of the draft since December 2021. More opportunities for public engagement will be announced as dates are finalized. 

The Gateway Area Plan draft will be circulated to the public for approximately one year before it can be adopted by the City Council, and members of the public may review the Gateway Area Plan draft here. Click here to watch a 60-minute informational video about the Gateway Area Plan draft.


The Form-Based Code Information Session with the City’s design consultant, Ben Noble, is now posted on the City of Arcata’s YouTube page. Questions from the session will be incorporated into the City’s FAQs over the next several weeks. 


Over the next few months, City staff will continue to engage the community on the Gateway Area Plan draft and updates to various Elements of the General Plan. Much of this work will take place at regularly scheduled committee and commission meetings. We are also working to schedule design workshops with the public to dig into topics covered in the forthcoming form-based code, including height and massing, and building and streetscape design. We encourage you to keep tabs on our Outreach page as well as keep opening these emails!

The City of Arcata Planning Commission is also continuing to work through various chapters of the draft Gateway Area Plan at its regularly scheduled planning commission meetings, which take place the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at 6 PM. These meetings can be attended in person or via Zoom. The Planning Commission can also be contacted through their City email addresses which are available on the City’s website at

The County of Humboldt has released the draft McKay Community Forest Stewardship Plan for public review and comment. The Forest Stewardship Plan is the county’s guidance document for managing the McKay Community Forest over the next ten to fifteen years. 

The McKay Community Forest was established southeast of Eureka in August 2014 in partnership with Green Diamond Resource Company and The Trust for Public Land for multiple purposes including public access and recreation, timber harvest, and watershed and resource conservation. The forest was recently expanded in June 2020 to its current size of 1,194 acres.

“The McKay Community Forest is a tremendous asset for the people of Humboldt County,” said Rex Bohn, Humboldt County First District Supervisor. “The draft Forest Stewardship Plan presents the county’s proposed management approach, and we welcome public comment to ensure that the Community Forest meets the community’s desires and interests.”

The draft Forest Stewardship Plan describes how silviculture, fire risk reduction, habitat restoration, carbon sequestration, monitoring, and adaptive management would be implemented during the next ten to fifteen years. The draft plan and a comment form are available at Comments on the draft plan are welcome through Tuesday, May 31, and the final Forest Stewardship Plan is expected to be completed in July.

The Community Forest is envisioned as a place that enhances quality of life by providing opportunities to experience a diverse, dynamic, and productive forest. The Forest Stewardship Plan describes existing conditions, defines the management goals and objectives, presents the overall management approach, establishes guiding principles and conservation measures, and highlights initial priorities. Later this year, the county plans to form a seven-member resident advisory group to help guide the management of the Community Forest consistent with the Stewardship Plan.

The draft Forest Stewardship Plan proposes to manage the Community Forest using principles of forest stewardship and ecological forest management. Forest stewardship is a general approach to managing the forest that conserves the forest’s resources, including wildlife, timber, soil, water, and recreational opportunities. Forest stewardship takes a long-term view and manages the land with a sense of service and responsibility for future generations. Ecological forest management relies on science-based strategies to integrate multiple environmental, economic, and social goals while sustaining the integrity of forest ecosystems and landscapes and reducing risks to the forest resources.

Timber harvesting will be implemented to provide consistent income and enable the Community Forest to be economically self-sustaining over the long term. The county will manage the forest through uneven-aged management which involves thinning, single tree selection, and small group openings. The rate of harvest will average approximately 50 to 60% of annual tree growth.  Harvests will be designed with an emphasis on enhancing structural complexity and creating stands with diverse age classes. The county’s management approach will shift the trajectory of the forest toward a composition with larger, older trees and more complex structural characteristics, with biomass and carbon sequestration increasing over time.

The Forest Stewardship Plan is a companion document to the Non-Industrial Timber Management Plan (NTMP), which is a regulatory document developed to demonstrate compliance with the California Forest Practice Rules. The NTMP is currently being reviewed by CAL FIRE.

The Stewardship Plan was developed to complement the McKay Community Forest Trail Plan, which was completed in December 2020. The Trail Plan describes the framework for providing public access and recreational opportunities in the Community Forest. The Trail Plan proposes a trail network with 31 miles of multi-use roads, multi-use trails, hiking trails, and mountain bike trails, along with a Bike Skills Park. The Community Forest will become 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.

Trail building is expected to start in the summer of 2022 after the environmental report for the Trail Plan is adopted. Completion of this report was delayed to ensure consistency and integration with the NTMP. The environmental report for the Trail Plan is expected to be released for public review within the next few weeks. 

The first trails to be built and opened to the public will be located near Northridge Road, Harris Street, and Redwood Acres. Trail construction will depend heavily on the Volunteer Trail Stewards, California Conservation Corps, and Redwood Coast Mountain Bike Association. A parking area was constructed in Cutten along Northridge Road to provide dedicated access to the McKay Community Forest. Additional access points will be located along Harris Street and within Redwood Acres. Access points are expected to be developed near Redwood Fields, Manzanita Avenue, and Walnut Drive as large parcels are permitted for subdivision.

For more information, please visit the McKay Community Forest web page

The County of Humboldt has prepared a Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for the Nordic Aquafarms California, LLC – Coastal Development Permit and Special Permit application (Case Number PLN-2020-16698), and the report is now available on the county’s website.

The Planning Commission will be considering the Coastal Development Permit and Special Permit at a Public Hearing on July 28 beginning at 6 pm in the Board of Supervisors Chambers.

The project is located on the old Samoa Pulp Mill site and would involve the clean up and redevelopment of the property to construct a Land-based finfish recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility (aquaculture facility) consisting of five buildings totaling 766,530 square feet producing between 25,000-27,000 metric tons of fish annually.

The site is located in the Samoa area, east of Vance Avenue, approximately 2,000 feet north from the intersection of Vance Avenue and Bay Street, on the property known as 364 Vance Avenue (Assessor Parcel Number 401-112-021). 

The FEIR and information about the project is also available for public review at the Planning and Building Department.

For more information, please contact Cade McNamara, Planner II, by email at or by phone at (707) 268-3777.

Review the FEIR

Sea Level Rise Planning for the Humboldt Bay Region: Sea Level Rise Stakeholder Catalogue

Sea level rise is increasingly becoming a concern for many who live and work along the coast. In response, Humboldt County is exploring regional planning and adaptation to address the impacts of sea level rise in the Humboldt Bay area. 

As a first step, the county compiled a Humboldt Bay Sea Level Rise Regional Planning Feasibility Study Stakeholder Catalogue which provides a comprehensive description of the roles, responsibilities, assets, concerns, and sea level rise planning efforts for stakeholders around Humboldt Bay.

The Sea Level Rise Stakeholder Catalogue and more information about Sea Level Rise are available on the county's long range . For more information, please contact Sarah Wickman by calling (707) 445-7541 or emailing

The draft Humboldt Bay Sea Level Rise Regional Planning Feasibility Study will be released in the near future, followed by a public workshop to receive community feedback and explore options for regional planning coordination. A wide range of topics will be presented including simple policy level coordination in addition to more complicated efforts such as forming joint powers agencies. 

Community members are encouraged to sign up for email or text notifications for the Feasibility Study and upcoming public workshop on the county's Notify Me web page. To sign up, please sign in with an email, then select “General Plan Implementation."

For more information regarding Humboldt County's long range planning efforts, please visit the Planning and Building Department's Long Range Planning web page or call (707) 445-7541.

From the Redwood Region Climate and Community Resilience Hub ("CORE Hub"):

From the Cal Poly Humboldt / Schatz Energy Research Center: 

From the California Energy Commission:

From the Department of Interior / Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)

From the Redwood Coast Energy Authority (RCEA):