Huffman Wants Your Input on His Legislation to Protect ‘Wild Places and Rivers’

This is a press release from the office of Congressman Jared Huffman:

Washington, D.C.- [Last Thursday],  Rep. Huffman (D-San Rafael) announced he is calling for public input on his newly-unveiled draft legislation to guard communities against wildfires, provide local jobs, restore lands impaired by illegal marijuana growing operations, and protect Northern California’s spectacular wild places and pristine streams on federal lands. Huffman’s draft legislation would restore forests and fish habitat, stimulate local economies through forest stewardship programs, enhance recreational opportunities, and reduce fire danger to protect communities. The draft legislation would not limit hunting or fishing, close any legally open roads or trails to vehicles, or affect access to or the use of private property.

Rep. Huffman is encouraging constituents to read more about this legislative proposal here and send any feedback, additions, suggestions, or edits to ca02publiclands@gmail.com.

“On the North Coast of California, we are privileged to live among some of the most stunning old-growth forests and pristine rivers in the world,” said Rep. Huffman. “But we can do more to manage these spectacular public lands to protect communities, restore forest health from illegal marijuana grows, and improve trails and recreational opportunities. I want to hear your ideas on how to protect our forests and watersheds while creating economic opportunities and safeguarding our homes. By putting our heads together, we can create collaborative solutions to protect our communities and the lands we value for generations to come.”

“I’m grateful to Congressman Huffman for his support of our public lands communities and our unique needs,” said John Letton, co-owner, Indian Creek Lodge, Trinity County. “I believe that the package he is proposing supports the importance of local voices in guiding the future of our public lands, while also prioritizing activities and management that will benefit the long-term economic future of the region.”

“We are fortunate to have a congressman who is aware of the many public lands needs in our region,” said Ryan Sundberg, Humboldt County 5th District Supervisor. “Congressman Huffman’s potential legislation would address fire management on our public lands while still protecting prime fish habitat. Additionally, it only would apply to public lands, would have no impact on private property, and would not close any roads.”

In addition to inviting constituents to provide comments online, Rep. Huffman will hold four public meetings to explain the draft legislation and take constituent questions and feedback. Interested individuals can attend the following  meetings:

Huffman’s draft bill is supported by Northwest California’s Mountains & Rivers coalition.

Specifically, this legislation would:

Restore and Revitalize Forests and Watersheds:

  •    Designate a 700,000-acre South Fork Trinity-Mad River Special Restoration Area in the South Fork Trinity River watershed and the Forest Service-portion of the Mad River watershed in southern Trinity and western Humboldt counties. Within this area, the ecological health of previously logged forests will be improved and the danger of unnaturally severe fires will be reduced through a careful program of individual tree-removal, especially within “shaded fuel-breaks.” Within these fuel-breaks, the trees with the greatest potential to provide the most shade over the longest period of time will be retained including, but not limited to, hardwoods like oaks and madrones. This will improve forest diversity, decrease fire danger along roads where most human-caused fires occur, and help young groves of trees develop into mature forest more quickly. Any proceeds generated from these projects will be returned to fund additional restoration in the Special Restoration Area, including steps to improve habitat for endangered salmon and steelhead trout.
  •    Establish a partnership of federal, state, and local entities that can help to clean and restore federal public lands in northwestern California affected by illegal trespass marijuana grows. Illegal marijuana growing on public lands has catastrophic impacts on wildlife and water quality and it poses serious threats to public safety. Experience shows that when illegal growing sites are fully cleaned up and restored that they are far less likely to be used again for trespass cultivation.
  •    Require federal agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service to cooperate and coordinate in managing fires in northwestern California’s wilderness areas. Therefore, even when a landscape such as the Trinity Alps Wilderness is managed by multiple federal agencies, these agencies must have a coordinated approach to managing fire in the area.

Conserve Ecologically Significant Areas 

  •    Protect over 326,000 acres of federal public lands as “wilderness” by expanding nine existing wilderness areas and establishing ten new ones. Wilderness is the strongest protection available for certain areas of public land available under federal law. While camping, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, and other recreational activities can continue in these areas, logging, mining, the construction of new roads and other development is prohibited. The appropriate management of fire, including fire-fighting with bulldozers and aircraft, can continue in these wilderness areas if it is deemed necessary to protect public safety.
  •    Designate about 485 miles of stream as “wild and scenic rivers.” Wild and scenic river status will protect our purest and wildest remaining streams from the construction of new dams or major new water diversions. Federal land managers will also be required to protect a half-mile wide corridor of federal public lands that border each of these streams. As with wilderness, the protection of wild and scenic rivers will not impair existing private property rights. Protecting streams and watersheds safeguards habitat for endangered salmon and steelhead populations and conserves vital sources of clean water for drinking, fishing, and recreation.

Expand Recreation Opportunities 

  •    Direct the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service to work collaboratively with each other, local communities and other interested parties to develop a regional trail development plan. This could offer a blueprint for increasing access to trails for hikers, equestrians, off-road enthusiasts and others throughout the region.
  •    Require federal agencies to study the possibility of establishing the “Bigfoot National Recreation Trail” that will run from southern Trinity County to Oregon. The trail will highlight the immense ecological diversity of Northwest California’s ancient forests and other unique landscapes.
  •    Authorize construction of specified mountain biking routes in Del Norte County, designate the Elk Camp Ridge Recreation Trail, and designate the Horse Mountain Special Management Area, which would enhance the recreational and scenic values of the recreation area while conserving the plants, wildlife, and other natural resource values of the area.
  •    Authorize the construction of an interagency visitor center in Weaverville in Trinity County.
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20 comments

  • Timothy McVeigh's ghost

    You wanna save the steelhead and salmon??? Pull the nets out of the river..

  • Just another blow hard politician, get job puffman

  • Lundbar Hillbilly

    Pure political posturing. Huffman is pandering to the urban environmentalist voters, most of whom have never used a wilderness area. The USFS cannot manage the lands it is already responsible for. “Lack of funding” is their excuse for allowing our public resources to deteriorate. It’s criminal in my opinion.
    How about some funding to maintain the forest roads and wilderness trails we already have, Jared?

  • Lone ranger, if you have so many “Great Ideas” send them to him, otherwise STFU & Go Away, back under the bridge with the rest of the Trolls!!!

  • IMHO: The plan is a disaster for this area.

    Creates another agency. Dammit… we’ve got enough already.

    Wilderness and Fire:

    Yeah the wilderness is currently burning. Letting it burn too. Heck, why not !
    Policy on Wilderness fires basically — ‘let it burn’. They say they can ‘protect civilian areas… well… sure… if maybe the fire comes down to Weaverville, otherwise, I guess watch it go up in smoke.

    Taking out public roads and public access. (Here’s a quote from the bill.)
    —————-
    To the extent practicable, the Secretary shall decommission
    unneeded National Forest System roads identified for decommissioning and unauthorized roads identified for decommissioning within the restoration area
    —————-
    Yup. Who need public access anyway ?
    Fire access… I guess let it burn too.

    Take out conifers and replace with Tanned Oak.
    May be good for turkeys and deer though.

    Best thing if for the USFS to hire BACK the original rangers… the ones that did work. Clear brush from roads, patch roads, improve campgrounds, etc. Best thing for the forest. Get rid of the USFS Cops. Put people ‘back’ in the forest… and activate ‘ghost town’ ranger stations.

    Wilderness areas:

    Headwaters Forest ( area7) as — Wilderness.
    Sure, lets get federal permits for visiting it.
    Might as well tear out the paved trail to it too.

    South Fork (Area 16) Mostly Burned out already.
    Might as well make it wilderness and finish the job.

    Chinquapin (Area 4) Burned out already.
    Might as well make it wilderness and finish the job. (same thing).

    Pattison (Area 11). Yup. Dry timberland. No trails. Lock up more of Trinity County.
    Nobody will go there once you remove the roads.

    Bonanza King (Area 2) Last readily accessible area by Trinity Lake.
    Heck, Take it away.

    New River (Area 17). Nobody goes there. Mostly burned out anyway.
    IMHO: Probably the best candidate for Wilderness.

    IMHO 2: Might as well make the whole Trinity county ‘wilderness area’ and get it over with.

    Illegal grows. Good god… leave ’em alone. Go back in 20 years and you will never know they were there. Dope cultivation is going to go to the Central Valley shortly, when that happens, nobody will want to go to the trouble to grow dope in remote, non-growing areas with no water and no fertile soil. They will go broke.

    Salmon and Steelhead. Don’t need another commission.

    Eliminate diversion of water from the Eel at Lake Pillsbury.
    Easy done… but big contribution ($$$) from AG/Landowners won’t let that happen.

    Eliminate diversion of water from the Trinity at Trinity Dam/Lewiston.
    Easy done… but big contribution ($$$) from big AG/Sacramento won’t let that happen.

    Trails:

    ——–
    Require federal agencies to study the possibility of establishing the “Bigfoot National Recreation Trail”.
    ——-

    It rains/snows 8 months of the year (usually).
    Then another 3 months of the year are way too hot and smokey.
    We already have the Pacific Crest Trail. Mostly a high elevation trail that has lots of people in the summer. Low elevation trail – people won’t access it. Another trail to nowhere. Go to the trailheads in the Yolla Bolly and see how few people go there.

    Fire management:

    “Trinity Alps Wilderness is managed by multiple federal agencies, these agencies must have a coordinated approach to managing fire in the area.”

    ‘Wilderness’ BLM lands in this area ??? Well, not much.
    Easy done: Convert them to USFS. Why not? Save some money and end up with better land management.

    >”Authorize the construction of an inter-agency visitor center in Weaverville in Trinity County.”

    Why? 95% of the land is USFS anyway ? Already have a good ranger station there.
    Just ‘STAFF IT’. Direct the USFS to hire ‘regular’ rangers.

    Lots of ranger stations are pretty much ‘ghost towns’ these days. All the $$$ goes to fire and USFS cops. Either add some funding… or divert some.

    >”Horse Mountain Special Management Area,”

    WTF? Leave it alone… doing fine already.

  • Huffman is consciously ignoring the richardson grove freeway protest and sundberg voted to reduce humboldts riparian buffers as well as rezone thousands of acres of timber and ag land to develop during his tenure. Whatch who does and especially doesnt point out their glowing hypocricies in the media (kym?). Whats really going on is a dog and pony show. Both of their minds are made up about what theyre going to do. Theyre bought and sold sellouts.

  • Thinking allowed

    No, he doesn’t want input. He wants free advertisement for his re election. He has always pointedly shut down anyone with a differing opinion. Or even a real life expectation. Nasty man.

    • I noticed at the last townhall, someone asked the right questions that got his panties in a wad. The media quietly let the podcast disappear into the never happened zone.
      I would love to shake the hand of the man who dared to ask a valid question.

  • Heres some ideas…. Let lake county have burn piles. Let more lightning fires burn. Attack the cartels. And have the Fed gov return CA land to CA.

    • You want Ca BLM land to go to the State? WTH? The cost to use a State Park is already too high for a lot of visitors. Im local, grew up in the HRSP, and will never utilize the campgrounds again because of the cost. How much to you think the fees for the King Range NCA would be if the State took it over. Think about it!

      • You are right, we should think about it.
        So I did.
        Here are some of the thoughts that came to mind.
        Huffman is the one responsible for our district’s funding. He is allowing our funds to support the unconstitutional perpetual wars, unconstitutional UN agenda 21, unconstitutional drug war, unconstitutional marriage of federal and state policing, and every other issue that is not his constitutional duty, while ignoring and spitting on all his constitutional duty.
        Now, about that money for our state parks…

  • Huffman is just your typical left wing whackjob. Lets just make everything a f—- park. Eliminate trucking, live only on solar, eat grass, and nomatter what don’t use water. Or use your own trees.

  • Hmmm something sounds fishy about this……

  • Drain the Swamp starting with Huffman. Pure communist scum.

  • They’re slowly coming for your land. One “endangered” species at a time.

  • Hey Huffman, you still haven’t “thought about” the communities who suffer from joblessness, homelessness, poverty, hopelessness, that was brought about through your REGULATORY Nationlists regime?
    But, I digress. That’s a whole lot of work having to flip the page to the next line of thought.
    Here, maybe a link will help. http://kymkemp.com/2017/08/09/establish-refuges-for-the-homeless-urges-non-profit/

    People create people jobs. Government creates government jobs.
    Who are you working for? The new Nationalist government that was militarily put into place or the People who set up the original Federalist government?
    James Madison in Federalist Papers #39 explains the difference.

  • This all sounds good, for those that believe they are environmentalists. Sounds like Agenda 21, all over again. This bill would do many things, too many to list here. Some are good, and some are bad. Please remember, no machines are allowed in wilderness areas, even for firefighting. I realize it is written that there would be, but only if it protected public safety. How does a fire in a vast wilderness threaten public safety? More jobs? Are you seriously saying we would have more logging in our forests if this passed? Plenty of additional national forest law enforcement personnel I suppose. Not affect private land? My property borders what would become wilderness. I could not ride a quad up the trail in national forest land to access my upper parcel. Or operate a chain saw to clear the trail. Just more federal control over our lands.

    We already have more federal control over our lives than we generally consider beneficial. How much more can we take?

    I’ve met Mr.Huffman, at one of his “coffee with your congressman” shows. He seems like a very nice person, but his comments there demonstrated to me that he is a phony, and out for his own agenda.

    Thumbs down from my perspective.

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