Work on Gateway to Redwood National Park Winds Down for 2022
Monday, November 21, 2022
Crews are making progress in building a new gateway to Redwood National Park in Humboldt County.
Work has just wrapped up for the year at the site of an old timber mill near the town of Orick. Operations will pick up again next spring, and the site is expected to open to the public in 2026.
Jessica Carter, director of parks and public engagement for the Save the Redwoods League, which owns the land, and project manager for the work at the Orick Mill site, said visitors will get to enjoy a host of new features.
"They will see a completely restored landscape, about a mile of new trails," Carter outlined. "There will be a visitor plaza with interpretive exhibits, and there will be gathering areas."
The area sits on Native American ancestral lands, so the Yurok Tribe Construction Corporation is doing much of the restoration work. The nonprofit Cal Trout is also involved, restoring just under a mile of Prairie Creek and its flood plain, which are important to the broader watershed as breeding grounds for salmon and steelhead.
Carter noted the Orick Timber Mill operated from 1960 to 2009, and was demolished twelve years ago.
"We inherited 20 acres of abandoned asphalt and concrete," Carter recounted. "There were some old housing sites, a grazing pasture, and a very degraded section of Prairie Creek with failing stream banks, a disconnected flood plain, and a whole lot of invasive vegetation."
Other partners in the restoration project include the California State Coastal Conservancy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Restoration Center, the Wildlife Conservation Board, and the Ocean Protection Council.
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