In a virtual press conference Friday, State Senator Mike McGuire (D – Healdsburg) announced that more than $ 16 million in new state funding will help realize his vision of a Great Redwood Trail stretching from “San Francisco Bay to Humboldt Bay” significantly closer to reality.
“Today is a time of transformation,” Senator McGuire told a small group of reporters and officials gathered on Zoom on the morning of July 2, describing his goal of transforming 300 miles of the “hot mess” of Abandoned railways connecting Marin, Sonoma, Mendocino and Humboldt counties are difficult, but doable. “It won’t be easy and it won’t be quick, but we all want to persevere here on the North Coast, and today we are officially off the rail for the trail.”
McGuire’s announcement was that $ 16.5 million in public funds “have been secured for the Great Redwood Trail,” the majority of which, $ 10 million, will go to what he called “the project master plan. , the master plan â.
This funding, said McGuire, will fund efforts to “design the trail, determine its operating and maintenance costs, study the route, analyze the material, and fund a community engagement process (which) will solicit feedback from people. neighbors for the 300 miles of the Trail. “
McGuire described the funding and the plan as an âabsolute game changer for the trail, (because it provides us with) the tools we need to formally engage with our neighbors and the communityâ¦ and ensures that the Great Redwood Trail does It’s not just a dream: it’s now a reality.
Mendocino County 2nd District Supervisor Maureen Mulheren, whom McGuire touted as a longtime trail champion, back when the Ukiah section was called Rail Trail, said the funding was a ” great news “and announced that the town of Ukiah had” recently received a $ 3 million grant for Phase 4 of the trail, which will extend the trail the full three mile length of the city limits. I am delighted to see so much state support for construction.
When asked about the potential fire hazard posed by the trail potentially bringing more human activity to the forest areas, Caryl Hart, the former director of Sonoma County Regional Parks, said that “what causes the fires, it’s not the trail users, and legal uses of an area drives out illegal uses, âwhich she said were more likely to cause fires.
“When there is a trail in a wilderness area, the number of fires decreases, not increases,” added McGuire, describing the trail itself as a “fire break” and trail users as ” extra eyeball pairs “to see and report fires.
âThis really is the transformational day we’ve been talking about for years,â McGuire said. âThis is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and we have just taken a giant step towards making it a reality. “