The City of Eureka recently launched the Gulches and Greenways Planning Effort to develop policies to protect and manage these important open spaces. Even if you don't live or work in Eureka, these streams, wetlands, and riparian areas are important to all who care about the health of Humboldt Bay. The first workshop was held on March 29, and 554 people responded to the City's online survey (see the summary of responses HERE). The City has now released an initial draft ordinance and will hold meetings of the Open Space, Parks, and Recreation Commission on April 28 and May 26 for input before the ordinance goes to the Planning Commission and then the City Council. The "Gulches" are small but critical streams that provide habitat for fish, frogs, and other wildlife. They also carry urban runoff and trash into the bay, affecting downstream water quality. And they all flow into the lower reaches of Elk River and Eureka Slough, which are especially critical to Coho salmon and other anadromous species that spawn and overwinter in Elk River and Freshwater Creek.The "Greenways" are wetlands, forests, and riparian areas adjacent to the Gulches. Many of these areas have not been developed due to the steepness of the slopes. But inland of the Coastal Zone, there are no local regulations that protect these areas.
Click HERE for more info about the City's timeline for developing the Gulches and Greenways policies.