California’s Elkhorn Ridge declared Wilderness

On Thursday, January 13th, the US Bureau of Land Management announced the designation of more than 11,000 acres of wilderness in Northern California.  The Elkhorn Ridge Wilderness Area was classified as potential wilderness in 2006 under the Northern California Costal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act; a victory protecting 275,000 acres of Wilderness and celebrated by Conservation Alliance grantees California Wild Heritage Campaign and California Wilderness Coalition.

These 11,000 acres were to become wilderness as soon as BLM found a 1,500-acre previously acquired private in-holding to be eligible for a Wilderness designation or five years passed since the act's signing.  On Thursday, the BLM found the area to have naturally rehabilitated itself from years of timber cutting, making it compatible with the Wilderness Act.  This Wilderness designation grants permanent protection for the 11,000 acre Elkhorn Ridge area and 7 miles of the South Fork Eel River. 

"The Elkhorn Ridge Potential Wilderness Area appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature and exhibits outstanding opportunities for solitude and primitive and unconfined recreation," BLM announced in the Federal Register. "Although some traces of past logging operations and associated road construction remain, the BLM has determined that the benefits of mechanized restoration are outweighed by the adverse impacts of such mechanized restoration on wilderness character."

Read The Times Standard article here.