The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously today, with Supervisor Rex Bohn absent, to approve an environmental impact report for the completion of the Humboldt Bay Trail that includes the removal of 219 eucalyptus trees along U.S. Highway 101.
But the board’s decision also included a provision to have county staff hire a certified arborist or two to conduct a risk assessment on the trees to determine if there’s a way to keep them and build the new trail without dramatically increasing maintenance costs or county liability.
Citing liability concerns due to detritus and falling branches from the 90-year-old trees, county staff had recommended
removing all the trees north of Bracut to make way for completion trail project, a 4-mile stretch that would connect the trail to already constructed segments south of Arcata and north from Eureka.
At the board’s Aug. 21 meeting, staff will present a plan to hire arborists to offer the board another opinion. If the arborists are able to assess the trees and offer a viable alternative to removing the trees, the board could opt to alter the trail plan at a later date .
Trail construction is not slated to begin until 2021.