Habitat Restoration & Enhancement

Although the Land Trust does not regularly engage in habitat restoration, we occasionally find an opportunity to match our land conservation work with habitat enhancement (making existing habitat better) or restoration (re-creating habitat that once existed). These activities create important reserves for wildlife, maintain traditional, low-impact agricultural use, and provide public access for recreation.

Freshwater Farms Reserve – Find out about our successful effort to restore 35 acres of former tidelands along Freshwater Slough. View the map of the completed restoration project.
McNamara Dairy – The Land Trust developed a management plan to improve the biological and agricultural resources on 77 acres in the Redwood Creek watershed. View the property map.
Martin Slough - Read about the restoration plan for the 43 acres of productive bottomlands. View the property map.

Freshwater Farms Reserve

The Northcoast Regional Land Trust owns and manages the 74-acre Freshwater Farms Reserve located on former tidelands along Humboldt Bay. In 2006 the Land Trust, in partnership with the Redwood Community Action Agency, Natural Resource Services Division, initiated development of a habitat restoration project on the property project titled the “Wood Creek Tidal Marsh Enhancement Project”. The construction phase of the restoration project began in August 2009, and took two-and-a-half weeks to complete. See property map for details.

Since project completion in 2010, the measurable success of the project has been outstanding! The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has been monitoring the Wood Creek restored area monthly and has documented thousands of juvenile salmonids residing within the system, especially in the ponds.  Building upon the success of this project, NRLT is working with our agency partners at U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the State Coastal Conservancy to design a second phase of restoration upstream of the Phase 1 project.

For more information:

The Freshwater Farms Story
The Construction
Property map
The Graham-Long Dairy Barn: History Binder (large file - see below for specific pages)
Cover, Historical Analysis, Timeline, 1872 survey, Deeds, Assessments, Census, Cemetery Survey

Check the Events page for activities at Freshwater Farms Reserve

McNamara DairyMcNamara Dariy

With assistance from the California State Coastal Conservancy and Western Rivers Conservancy, the Land Trust acquired the 77-acre McNamara Dairy in 2009. In 2012 the Land Trust created  a restoration and management plan which provides guidance for the holistic management of the property, balancing agriculture and wildlife habitat, and planning for improvements of both. It sets protective buffers to promote watercourse and riparian health, while also ensuring for sustainable agricultural production.

For more Information:
The McNamara Story
Property Map


Martin Slough

The 43-acre Martin Slough property encompasses productive bottomlands along an important fish-bearing tributary of Humboldt Bay near Eureka. The property was purchased by NRLT in 2011 with the goals of restoring riparian and wetlands habitats, improving fish access, reducing upstream flooding, and maintaining traditional agricultural production.  Additionally, the land will be preserved and protected from uses that diminish its natural and agricultural values. Project objectives include the installation of a state-of-the-art replacement tidegate; the excavation of the historic Martin Slough stream channel; the reinforcement of a failing levee along Swain Slough; the construction of a 4-acre tidal pond complex; the improvement of agricultural infrastructure and productivity on around 35 acres of pastureland; the installation of riparian fencing; and the planting of native riparian and wetland plants in restored areas. Project Partners include the State Coastal Conservancy, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, the City of Eureka, the Redwood Community Action Agency, and the Eureka Municipal Golf Course.

For more Information:
The Martin Slough Story
The Restoration Design
Property Map