community watershed restoration since 1983

Prosper Prairie Grasslands Restoration Update

From managing recreational activities to conserving natural and cultural resources to facilitating energy development, the responsibilities of the Bureau of Land Management in California are diverse and challenging.


Partners Helping to Restore Grasslands at Prosper Ridge

A team of hard working partners  recently planted thousands of grass plants on a coastal prairie overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Northern California,  contributing to an ongoing effort to restore 850 acres of grassland that has been impacted by encroaching shrubs and Douglas-fir trees.

workers along a ridge with ocean in background

Partners work along a ridge overlooking the Pacific, planting grass plants to restore a coastal prairie. (Photo by Sonny Anderson, BLM volunteer)

Staff from the local Mattole Restoration Council worked with  the Americorps Watershed Stewardship Project, applying eight species of grass seed and planting 30,000 plugs of six grass species over 18 acres of BLM-managed public land on Prosper Ridge near the community of Petrolia.  Neighborhood volunteers and community contractors had previously cleared shrubs and young trees from the restoration site.

woman swining a pick

A worker prepares a site for planting grass plant plugs. (Photo by Sonny Anderson, BLM volunteer)

Through this effort, BLM is enhancing the proportion of deep-rooted, native perennial grasses compared to non-native, annual and perennial grass species of lesser value.

Man planting a grass plant

A project participant plants grass plugs in  coastal prairie restoration work at Prosper Ridge, a public land area managed by the BLM Arcata Field Office. (Photo by Sonny Anderson, BLM volunteer)

Native plants were locally developed and annually propagated as part of the BLM Arcata Field Office’s participation with the BLM Seeds of Success program.  BLM botanist Jennifer Wheeler has been directing the program and attributes success to  a  cooperative partnership with the Mattole Restoration Council, a local non-profit group focusing on various aspects of watershed restoration in the Mattole watershed and adjacent areas in the King Range National Conservation Area.


The work now ongoing at Prosper Ridge is the result of about 13 years of close community coordination and planning that resulted in the Prosper Ridge Prairie Plan. The plan helps BLM meet one of the primary goals and objectives of the King Range National Conservation Area  Resource Management Plan (2005) to “maintain healthy, productive grasslands to encourage native species abundance and diversity.”

Piles of brush

Shrubs and young Douglas-fir trees were removed from the treatment sites and piled for later burning in the project to restore grasslands at Prosper Ridge. (Photo by Sonny Anderson, BLM volunteer)

There are several phases in the restoration project.  The project began with mechanical removal of coyote brush and young Douglas-fir trees in predefined units to build buffer areas to meet community safety expectations and reduce fuel loads. After several years of treatment,  the BLM will use prescribed fire, timing the broadcast burns to maintain the area as a productive grassland.

Throughout the woody vegetation removal process, disturbed soil areas will be sown with native seed and clovers, and/or planted with native bunchgrass plugs to establish new colonies capable of their own reproduction and expansion.


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MRC Annual Mtg: Water and Fire

Join us for an afternoon of water and fire presentations and free individual consultations for landowners. Stay into the evening for a delicious dinner prepared by Luz ($10), the MRC annual meeting of the membership, and music.

 1:30-4:30 Presentations (HSU, MRC, Sanctuary Forest, NOAA, Fools Farm)

Presentations exploring the changes in local vegetation over time, fire and fuel management, potential uses for slash and biomass, water storage and groundwater recharge opportunities, and more. Presenters include:

1:35 John Williams, MRC- Historical vegetation changes in the lower Mattole

1:55 Jeff Kane, HSU- Fire ecology and fuels management

2:15 Alison O’Dowd, HSU– Fire impacts on stream communities


2:50 Tommy Williams, NOAA- Watershed approach to salmon restoration

3:10 Joel Bisson, HSU- Potential uses of biomass from timber harvests

3:30 Galen Doherty, Sanctuary Forest Inc- Mattole water projects

3:50 Kyle Keegan, Fool’s Farm- Restoration practitioner- Ecocultural Re-storyation


4:30-6:30 Landowner Resources & Individual Consultations

Bring your questions for individual consultations, or just come browse the tables

Fuels Reduction Ali Freedlund- MRC

Defensible Space Charlie Schuttloffel – MRC

Water storage and water rights Tasha McKee and Tristin Oates – Sanctuary Forest

Spring system design Sungnome Madrone – Mattole Salmon Group

Stewardship practices, permaculture, and dry farming Kyle Keegan – Fools Farm

Streamside setback and buffers Galen Doherty – Sanctuary Forest

Sustainable ag and environmental compliance for Cannabis Jessi Bergsma Rockenbach and Kris Schuster – Mattole Sustainable Farmers Guild and Hollie Hall – Compliant Consultations

5:30 Dinner by Luz ($10). Beer and wine for sale.

Delicious dinner of chicken mole or vegetarian enchiladas, with rice, beans, salsa, green salad, and flan (100 available).

Beer ($3) and wine ($4) available for purchase, including Anderson Valley, 21st Amendment, and Sierra Nevada.

6:30 MRC Annual Meeting & Board Nominations

Open to the public, come hear what the MRC has been working on and tell us if you have any ideas, concerns, or areas that you’d like to see more work done.

7:30 Music

Event is co-sponsored by the Mattole Restoration Council and Sanctuary Forest, with guest speakers and presenters from Humboldt State University, Sanctuary Forest, MRC, NOAA, Mattole Sustainable Farmers Guild, CalFIRE, Kyle Keegan, and more. Funding provided by California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Fisheries Restoration Grant Program drought funding for water stewardship education.

For more information, or if you are interested in running for the Board of Directors, contact Cassie at 629-3514 or

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Burn Suspension Cancelled



California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection,

Humboldt-Del Norte Unit,


CONTACT: Paul Savona

Fire Captain Specialist

(707) 726-1221

RELEASE DATE: 10/29/2015


Humboldt and Del Norte Counties Burn Suspension Lifted

FORTUNA- Effective Monday, November 2, 2015 the burn suspension in Humboldt and Del Norte counties will be lifted. CAL FIRE Humboldt – Del Norte Unit Chief Hugh Scanlon is formally cancelling the burn suspension and advises that those possessing current and valid Non-Standard and Residential burn permits can now resume burning on permissible burn days.  Non Standard burn piles larger than 4’must be inspected by CAL FIRE prior to burning until the end of the peak fire season. To schedule an inspection or request information on burning requirements contact your local CAL FIRE Station.

CAL FIRE burn permits will be required in addition to Non Standard Air Quality Permits until the end of peak fire season. While cooler temperatures have helped to diminish the threat of wildfire, we are still in our fourth year of drought.  Property owners and residents are asked to use caution while conducting vegetation burns. Always use caution when burning, follow all guidelines provided, and maintain control of the fire at all times.  Individuals can be held civilly and/or criminally liable for allowing a fire to escape their control and/or burn onto neighboring property.

Residents wishing to burn MUST have a valid burn permit and verify it is a permissive burn day prior to burning.

Burn day information is available at 1-866-287-6329.

Pile Burning Requirements

  • Only dry, natural vegetative material such as leaves, pine needles and tree trimmings may be burned.
  • The burning of trash, processed wood or other debris is not allowed.
  • Do NOT burn on windy days.
  • Piles shall confirm to your permit requirements. Clear a 10 foot diameter down to bare soil around your piles.
  • Have a shovel and a water source nearby.
  • An adult is required to be in attendance of the fire at all times.


Safe residential pile burning of forest residue by landowners is a crucial tool in reducing fire hazards. State, Federal and Local land management and fire agencies will also be utilizing this same window of opportunity to conduct prescribed burns aimed at improving forest health on private and public lands.

For more information on burning, visit the CAL FIRE website at

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Updated Salmon Snapshot









How many fish do we have? What have we and our partner groups been up to? Want to know more about the Mattole? Check out the updated Salmon Snapshot for the Mattole River! Compiled by The Nature Conservancy from information from local groups and agencies, this site tallies the work done to date in the Mattole (and other watersheds) and provides population estimates for our fish.

Click here to check it out!

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Students clean 471 pounds of beach trash!

Thank you to all of the students, teachers, parents, and volunteers who turned out for Coastal Cleanup Day!  On September 18, students from Mattole Triple Junction, Mattole School, Honeydew School, and Independent Study programs partnered with community members and the Mattole Restoration Council to clean an impressive 471 pounds of trash from 7 Mile Beach!Ms

These 48 students and 21 adults filled 15 bags with trash and recycling, then returned to school to tally their collections as follows: 29 food wrappers, 1 cigarette butt, 6 fishing buoys/pots/traps, 76 meters of rope, 10 pieces of construction material, 2 tires, 81 plastic bottles, 22 glass bottles, 42 beverage cans, 11 plastic bags, 4 paper bags, 53 pieces of plastic or foam packaging, 30 plastic (non-beverage) bottles, 10 shoes, 5 metal stakes,  and ~1300 pieces of plastic micro trash.  Without the hard work of these students, this trash would have likely become marine debris, posing a risk to marine life and the health of our Ocean.

WalkingCoastal Cleanup Day is an annual event that started in Humboldt County 35 years ago by the Northcoast Environmental Center. This year, 400 Humboldt volunteers tackled 65 sites to collect 6-8 tons of debris.  Statewide, over 53,555 volunteers turned out on Coastal Clean-up Day to clean 307 tons of debris from 900 sites.

Great job students, and a special thank you to all the parents, teachers, MRC staff, and volunteers that turned out to help!

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Free Forestry Practices Hike

Forestry Practices
A hike in the Upper Bear River watershed
With Humboldt Redwood Company, Restoration Forestry and Sanctuary Forest
Saturday, August 22
9 a.m. – 4 p.m. 
Who: led by Ben Hawk (HRC Area Manager), Mike Miles (HRC Director Forest Science) and Tim Metz (owner of Restoration Forestry)
What: this hike will provide insight into the many decisions foresters make relative to sustainable timber production. The Bear River Watershed is 84 square miles and flows 25 miles from its headwaters at an elevation of 3,600 feet to its mouth where it enters the Pacific Ocean. Humboldt Redwood Company owns a significant portion of the upper watershed and manages these forests for sustainable long term timber production, habitat, and water quality. Hike topics will include forest composition, ecological function, haul road infrastructure, silviculture, and history of management. This hike is rigorous, and hikers should be prepared for heat. Bring lunch, plenty of water, dress in layers and wear sturdy hiking shoes.
When: Saturday, August 22
Where: meet at 9 a.m. at the Humboldt Redwood Company Main Office in Scotia (125 Main St.) to carpool into upper Bear River. The group will return to Scotia by 4 p.m.
Why: explore the upper Bear River watershed and learn about emerging sustainable forestry practices on a beautiful summer day!
This hike is free of charge, though donations are gladly accepted. For questions or clarifications, contact, or visit

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Talk and Discussion: Restoring Mediterranean Climate Rivers

Matt Kondolf, professor at UC Berkeley and internationally recognized authority on river restoration, will talk about restoration of Mediterranean-climate rivers (such as the Mattole) Wednesday, August 5th at the Mattole Valley Community Center.

This free talk starts at 7:30pm and will conclude with a question and answer session.

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Heavy Equipment Contractor Solicitation – UPDATE: Bid Awarded

UPDATE: We have selected Patrick Queen Construction. Thank you to all the contractors who submitted bids.

Solicitation of Proposals

The Mattole Restoration Council invites interested companies to submit a proposal for vegetation removal for Phase 3 of the Prosper Ridge Prairie Restoration Project. Submitted project proposals need to be either emailed to or received by the MRC, PO Box 160, Petrolia, CA 95558 by July 29, 2015.

Project Location: Prosper Ridge Prairie Units to be treated in this phase are identified on the attached map. This project is entirely on public lands managed by the Arcata Area Bureau of Land Management. The units are south of the Mattole Beach campground on Prosper Ridge Road. The nearest town is Petrolia, CA.

Project Description:
Prosper Ridge Prairie Restoration Project Phase 3 is a grasslands restoration project the Mattole Restoration Council has been implementing on public lands in the North King Range Prairie area with direction and funding through the Arcata Bureau of Land Management (BLM) since May 2014. The overall goal of the project is to restore areas of open grasslands in areas of historic coverage through multiple treatments. It is a multi-year process dependant on timing and funding. This phase calls for the mechanical removal of vegetative species that have colonized in the absence of fire grassland ecosystems. Species to be removed include coyote brush (Bacharis pilularus) with as much of the root ball intact to prevent re-growth and Douglas-fir (Psuedostuga menzesii). Removed material will be piled in large piles away from fuels. Contractor is not responsible for burning piles. The equipment that has successfully removed this vegetation and created piles includes a mid-sized excavator with a thumb. The Windy Point and Cattle Guard units are on relatively flat ground, however, the Strawberry Rock and Barksdale Table unit has areas in excess of 30% slope. Some treatments have already occurred in some units. Total acres is approximately 100, actual treatment acres are far less. Not all acres will be treated with this phase. Project will begin in August but only until August 21 (hunting season). These preliminary treatments will target removal of pure young Douglas-fir as the ground is currently too dry for the complete removal of coyote brush and root wad. Once the rains begin, other treatments will begin again, likely in January 2016.

Project Tour:
There will be a project tour depending on interest on July 24, 2015 from 9:00 am-12:00pm. Please RSVP with Ali:, or call (707) 822-4477.

The proposals should emphasize experience with efficiency of treatment over total number of acres treated.. This contract is between the Mattole Restoration Council and chosen Contractor. Contractor will be paid upon completion of project sites or when work is stopped for the season due to soil moisture and/or weather. Mattole Restoration Council will direct timings of treatments in consultation with BLM project manager.

The proposal should detail the following information with a not-to-exceed amount of $83,000:
1) Contractors License and Insurance
2) List all experience completing vegetation removal projects, especially with species mentioned above. Provide information of number of years as well as how many acres of vegetation removal has been completed to date.
3) Describe equipment type and rate per hour for equipment and rate per hour for operator. Prepare a budget that details total number of equipment operating hours proposed for the NTE amount of $83,000 (operating hours only include time when operator is in machine removing vegetation)
4) Personnel to be used
5) Mobilization and Demobilization Costs
6) Operating safety protocols and spill prevention protocols
7) Federal Prevailing Wage rates
8) Other Contracting Costs

Evaluation Factors
The MRC will evaluate all proposals in a fair and equal manner using the above numbered details to determine the selection.

A contractor will be selected on Friday, July 31. The contract will be executed and work should begin shortly thereafter.

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