Arcata City Forests

Community-based forestry is a participatory approach to forest management that strengthens communities’ capacity to build vibrant local economies while protecting and enhancing their local forest ecosystems. By integrating ecological, social, and economic strategies into cohesive approaches to forestry issues, community-based approaches give local residents both the opportunity and the responsibility to manage their natural resources effectively and to enjoy the benefits of that responsibility.

 -Aspen Institute


Arcata offers many ways to explore our forests, marshes and community through recreational programs for all ages.  Learn more about these opportunities and sign up today.

The Arcata Community Forest, established in 1955, is comprised of 2,350 acres of second growth redwood forest in Humboldt County, California. Community Forests are relatively rare in the western United States but recently there has been an increasing interest and effort to establish community forests. Timber harvest revenue funds forest operations, habitat restoration and management of the forest for recreational uses. A combination of working forest areas, special management areas and ecological reserves create a balanced management approach. Community forestry in Arcata is designed to provide local residents the opportunity and responsibility to manage their natural resources.

The forest forms the visual backdrop of the town and provides extensive passive recreational use (i.e. hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and nature walks). Although the 16,000 town residents own the Arcata forest, stakeholders include the surrounding communities and the greater Humboldt County area.

The forest is a recreational draw in the region due its extensive trail system that supports hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.

The Redwood Forest Bird Checklist provides a list of the 144 bird species that may be found in the Arcata Community Forest.

Watch this 6:06 minute video to learn more about the Arcata Community Forest and how it is managed. 

The Arcata Community Forest has served as an example for other communities that have wished to acquire and manage community forestlands.  For those interested in doing this, click on this link to read a publication of the Communities Committee, Acquiring and Managing A Community-Owned Forest: A Manual for Communities

Below are links to two resources about the Arcata Community Forest and community forestry:

A 45 minute webinar sponsored by University of California Cooperative Extension at which Arcata's Environmental Services Director/City Forester Mark Andre did a presentation entitled  Arcata Community Forest, Community based forestry at the municipal level in Northern California (click underlined text to access webinar)

The Forest Guild also has a webpage with useful links on community forestry, click here to access this webpage.


Offset your carbon footprint by buying carbon offsets from the Arcata Community Forest, click here for more information.