Heavy Construction, Restoration Work Forces Temporary Closure of Ocean Ranch Unit Within CDFW’s Eel River Wildlife Area
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has announced the temporary closure of the Ocean Ranch Unit within the Eel River Wildlife Area as habitat and restoration work intensifies there with the use of heavy equipment. The unit is being closed to all public access for safety.
Located in Humboldt County near the community of Loleta, the Ocean Ranch Unit is undergoing an 850-acre restoration project to benefit native plant, fish and wildlife species and greatly improve public access and enjoyment of the property by establishing a formal trail system, improving parking, building a launch for kayaks and canoes, installing interpretive signage, among other features.
Current construction efforts are being overseen by Ducks Unlimited and carried out by McCullough Construction Inc. and are focused on using heavy equipment to clear vegetation, prepare staging areas and install pilings and water pumps to manipulate habitat. Construction crews will be working six days a week until rain and weather shut down operations for the year, at which point the Ocean Ranch Unit will be reopened to public access.
“We know the timing of this temporary closure will impact our duck hunters especially with the general waterfowl season set to open Oct. 23,” said Shawn Fresz, a senior environmental scientist for CDFW’s Northern Region. “The good news is that all construction work will cease and all heavy equipment will be removed once inclement weather arrives. We’ll reopen the Ocean Ranch Unit to public access at that point – and that’s also when the duck hunting should be at its best.”
Shawn Fresz, CDFW Northern Region, (707) 601-6281
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 215-3858