Opportunity Fund invested $40.95 MM in this 19,388-acre sustainable forestry, fisheries habitat restoration, and ecosystem services project.
Yurok Tribal Community Forest and Salmon Fishery
The Yurok Tribal Community Forest and Salmon Fishery Preserve is an enterprise focused on sustainable forestry (including a carbon sequestration project), fisheries habitat protection and restoration, and ecosystem services over a forested landscape in Del Norte and Humboldt Counties, CA. The Yurok Tribe (“Tribe”) is California’s largest tribe that for thousands of years has inhabited its ancestral lands in this area. Western Rivers Conservancy (“WRC”) is a non-profit river protection organization that acquires important stream corridors, including those consisting of this project, and works with the Tribe to manage the project lands for long-term sustainability.
In 2013, Opportunity Fund provided $12.2M for the acquisition of an additional 8,489 acres, and in 2015 Opportunity Fund provided an additional $12.5M to acquire 6,479 acres. Opportunity Fund helped the Tribe acquire an additional 4,420 acres with NMTC in 2018. At the end of the 7-year NMTC tax credit period, these properties will be gifted to the Tribe, substantially increasing the size of their reservation. All told, the Tribe manages 47,097 acres (including parcels owned by WRC) as a community forest and salmon sanctuary.
A well-functioning ecosystem is of special significance to this rural economy and to the Yurok because the forest and the Klamath River are the economic lifeblood of the Yurok. Acquisition of this land allows the Tribe to incorporate sustainable forestry practices and restore the Klamath River to conditions that will allow salmon, their food source, to thrive, while creating jobs and stimulating the local economy in the process. In addition, the Yurok Project is part of the largest forestry carbon sequestration project in the State of California as set out under the state’s global warming laws. Carbon credits produced from this project create an additional revenue stream for WRC and the Tribe.
invested in this 19,388-acre sustainable forestry, fisheries habitat restoration, and ecosystem services project
Projected Community Impacts:
- 5,000 people served annually (85% low-income)
- 269 full-time equivalent jobs created or retained (193 for low-income individuals)
- 285 construction jobs (233 for low-income individuals)
- 87 jobs projected to be created or retained in next 7 years (57 for low-income individuals), all receiving living wages and benefits
- 44 construction jobs projected to be created in next 7 years
Community Demographics & Characteristics:
- Median income: 50.73% of Area Median Income
- Poverty rate: 33.1%
- Unemployment rate: 30.8% (3.71x national average)
- Food desert