Supported by donations from the Wyss Foundation and the landowner, Coastal Forestlands, Ltd., the donation stipulates that the land be incorporated into the adjacent congressionally designated Yuki Wilderness under Section 6(a) of the Wilderness Act of 1964. Called the Sanhedrin Donation, the land is part of the 11,800-acre Sanhedrin Acquisition Project; national forest officials have partnered with TPL and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to purchase the remaining 8,800 acres of the parcel with Land and Water Conservation Funds and private donations.
The donated land, which is in the Middle Fork Eel River watershed, will help protect critical habitat for the threatened Northern California steelhead, said forest supervisor Ann Carlson, and will enhance recreational access to isolated areas of the forest, preserve wildlife migration connectivity between the Yuki and Sanhedrin Wilderness Areas, and improve water quality within the Elk Creek watershed, a major tributary to the Middle Fork.
"We are thrilled to be able to work with the U.S. Forest Service to protect this land," said TPL California state director Guillermo Rodriguez. "This addition to the Mendocino National Forest represents the rare opportunity to protect a piece of land not just because it's a great place to recreate outside but also because it protects drinking water and the habitat for wildlife."