King Range Lost Coast Wilderness Area Protected

King Range Lost Coast Wilderness Area Protected

Aug. 08, 2011

A partnership of The Wilderness Land Trust and the United States Bureau of Land Management recently resulted in the acquisition and protection of a 40-acre private inholding in the King Range Wilderness.  Visible from the famous “lost coast” beach trail near Petrolia in Northern California, this bluff property overlooks the Pacific Ocean and hosts unparalleled views.  It is now protected as wild forever with public trail access.  Prevention of future potential private uses helps secure the surrounding 42,585 acres of the King Range Wilderness.


The King Range contains the longest stretch of undeveloped coastline in the United States outside Alaska.  Unlike almost all other coastal areas in California, it hosts dunes with native grasses.  The King Range contains rare, coastal ancient forests of Douglas fir, madrone and tan oak with creeks running to the ocean that host many endangered species, including leafy reedgrass, California brown pelicans, steelhead trout, Chinook and Coho salmon, bald eagles, peregrine falcons, northern spotted owl and Roosevelt elk.  It is not at all an uncommon site to see bears foraging on the beach as you traverse the California Coastal trail.  The property protects trail access and clean water in the now 42,625 acres of wilderness. 


“We deeply appreciate the assistance of the Wilderness Land Trust in this important acquisition for the public,” said Lynda Roush, manager of the BLM Arcata Field Office.


“The family owned this parcel for generations and used the property as a family retreat in the past.  They wanted to share it with others who enjoy the wilderness.  A few other private owners in the King Range have cabins overlooking spectacular ocean views and this property could have been sold to a private owner with their own development plans,” said Aimee Rutledge, California Program Manager.


“We worked with willing sellers to protect this land as wild and to ensure that ‘man is a visitor and shall not remain’--a goal of the Wilderness Act.  We are proud to add to the spectacular King Range Wilderness and secure this pristine coastal area for wildlife and future generations”, said Reid Haughey, President.


King Range Wilderness

Designated in 2006, the King Range Wilderness now contains 46,737 acres with the addition of this latest acquisition.  It contains one of the last and the longest stretches of undeveloped coastline in the United States outside of Alaska.  Its ancient coastal forests provide homes to many species of plants and animals.  Steelhead trout and Chinook and Coho salmon spawn in its streams.  California brown pelicans, bald eagles and peregrine falcons soar above the Pacific Ocean and nest in its forests.  Bears and foxes roam the woods and the beaches.  People enjoy the California Coastal Trail, also known as the “Lost Coast Trail”, which traverses the wilderness, mostly along the beach, for over 24 miles from Shelter Cove to the Mattole River.

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