Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Friday, May 12, 2023 @ 3:25 p.m. / Tribal Affairs, Wildlife

Elk Valley Rancheria Gets $3 Million Grant For Elevated Trails, Elk Viewing Platforms

Elk Valley Rancheria will build elk viewing platforms and trails using a $3.4 million federal grant. | File photo: Jessica C. Andrews

From Elk Valley Rancheria:

The U.S. Federal Highway Administration National Scenic Byways Program awarded the Elk Valley Rancheria, California, a federally recognized Indian tribe (the “Tribe”) $3,440,834 to construct a network of pedestrian trails, Roosevelt Elk viewing platforms and interpretive signage on Tribal land that is located adjacent to a scenic section of U.S. Hwy 101.

Every year visitors stop on Highway 101 to watch the elk in the open grassland south of Crescent City on the Tribe’s reserva􀆟on land. The Tribe’s project will provide a safe place to park near the highway thereby decreasing the risk of vehicle collisions.

The Tribe will use the funding to create trails and interpretive viewing platforms to provide residents and visitors a safe place to stop for elk viewing, walking, and hiking. The trails will traverse through a forested trail, prairie trail, and wetland trail and will include interpretive signage and viewing pla􀆞orms throughout.

Interpretive materials will include information about the elk and other wildlife, environments (wetland, prairie, forest), and Tribal culture and history.

“We are excited to provide our Tribal members, local community, and visitors with a safe and educa􀆟onal place to enjoy the outdoors in a beau􀆟ful environment. It also provides an outstanding opportunity to share our Tribal culture with the world,” said Dale Miller, Chairman of the Tribe.

The Tribe will be partnering with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife on this important project.

This project has received tremendous support from state and local governments and the local community. Congressman Jared Huffman said: “Roosevelt elk are a spectacular part of the
wildlife and scenery that make our district such a special place – but there needs to be safer ways for motorists and visitors to view them along Highway 101. This funding to construct walking trails and viewing platforms will not only improve safety for the Tribe and community in Crescent City, but it will spur economic development in this rural, disadvantaged area. I’m incredibly glad to have supported Elk Valley Rancheria in their request for funding and to see it come through.”

Cindy Vosburg, Executive Director, Crescent City/Del Norte County Chamber of Commerce said: “The Del Norte County Visitor Bureau is thrilled upon hearing Elk Valley Rancheria will be able to move forward with their plans on developing another nature experience for local citizens and the visitors who travel from around the world to enjoy the many natural wonders that abound in Del Norte County.

To be able to get people off the roads and out of their cars is what brings them to appreciate one of the most beautiful places on earth. Even better, to allow access for all, to the amazing Roosevelt Elk, our rich tribal culture and our majestic Coast Redwood trees that is the wealth of Del Norte County, will greatly impact their quality of life.”


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