Humboldt County to ‘join forces’ with cities to fight climate change

Rio Dell, Fortuna 'slow to get into the fold,' planner tells supervisors Tuesday

Humboldt County to ‘join forces’ with cities to fight climate change
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The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously today to develop a “climate action plan” that will allow the county to meet state requirements for curbing greenhouse gas emissions in its planning efforts.

By contributing $55,000 in staff resources and contracting costs to the effort, the county agrees to begin developing the plan in conjunction with Arcata, Blue Lake, Eureka, Ferndale and Trinidad. Officials from the county and the various cities will begin developing the specific plan this summer. They plan to formally adopt the measures in 2020.

Two “rogue” cities in the county, Fortuna and Rio Dell, have been a “little slow to get into the fold,” said senior planner Michael Richardson at today’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

“They’ve expressed a willingness to (join),” Richardson said, “and actually, Rio Dell has contributed money to the effort. We’re just waiting for their city councils to get on board.”

The Redwood Coast Energy Authority will “take a lead role” as a contractor for the project, Richardson said. When fully implemented, the plan will inform how planning developments adhere to state environmental guidelines.

“In addition to meeting state requirements, (climate action plans) allow local governments to better position themselves for grant funding for projects such as trail development, infrastructure upgrades and energy efficiency upgrades,” reads the county’s staff report.

Over 40 percent of the cities and counties across the state have already developed similar plans, the report states.

Supervisors at today’s meeting were pleased to see the plan is moving forward.

“This all sounds like progress to me,” said 3rd District Supervisor Mike Wilson, whom the board approved as its primary liaison for the project.

“It’s moving forward in a good direction,” added 2nd District Supervisor Estelle Fennell. “Not only do governmental entities think this is an important move forward, (but) I think the community at large is very engaged in this issue.”

Shomik Mukherjee can be reached at 707-441-0504.

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