The coastal dune system of the North and South Spits of
Humboldt Bay contain approximately 1,600 acres of dune forest, vegetated dunes
and open sand. The north spit is also known as the Samoa Pennisula.
Ma-le'l Dunes - 444 acres of public land along a mile and a half of
Manila Dunes - 100 acres.
Eureka Dunes - acres.
Humboldt Buggy and ATV Association used to own two different parcels in the Ma-le'l Dunes.
The Ma-le'l Dunes Cooperative Management Area (Ma-le'l Dunes
CMA) consists of approximately 444 acres of public land owned by the BLM and
USFWS. It is located approximately one mile north of the unincorporated town
of Manila and 3.5 miles west of the City of Arcata, in Humboldt County,
California. The area is geographically situated on the North Spit of the
Humboldt Bay (also known as the Samoa Peninsula) within the Humboldt Bay dune
system. Additionally, the Ma-le'l Dunes CMA stretches along 1.5 miles of the
Pacific coastline. (Figure 1) The Ma-le'l
Dunes CMA contains significant cultural resources and a unique association of
coastal dune, forest, wetland, and estuarine ecosystems that are bordered by a
number of different land uses including a public shooting range and an active
The Ma-le値 CMA consists of the Ma-le値 South and Ma-le値
North areas. Ma-le値 South is owned and managed by BLM and Ma-le値 North
is owned and managed by the USFWS. These two areas consist of four properties
known as the Manila Dunes Area of Critical Concern and the Khoaghali Parcel
(Ma-le値 South) and the Fernstrom-Root Parcel and the former Buggy Club
Parcel (Ma-le値 North).
From 1992 to 1994, much of what is now known as the Ma-le'l
Dunes CMA was managed for public use. This area occupied 385 acres and was
known as the Mad River Slough and Dunes Cooperative Management Area. It was
managed cooperatively among the landowners at the time: BLM, The Nature
Conservancy, and Louisiana Pacific (LP). The area consisted of three
properties, which were known as the Fernstrom-Root parcel of the Lanphere-Christenson
Dunes Preserve, the 160-acre LP parcel, and the 112-acre Manila Dunes Area of
Critical Concern. The area was closed to public use in 1994 when the Humboldt
Buggy and ATV Association (a.k.a Buggy Club) purchased from LP the 42-acre
Khoaghali parcel and the 160 LP parcels (later known as the Buggy Club
parcels), thereby terminating the Cooperative Management Agreement (Figure 2-
Ma-le値 Dunes CMA map).
In 2003, the SCC funded the acquisition by the Center for
Natural Lands Management (CNLM) of the two Buggy Club parcels for public
access, restoration and open space protection.
In July of 2004, the CNLM transferred the 42-acre Khoaghali
parcel to the BLM, which began managing the property in conjunction with the
adjacent 112-acre Manila Dunes Area of Critical Concern and consistent with
the Arcata Resource Management Plan. These two properties combined to form the
154 acres area known as Ma-le値 South. Collectively, the 154 acres managed
by BLM are known throughout the Plan as Ma-le値 South. Following the
completion of an Environmental Assessment for Ma-le-l South in July 2005, BLM
installed public access improvements at during the winter and spring 2005, and
the area was opened for public access in July 2005.
In August 2005, CNLM transferred title to the 160-acre former
Buggy Club parcel, including a 1-mile length of access roadway, to the USFWS,
which began managing the properties in conjunction with the adjacent 113-acre
Fernstrom-Root property (formerly part of the Lanphere Dunes Unit of the
Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex). Collectively, the two USFWS
properties comprise 290 acres and are managed as the Ma-le'l Dunes Unit of the
USFWS Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The properties managed by
the USFWS are known as Ma-le値 North.
Some of the area within the Ma-le'l Dunes are also know as