The designated Special Treatment Area (STA) that surrounds the Woodlands has been the subject of much discussion and confusion over the years. Originally, it was part of the Mendocino Woodlands Recreation Demonstration Area (see also History page). When state legislation mandated the creation of the Mendocino Woodlands Outdoor Center (now the Mendocino Woodlands State Park), the area was carved up into two pieces: the State Park as it is today (which is the Woodlands) and a Special Treatment Area surrounding it, created as a “buffer”, with an unspecified purpose.
The California Department of Forestry (CDF) controls the STA as part of Jackson State Forest and has performed logging activities within the STA in recent years. When you drive through the Park, note that all the hillsides up to the ridge top and most of our hiking trails—and even our drinking water sources—are located within the STA, outside the Park. Because of this very close proximity and the fact that the STA overlooks the entire Park, we feel strongly that it should be reintegrated into the Mendocino Woodlands State Park. This will protect the STA from future logging—thereby ensuring a healthy watershed for returning salmon and steelhead in the Little North Fork of the Big River—and preserve the peace and beauty of the Woodlands.
Don Taylor, former Executive Director of MWCA, has spoken before the Board of Forestry in an effort to obtain lasting protection for the STA in the form of a Forest Management Plan. We have gone through this process with CDF in the past, without a resolution. We are hopeful that the Board of Forestry will listen to the wishes of the people that use this small corner of Jackson State Forest and grant our requests.
As we proceed in our efforts to protect the Woodlands, we are working on a number of ways in which we may be able to increase the protection of our cherished Park. We will update this site with more specific information as it becomes available. If you would like to stay on top of how to further lend your support in our campaign to preserve the STA, you may sign up for our e-mail hot line and receive automatic updates with information you can act upon. Together, we can save the STA and protect our beloved Woodlands.