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ER: NCRA hears presentation on Annie and Mary Rail Trail
Thursday 15 May 2008, 06:59
Filed under: Humboldt, NCRA, Railroad, trails

Some points here. It is unclear if the this part of the railroad was abandoned. NCRA says no it wasn’t. This part of the railroad was bought under different money, and thus can be rail banked, the rest can’t.

By CERENA JOHNSON, The Eureka Reporter
Published: May 14 2008, 11:44 PM
Category: Local News

Residents are continuing to work toward establishment of a trail connecting the Blue Lake area with the northern end of Arcata.

The Arcata and Mad River Railroad Trail, or Annie and Mary Rail Trail, was the topic of a presentation at the North Coast Railroad Authority board of directors meeting at the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors’ chamber Wednesday.

The proposed Annie and Mary Trail would run from West End Road to Blue Lake.

Currently, there are no rails remaining in the area, only a number of wooden trestles.

John Murray, a member of Friends of the Annie and Mary Rail Trail, said the NCRA does not have a right to enter into an agreement with the city of Blue Lake to put in the trail, as the NCRA has the right-of-way for railroad purposes only.

Through rail banking, he said, the NCRA would abandon the railroad.

The railroad could be utilized for other purposes, also providing the NCRA with the ability bring the railroad back in the future.

“By rail banking, you give the locals the ability to make that choice,” Murray said.

Rail banking would require a manager to act as a holding company, with the right-of-way turned over to the manager, Murray said.

Murray proposed the NCRA temporarily act as the manager.

NCRA Director John Woolley said a previous board had already taken action on the matter.

While many expressed support for exploring the concept, some directors were concerned with the idea of the NCRA serving as manager of the line.

“I am extremely supportive of this,” said Director Tom MacDonald, but said he was concerned about NCRA acting as manager, and said Friends of Annie and Mary likely need an action as they are trying to raise funds.

Director Bernie Meyers said rail banking would be like putting the right-of-way into trust.

“We aren’t abandoning the line,” he said.

Legal Counsel Chris Neary said it is important to get a definition of exactly what interest the NCRA has in the property.

Staff will be working on bringing back an agenda item for action on the issue by July or August.

“We need their blessing,” Murray told The Eureka Reporter. Having a trail, he said, is a “quality of life issue.”

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