Fort Bragg California
Fort Bragg is a charming small city on the Northern California coast. It was home to a large lumber mill for over a hundred years until the mill closed in 2002. Fort Bragg has a wide variety of homes and commercial buildings from turn of the century. It is slightly less touristy and has a more blue collar feel than nearby Mendocino but there are still plenty of restaurants, coffee shops, book stores etc in it's historic downtown area. It's a very nice city to walk around. One thing notably missing in Fort Bragg is any access to the ocean. The entire coastline in Fort Bragg is owned by Georgia Pacific. It is fenced off and contains a few unused decaying lumber mill buildings. Most of the fenced off land along the coast is empty and apparently contaminated by toxic wastes from the old mill.
Fort Bragg is the western terminus of the Skunk Train; a historic lumber rail line that ran to Willits. The line is now operated for tourists.
As noted above the entire coastline of Fort Bragg taken up by the 400 plus acre site of the former Georgia Pacific lumber mill. Since closing the mill in 2002 Georgia Pacific as been trying to figure out what to do with the land. Initially the company tried to sell the entire parcel to a developer. Now it seems that GP is going to try to develop the land itself. Portions of the site are contaminated with wastes from the mill and this is slowing plans for reuse. For example GP gave the city of Fort Bragg several acres for a park and coastal trail years ago but the city has been unable to use the land until a way to decontaminate it has been agreed on. Planing for the rest of site seems to be dragging on as well. It amuses me to think about GP which is owned by the arch conservative Koch brothers negotiating land use and development issues with Mendocino county hippies. As of 2011 the site of the mill is empty and no visible progress has been made towards the reuse of the land.
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