In 1999, the state and federal governments purchased the 3000-acre old growth Headwaters grove. While this landmark acquisition protected globally significant forest habitat, it also removed significant resources from Humboldt County's economy.
Before the sale, local officials and community leaders argued that the Headwaters acquisition should include an appropriation to the county to offset economic losses. A July 1997 resolution of the County Board of Supervisors, supported by a Memorandum of Understanding between the County of Humboldt, the City of Eureka, the Humboldt Bay Recreation and Conservation District, and the Northwestern Railroad, requested a $118 million mitigation package. This local effort combined with the work of Humboldt County's legislators, resulted in a combined $22 million state and federal appropriation to the County of Humboldt. Congressman Frank Riggs and Assemblywoman Virginia Strom-Martin worked to secure the funds. The state share of $12 million was earmarked for "economic assistance." The $10 million federal share was termed a "direct payment" to Humboldt County. Governor Gray Davis and others presented the checks to the Board of Supervisors.
On October 19, 1999, following a recommendation from the County Board of Supervisors sub-committee consisting of Supervisors Bonnie Neely and John Woolley, the full Board voted to reserve the bulk of the funds for "economic prosperity and quality of life for all Humboldt residents." They also approved using a fraction of the funds to offset County costs directly related to the Headwaters acquisition.
You can find more about the Headwaters fund here.