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Don't Forget the Dunes! 

Editor:

I enjoyed reading the package of articles in the Dec. 20, 2018, edition, "A Special Place," about the work local conservation groups are doing to preserve and restore some of the beautiful natural landscapes we love so much here on the North Coast. I've lived in Manila since 1994 and have enjoyed watching similar processes happening here on the North Spit (including Lanphere and Ma-le'l dunes) for the last 23 years. Kudos to the Manila Community Services District, Friends of the Dunes, BLM and the National Wildlife Refuge System for preserving and restoring much of the North Spit.

When I first moved here, off-highway vehicles roamed the dunes. Going for a walk was scary. Now the agencies involved have cooperated on a trail system that connects through most of the dune area, making for miles of beautiful, peaceful hiking.

The restoration that's been done (and is ongoing) has slowly but surely uncovered the beautiful native dune mat that in spring and summer burst into joyous bloom, alive with the hum of the many native bees that depend on these plants. It is so satisfying to see this gem of an ecosystem so well taken care of!

I love it that in the middle of all this is the Friends of the Dunes. Their Humboldt Coastal Nature Center offers a place for thousands of visitors every year (from as far away as New Zealand!) to get information on how to best enjoy and appreciate this local gem. Friends of the Dunes also provides excellent educational and recreational programs for children and adults.

We are blessed to have so many organizations dedicated to preserving and restoring our natural, wild environments here on the North Coast, supported by hundreds of community members who volunteer year round to make it happen.

Nora Winge, Manila

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