The Fortuna Center sits in the heart of redwood country on California’s wild and scenic North Coast. In operation since 1992, the center houses about 100 residential Corpsmembers who work on natural resource projects throughout Humboldt and Del Norte counties.
The center has five natural resource work crews – including a fire crew – with an average of 15 Corpsmembers per crew. The center also has a six-person culinary arts crew and a small in-camp crew. Work hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. if working 8- hour days, and 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. if working 10-hour days.
The U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the California Department of Fish and Game, California State Parks, and Caltrans are some of the organizations that hire the Fortuna Center to complete natural resource projects. The center also oversees the award-winning Salmon Restoration Program that has improved California’s salmon and steelhead habitat over the past 30 years.
1500 Alamar Way
Fortuna, CA 95540
Fortuna Center Video Tour
Life at the Fortuna Center
After a day of hard work, there is time for reflection in unforgettable surroundings like the shoreline of Humboldt County’s Lost Coast.
Corpsmembers at the Fortuna Center live in clean and modern dormitories adjacent to attractive gardens. Most rooms are designed for four people, however two-person rooms are available for Corpsmembers who earn a promotion to a leadership position. Bathrooms are shared and have private showers. Coin-operated laundry is available.
The multipurpose room is regularly used for community meetings and classes. The on-site computer lab and WiFi are accessible to all Corpsmembers. The recreation room consists of a weight room, TV Room, and pool, foosball, and ping pong tables. Outdoor recreation activities surrounding the center include outdoor movies, hiking, surfing, mountain biking, fishing, kayaking, whale watching, and exploring tide pools
The center itself is located near:
- A convenience store
- Access to the Riverwalk Trail that follows the Eel River as it flows to the ocean
- Downtown Fortuna
- A local bus stop, making it easy for Corpsmembers to travel to nearby cities like Eureka and Arcata
Fortuna’s Corpsmembers work on a variety of projects – trail construction and maintenance, removal of exotic plants, landscaping and installation of irrigation systems, building structures such as recycling facilities, fisheries restoration, tree planting, and fire fuel reduction. The center partners with a variety of local, state, and federal partners on projects, including the City of Eureka and Humboldt County. Other partnerships include:
Wildland Firefighting: The CCC Fortuna Center operates a wildland firefighting hand crew in partnership with CAL FIRE. Corpsmembers receive training and hands-on experience working with CAL FIRE captains responding to wildfires locally and across the state. The center is collaborating with the CAL FIRE Humboldt Del Norte (HUU) unit to operate the crew. Wildland hand crews help build fire line with hand tools and conduct mop-up work. The crew currently operates seasonally, typically from April to October. Beginning in Fiscal Year 2023-24, the crew will move to year-round operations.
Bureau of Land Management: Many projects take us to the Headwaters Forest Reserve and King Range National Conservation Area. Work at Ma-le’l Dunes Cooperative Management Area and the Lost Coast help to protect critical habitat.
Fish & Wildlife (California & US Federal): The Coastal Fisheries Restoration Program is a series of success stories spanning more than 25 years. This program began as a partnership between the CCC and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
State Parks: Corpsmembers working in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, Sinkyone Wilderness State Park, and the newly acquired Mill Creek watershed perform trail work, timber stand improvement projects, and fisheries work.
Caltrans: Landscape and stormwater projects provide experience for Corpsmembers who may want to earn entry-level positions with Caltrans. Many former Corpsmembers are employed by this agency.
U.S. Forest Service: The Six Rivers National Forest provides many project opportunities including trail construction, maintenance and repair, campground renovation, protection of native forests from the spread of invasive species, and more.
The Fortuna Center is also home to two AmeriCorps partnered programs, the Backcountry Trails Program and the Watershed Stewards Program. The programs operate out of the Fortuna facility, but crews work in backcountry locations and along riparian areas across the state, repsectively. Both programs have separate application procedures from the main CCC program.
CCC-NOAA Veterans Corps Fisheries Program: In partnership with NOAA, this program provides post-9/11 veterans new opportunities to build their skills and work experience by restoring and protecting fisheries resources. Veteran Corpsmembers work side-by-side with experts from state, federal, and non-profit restoration partners. Work involves habitat restoration and monitoring projects identified by NOAA Fisheries. Veterans must possess a DD214 to participate in this program.
Education and Training
The Fortuna Center offers a variety of trainings and certifications, many of which are required for Corpsmembers to complete. All Corpsmembers complete Corpsmember Orientation, Motivation, Education, and Training (COMET) and core training courses . Other specialized trainings and certifications offered at the Fortuna Center include:
- CAL FIRE Wildland Firefighter Training
- Backcountry Trail Construction & Maintenance
- Caltrans’ Internship Program
- Chain Saw Training
- Chipper Safety & Training
- Cross Cut Saw
- First Aid & CPR
- Flora and Fauna Identification
- Forklift Safety and Operation Certification
- Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) 40-Hour Training
- Ladder Safety
- Leave No Trace
- Map and Compass Course
- Power Tools Safety and Operation
- Safety Stand Down
- Salmon Restoration Program Training
- ServSafe Food Handler Certification
- Trail Construction and Maintenance
- Tree Climbing Safety