**Highway 101 Widening Through Richardson Grove
**Logging Approved for Bohemian Grove
**Grassroots Media Project
**Want To Get Involved?

There has been a Caltrans project working its way through the public agency process to widen highway 101, the state highway that winds its way up the coast of California through the redwoods. The segment of highway Caltrans wants to straighten and widen runs through Richardson Grove State Park in the Avenue of the Giants. Many people and organizations in Humboldt County have been fighting it based on not only ecological grounds, but issues of local economics, traffic congestion, pollution and the belief that it could be the beginning of the big box nation busting through the redwood curtain.
Planning documents prepared by Caltrans do not provide convincing evidence that the excavation and cutting within the root zone of the giant redwoods that abut the highway would not cause the ancient trees harm. As many redwood warriors know, redwood trees do not have a deep tap root, but rather depend on laterally spreading roots close to the surface to absorb moisture and nutrients, and compaction, paving over or cutting of this sensitive root system can undermine the stability of the giant trees and threaten its long life. As well, further disturbance and development would threaten the already tenuous existence of old-growth-dependant species like the marbled murrelet and disappearing runs of salmon and steelhead.

Why then, is Caltrans so determined to literally plow ahead with this project?
Caltrans, and other economic interests, want to accommodate larger trucks up and down the corridor. The Surface Transportation Assisstance Act of 1982 allows large trucks, known as STAA trucks, to operate on routes that are part of the National Network. A STAA truck has a 48-ft. semitrailer and unlimited overall length, and there is a hazard when they try to make the tight turns that characterize the 101 corridor through the redwoods. Caltrans says the project is about safety, but records of accidents involving STAA trucks passing through this stretch of 101 do not support the contention that it is urgently needed as a safety measure.

Groups united in opposition to the so-called “Richardson Grove Improvement Project” include the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC), the Intertribal Sinkyone Council, representing ten sovereign nations, the Northcoast Environmental Center, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Blue Green Alliance, Earth First! Humboldt, Friends of the Eel River, Trees Foundaton, and more. Visit the Save Richardson Grove website/blog for more info.

What you can do:

>>>Besides visiting the above site to find out the latest, you can sign the Center for Biological Diversity’s on line-petitionhere.

>>>We also have postcards addressed to Caltrans at the BACH office. Do you have some time to help us table on this issue? We are also looking for a couple people to help set up a public information event with a slide show in the Bay Area. Have a bit of time on your hands for the forests? Please email or call us.

Bohemian Grove Logging Approved
At the very end of 2009, while most people were on holiday, the state approved a long-sought logging plan for the Bohemian Grove, the 130-year-old exclusive club in a beautiful redwood forest in Sonoma County that has served as a much-guarded playground and hobnob haven for the very rich, conservative and powerful male membership. The logging plan skirts public review and government oversight and proposes to cut as much as 1.7 million board feet of timber. See more at the Save Bohemian Grove website, including the Dec. 31 SF Chronicle article about the approval.

Grassroots Media Project: Roots of Change Media Education project:
Another activity of BACH that deserve mention is our grassroots media project. We are surveying grassroots groups to determine the need for collaboration to amplify the grassroots environmental voice. If you are interested in helping out with this project, please contact us (more news soon). We urgently need funds to attend a national progressive media conference in Denver, Colorado that will help launch this project. If you can help with a donation, large or small, please send checks payable to Ecology Center/BACH to the BACH address below. Thank you!
Stay tuned!

 

Comments are closed.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.