Silence in the redwoods is a beautiful thing.

 

Since all permits were pulled after a well-fought 2014 court victory challenging Caltrans, the jackhammer shovels were called off excavation duty around feeder roots of the redwood giants in Richardson Grove State Park.

However, Caltrans’ “Come hell or high water” attitude regarding its plans to accommodate oversized trucks on our coastal highway, and refusal to budge in the face of broad public opposition, clear threats to California’s sensitive habitats and species, federal court defeats and lack of demonstrated need calls for our vigilance. We now have evidenced reason to believe that Caltrans is soon to release new documents to restart the project with a goal of making Hwy. 101 more accessible to interstate-sized trucks.

 

Once Caltrans’ planning documents are released, there should be a full-on public comment proceredwoods-classicss, but Caltrans may try to circumvent that.

 

Richardson Grove State Park, protected since 1922, is habitat for threatened or endangered species like the marbled murrelet, northern spotted owl, salmon and steelhead trout.

 

Please be on the lookout for our alerts and be ready to act. In the meantime, you can contact those in State Government who could help stop the project for good.

Here are some points to work into emails and letters:

 

  • Richardson Grove as a protected State Park, should be off limits to this disruptive highway work in the first place.

 

  • Since redwoods have no tap roots, their laterally-spreading root system is particularly vulnerable.

 

  • No objective, documented, current economic analysis exists to justify these projects.

 

  • Transportation dollars are needed for immediate concerns for highway and bridge maintenance, not unneeded highway widening projects. Mass transit, bicycle lanes and multi-use trails are projects that need increased transportation dollar funding, not highway expansion.

 

  • These extra large, Interstate-size trucks (called STAA trucks) are the most dangerous vehicles on the road—particularly on rural roads. They are the most polluting vehicles on the road.

 

  • The need for Interstate-size truck access (if the need actually exists) will be satisfied by the nearly-complete current project on Hwy. 299, between Hwy 101 and I-5.

 

  • Geologic instability of the North Coast area make roads susceptible to slides. Large truck traffic will increase damage to road surfaces, adding to the potential for slides.

 

  • No documented accidents have yet demonstrated the “off-tracking” danger that Caltrans uses to justify the projects (large trucks going off-road around curves as exist in Richardson Grove area).

 

At this point, just a sentence or two stating your objection and calling on officials to convene a stakeholder group to determine the actual relevance of these projects will help a lot.

Your own words are more powerful than a petition or form letter.

 

Some elected representatives to contact:

North Coast State Representatives / Local Aides:

Robert Christensen for Senator Mike McGuire:

vog.ac.nesnull@nesnetsirhc.treboR.

Deanna Hansen for Assemblymember Jim Wood:

vog.ac.msanull@nesnah.annaeD.

 

YOUR representative: Find at

http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov

 

Gov. Jerry Brown

https://govnews.gov.ca.gov/gov39mail/mail.php

Apply the brakes, Caltrans!

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