Highway Widening Project Moves Forward Slowly--In the Wrong Direction
Caltrans' plans to widen and "straighten" Highway 101 through Richardson Grove State Park, home of the Avenue of the Giants, has not been taken off the table, despite huge public opposition and a budget crisis facing California. There are two things you can do right now, described below, and we urge you to also stay tuned to alerts during what could be a critical time for this project that threatens the ancient redwoods of California's north coast.
One: We encourage you to write a letter to the new/old Governor Jerry Brown to suggest one way to cut the budget deficit is to cut boondoggle projects like Caltrans so-called "Richardson Grove Improvement Project". We don't need it! A sample letter is below.
Two: There is a mass RALLY planned by the north coast activists for Monday, Feb. 7 at noon at Caltrans offices in Eureka. The message for the demonstration at Caltrans District 1 Headquarters at
1656 Union St. (Union and Wabash) is PROTECT THE REDWOODS ! NO ROAD WIDENING THROUGH RICHARDSON GROVE !
For info or to get more involved contact Richardson Grove Action Now:
(707) 602-7551 OR firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition, two legal challenges to Caltrans' project await resolution: one in federal court and one in state court. We will notify the BACH list of the next court date. Because of the astronomically high bond requirement, the plaintiffs do not have an injunction against the project, which means that, technically, Caltrans can proceed before the cases are heard in court. That is why we need Jerry Brown to step in! He was an active supporter of the Headwaters Forest campaign in the 1990's, and we need him to step up to the plate on this redwood forest issue. Letters can be send to
Governor Jerry Brown
State Capitol Building, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-2841
Fax: (916) 558-3160
Here is a sample letter you can use:
Governor Jerry Brown
RE: Cut Wasteful CALTRANS Project and Save Richardson Grove State Park
Dear Governor Brown:
We realize that you have to recommend making many painful cuts to State services in order to bring the budget deficit under control. However, here is a win-win solution - look into the boondoggle project that CALTRANS is proposing to "realign" Highway 101 within Richardson Grove State Park in Humboldt County. By eliminating this wasteful and harmful project millions of state dollars can be saved, as well as ancient redwood trees threatened by the CALTRANS project.
You may already be aware of the controversy surrounding this project. It is essentially a trees vs. trucks issue. The trees that could be irreparably harmed from this road widening/realignment project are old-growth redwoods--trees that could be 1,000-2,000 years old. I do not believe these ancient trees and a State Park should be sacrificed so that bigger, noisier and more polluting STAA trucks can come barreling through this area of California. Moreover, the larger STAA trucks are already traveling this section of highway through exemptions.
CALTRANS repeatedly claims that no significant impact will occur to these trees, but they have offered no scientific studies to prove that the cutting, carving and compacting of ancient redwood roots will not damage or eventually kill these trees. Any damage to the root systems will be a detriment to the survivability and viability of these ancient trees.
Governor Brown, I am asking you to please help us stop this project once and for all. CALTRANS is a bloated bureaucracy that badly needs its budget trimmed. Here is the place to start.