You know you’ve arrived in Humboldt County when you wind your way through beautiful and majestic Richardson Grove State Park at the county’s southern entrance. Towering old-growth redwoods shade the roadway, even in broad daylight, as visitors crane their necks out car windows with marvel and locals smile at the notion of returning home.
But the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has a plan to widen and realign Highway 101 at Richardson Grove to accommodate the largest commercial trucks on the road. Caltrans would cut down trees and destroy the roots of ancient redwoods causing substantial, irreparable damage to the trees.
The redwoods of Richardson Grove represent the last standing giant ancient redwoods in the world, they are irreplaceable: once destroyed they are gone and will not be replaced by equivalent trees for millennia.
Since 2009, the Environmental Protection Information Center, the Center for Biological Diversity, Californians for Alternatives for Toxins, several individuals, and a coalition of activists have been holding Caltrans accountable to the law in both State and Federal Court; however the project is far from being forgotten and we need your help.
We know that by working together, we can stop this destructive project and protect this threatened ancient redwood grove.
Join the community campaign to Save Richardson Grove.
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It is time to scrap Caltrans' project through Richardson Grove State Park
It is time to scrap Caltrans’ Richardson Grove Operational Improvement Project through Richardson Grove State Park for good. Tell Caltrans to stop wasting tax dollars on unnecessary and expensive projects through old growth forests.
On April 4, 2012 Federal Judge William Alsup ordered Caltrans to redo critical aspects of its environmental analysis for the controversial project, citing numerous errors in Caltrans’ mapping and measurement. He further warned, “Caltrans should give serious consideration to the other significant arguments made by plaintiffs in their motion.”
What the court preserved in this ruling is the right of Americans to have these important decisions made in the light of day, not behind closed doors.
Good, accurate maps are critical to being able to make any kind of knowledgeable decision, especially about rare and precious natural resources. If Caltrans’ maps can’t be trusted, then its other findings must also be suspect.
Caltrans would realign a section of Highway 101 that winds through old-growth redwoods in Richardson Grove State Park to accommodate large-truck travel that would require extensive cutting into the roots of towering redwoods along the highway. Root loss would likely kill at least some of the majestic trees, and highway work would also harm endangered species like the marbled murrelet and northern spotted owl.
Caltrans’ proposed assault on Richardson Grove, the fabled “redwood curtain” at the entrance to rural Humboldt County, has been met with widespread opposition from local residents, business owners, conservation groups, American Indians and economists. Conservation groups secured a federal court injunction in July 2011 stopping the project from moving forward.
This unnecessary project would cause irreparable damage to one of our most prized state parks, its wildlife, and also harm tourism and the coastal communities of the North Coast.
It’s time to stop this project for good. Please Save Richardson Grove State Park.