Culture Change
26 May 2024
ACTION ALERT: Petition to Save Richardson Grove Ancient Redwoods PDF Print E-mail
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by Jeff Musgrave   
12 August 2009
ImageDon't let Cal-Trans rip a hole through the Redwood Curtain! Sign this petition now and help save the Richardson Grove Old Growth Redwoods! Richardson Grove State Park, covering approximately 2,000 acres, was put into the public trust almost a century ago to memorialize the fallen soldiers of WWI, and it is home to the ninth largest tree of all remaining Coast redwoods.

Caltrans is proposing to "realign" and widen Highway 101 through Richardson Grove in response to Governor Schwarzenegger's 2006 Strategic Growth Plan that proposed changes to north coast highways to enable interstate "STAA" trucks full access to Del Norte and Humboldt Counties. Under the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982, STAA trucks cannot legally transport materials through this area because of road size limits in Richardson Grove State Park and Big Lagoon, just south of Crescent City. The Legislature exempted cattle trucks from this regulation in 2007.

The Richardson Grove widening project is bad for our economy, bad for the grove and bad for our quality of life. The project threatens to open Humboldt County to large diesel trucks transporting goods, and servicing large franchise stores, along routes to Redding, Santa Rosa/ San Francisco Bay Area and Medford/Portland, transforming our rural county into a bustling transit hub.

Richardson Grove is federally designated Marbled Murrelet critical habitat. Cal Trans proposes to conduct a two year survey, but only after the project is completed. Post-project surveys are neither mitigation nor relevant without pre-surveys.

No old-growth redwood trees will be cut down, but the roots of many trees will be deeply cut. Redwoods have shallow roots, which intertwine with neighboring trees. There is no guarantee that cutting roots will not eventually kill old-growth trees. Although the project design calls for ecologically sensitive methods and materials in creating the fill, official statements by Caltrans discuss their need to cut redwood roots, which will surely have a harmful impact on the overall health of the forest. It may very well result in die-back among our ancient trees, which has not been seen in Richardson Grove, as it has in other areas like Avenue of the Giants.

The Cal-Trans Draft Environmental Impact Report(DEIR) concedes that several of these ancient trees will be affected by construction activities, and in some cases the realignment will move the roadbed even closer to the trees. The list of trees to be affected is staggering: 40 trees, with nearly half of those over 6 feet in diameter and several in the range of 10-15 feet in diameter! (Scott Greacen of EPIC)

Please take a moment to sign this petition and help save our planet's oldest beings and the endangered animals that inhabit them, such as the Marbled Murrelette and Northern Spotted Owl. Your opinion regarding this project may help open the hearts and minds of those who have the power to stop this destructive and unnecessary project. Thank you for your time and concern.

For the Trees,

Jeff Musgrave
Humboldt Forest Defense

Sign the petition to protect Richard Grove Old Growth Redwoods:

Related articles and sites

Preserving and Enhancing Paradise in the Humboldt Redwoods

Save Richardson Grove:

Save Richardson Grove blog:

Earth First! Humboldt:

STAA Truck Routes:

Office of Truck Services (CalTrans, or CalTrance), serving its master – industry -- first:

Stop "America's Greenest City" from Paving Wetland:

Open letter to Arcata destroying wetland for oil consumption::

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