The Environmental Protection Information Center—EPIC is challenging three environmentally damaging, expensive and unnecessary highway projects that the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is pursuing around the North Coast of California:
Richardson Grove State Park is considered to be the famous redwood curtain that has kept the county from becoming another exit along the superhighway of modern development. But now Caltrans is proposing to widen the highway through the Grove, resulting in removal of trees and destruction of old growth roots.
Willits Bypass is a $200 million project proposing to bulldoze a six-mile, four-lane freeway the size of Interstate 5 around the community of Willits. The project would cause unnecessary environmental damage to increasingly rare wetlands, salmon-bearing streams and endangered plants, and is not needed for the traffic volumes through Willits.
Wild and Scenic Smith River Project on the 197/199 Caltrans’ 197/199 Project would harm the Smith River, putting endangered salmon and steelhead at risk. This project also threatens the old-growth redwood forests protected in the Redwood State and National Parks, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, and Ruby Van Deventer County Park.
The environmental impacts of the behemoth road-building agency became acute throughout the planning process for the Richardson Grove highway-widening project and has organically transformed into a regional campaign to ‘Rein in Caltrans.’
EPIC’s Rein in Caltrans is a campaign designed to force Caltrans to abandon or alter some of their more egregious highway widening projects, and to publicize and reform the flawed decision-making and environmental review process at Caltrans that allows these wasteful and destructive projects to move forward.
EPIC is dedicating energy to building an active constituency and membership that supports our policy stances and legal actions on these issues.