UPDATE 7/6/11: Preliminary Injunction Granted to halt CalTrans’ Richardson Grove Operational Improvement Project!
Caltrans originally prepared a Categorical Exemption, attempting to do minimal environmental analysis for the proposed project. However, with the involvement of EPIC and other environmental advocates, Caltrans was forced to do more extensive research, which slowed the proposed project in the planning process for over 15 months. The trees have been allowed to remain while Caltrans conducted further analysis. Then, the agency finally published their Final Environmental Impact Report/ EA, which turned out to be defective and insufficient. With no opportunity for the public to weigh in on the project, EPIC, the Center for Biological Diversity, Californians for Alternatives to Toxins, and four citizens filed a joint lawsuit challenging the plan.
In addition to the lawsuit, the coalition to save Richardson Grove has gathered and sent in over 3 thousand postcards, and processed over 25,000 online actions as a whole group. Now its our job to stop them.
Click on the links below to view Caltrans’ environmental analysis documents for the proposed Richardson Grove highway widening project:
- Order Granting Preliminary Injunction to Halt Caltrans Richardson Grove Plan – Preliminary Injunction
- Caltrans’ Final Environmental Impact Report – Full Report
- Appendix I Natural Environment Study – Includes analysis of biological resources
- Appendix L Layout Maps – Includes maps of proposed tree and root removal
- Motion for Preliminary Injunction – Filed May 25, 2011
- Declaration by Joe McBride – Describes substantial threats to old growth redwood trees
The Save Richardson Grove Campaign has been accumulating community support for efforts to stop Caltrans’ widening project through the grove. At the April 27th Board of Supervisor’s afternoon session, community members requested that the Board put the Richardson Grove project on the agenda for discussion. Attendees included a retired HSU professor, members from regional Tribes, a poet, an expert on the construction impacts to trees, representatives from EPIC, a local business owner that runs a revocery center adjacent to the proposed project, small business owners who are concerned about local sustainability, and many other people on behalf of the trees who are opposed to the proposed project.
You can be part of winning this battle right now by joining the campaign, educating yourself, signing postcards, petitioning your elected officials, reviewing the environmental documents for inadequacies, publishing opinion articles in news outlets or by doing your own unique something to spread awareness and stop the project!