Direct Message to Motorists: Richardson Grove is Threatened

Direct Message to Motorists: Richardson Grove is Threatened

January 21, 2010

ARCATA, CA – A new roadside billboard installed by the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) sends a clear message to motorists traveling north on Highway 101 to Humboldt County: Save Richardson Grove.

EPIC staff and volunteers painted and installed the new billboard Jan. 16. The sign faces northbound traffic about 13 miles south of Richardson Grove and reads “Save Richardson Grove” as well as listing EPIC’s website address, wildcalifornia.org.

“This billboard is just one element in our grassroots, community-based campaign to stop this ill-advised construction project proposed by Caltrans,” said Kerul Dyer, EPIC’s Outreach Director. “The billboard lets all passing motorists know that the grove is threatened and encourages them to learn more about the issue at our website, wildcalifornia.org.”

EPIC and allies will host a public forum in February at the to discuss the proposed Richardson Grove project. EPIC plans to host a number of other activities before the project’s final Environmental Impact Report and Environmental Assessment publication are released by Caltrans. The reports are expected to be complete at the beginning of March. Once the final project proposal is released, the agency has indicated it will not accept further comment on the plan.

Charlie Fielder, Director of District 1 Caltrans, recently reported to EPIC that planners have made major changes to the original project proposal. Earlier this month, Humboldt County Supervisors Mark Lovelace and Cliff Clendenen attended a private tour of these proposed changes within the grove, which have not been made public.

“There are many levels on which this proposed project is a bad idea,” said Scott Greacen, EPIC’s Executive Director. “This project will negatively impact Richardson Grove’s immediate environment and potentially damage protected species’ habitat. Additionally, there are concerns that allowing larger commercial trucks through the grove will lead to an influx of big box retailers and threaten the rural character of Humboldt County.”

For more information contact: Kerul Dyer, Outreach Director, EPIC, 707-822-7711