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Richardson Grove Campaign Update

Now that EPIC and our allies have filed a lawsuit against Caltrans for the Richardson Grove project, we are going through the statutory requirements right now, which include mandatory settlement discussions and the preparation of the entire administrative record.  As far as we know, the project is not going to begin for some time. According to Diane Feinstien’s office, “construction is proposed to begin in the winter of 2011.”

On June 30, the California Transportation Commission (CTC) approved a resolution to provide “approval for consideration for funding” of the the recommendation that the project be funded. It is interesting to note that nowhere in the resoultion language did the words “park” or Richardson Grove” or “Old Growth redwoods” appear. Perhaps this is the reason that with so many people paying close attention to procedures related to the project, no one caught that the item appeared on the CTC’s agenda. According to the Memorandum that laid out the resolution, the “total estimated project cost is $10,053,000 for capital and support.” This is approximately one third more expensive than earlier estimates.

In related news, CalTrans has proposed another project like the one through Richardson Grove, that would allow STAA access on Highway 199 and 197. This project damage  old growth redwoods in Del Norte County and would occur in nine locations along the Wild and Scenic Smith River. Public comments on the project will be accepted by District 1 Caltrans until August 23. To read the project Environmental Impact Report, click here.

EPIC volunteers have put together activist packets that we intend on distributing to motivated individuals to spread the word and gain support to save Richardson Grove. Packets include brochures, stickers, post cards, petitions, T-Shirts and other Richardson Grove paraphernalia. Please call or email the EPIC office if you have the time and energy to reach out to your family, friends and neighbors about the campaign to save Richardson Grove.

We’d love to raise the visibility of the pending devastation of our environment and way of life to those outside our immediate area. We have had a couple of articles published in the San Francisco Chronicle. We’d like to see more letters to the editor and op-eds written to the Chronicle and other newspapers such as the San Jose Mercury News, the Santa Rose Press Democrat, the the Marin Independent, as well as environmentally and progressively oriented magazines and campus newspapers.

Naturally, donations for the cost of the lawsuit are badly needed. Please donate what you can.


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