Greetings …. not surprisingly, CALTRANS has refused to give up on their plan to make Highway 101 STAA (large Interstate trucks) accessible from Grants Pass Oregon to the Bay Area and Richardson Grove is one of their major sticking points. A September 21, 2013 public notice appeared in the Eureka Times-Standard stating that CALTRANS has posted documents including a Supplement to the Final Environmental Analysis, a Final Report by their “expert” Tree Decisions and an Individual Tree Analysis.
These documents are posted on the CALTRANS website at:
The documents are lengthy. Apparently this is in response to the successful lawsuit by our litigation team that resulted in the Injunction that has halted the project. In that lawsuit the Federal Judge ruled that CALTRANS had arbitrarily and capriciously tried to justify the project with false data (meaning their measurements of the trees and their mapping.) However, the Judge also cautioned CALTRANS that other arguments against the project presented by the plaintiffs should also be considered before CALTRANS tries again to get the Injunction lifted.
The public comment period in response to these documents closes on October 21, 2013. Our allies at EPIC are in process of analyzing the documents in order to help us formulate public comment. Written comments may be submitted to CALTRANS, Attn: Environmental Management, P.O. Box 3700, Eureka, CA 95502 by October 21, 2013. Here is EPIC’s initial take:
blog/caltrans-fails-to-follow- court-order-provides- inadequate-supplement-to- richardson-grove-project- documentation/
EPIC plans to have a more substantive response, probably in the form of an Action Alert shortly.
Several of us have also emailed CALTRANS asking for an extension of the comment period. You can email them at:
On other fronts, our awesome legal team has filed suit to stop one of the companion projects in their assault on our North Coast environment, the 197/199 project to widen Highway 101 along the Smith River corridor. Please see the Press Release at:
blog/lawsuit-filed-to-protect- wild-and-scenic-smith-river- from-destructive-caltrans- highway-widening-project/
Finally, the brave and stalwart folks of Save Our Little Lake Valley continue their opposition to the CALTRANS ByPass. They are planning a mass demonstration On October 12, 2013. All are invited and details will follow. There is a new section on the Save Little Lake Valley website that detail and document the violations by CALTRANS during this first phase of construction that happily supposedly wraps-up on October 15. To see how CALTRANS actually behaves despite any promises or permit conditions please see:
Please stay tuned for further updates. Events will be moving rapidly. Thank you for your support in protecting our precious environment and old-growth trees. Regards, Barbara Kennedy