Richardsons Grove:Widening Our Minds / Widening Our Roads?

albino

Albino Redwood Twig

From Avenue of the Giants

Frequent Photo

Redwood needles aren’t always green.  And environmentalists sometimes don’t have their facts straight. For those of us who consider ourselves conservationists this hurts.  We want “our side” to be right all the time.  But that just isn’t the case.

The controversy over widening Richardsons Grove* climbed to new heights today with this ad on Craig’s List. The ad while touting some of our favorite Southern Humboldt protest activities like tabling, guitar playing,  and drum circles  gets a major fact wrong. The ad bellows, “Cal Trans is planning on cutting down some of the Old Growth in Richardson Grove.”

Breathlessly, the  rhetoric continues, “The trees are scheduled for removal on June 10, 2009. Be there! Carpools are organizing… It is all about defending the environment, …Massive Protest! … Come out and show you care …”

The ad concludes passionately, “These trees have been protected since the 1920’s. It is not right to cut them down,… these protections should preserve these Old Growth Trees for our children and our grandchildren. Future generations should be able to appreciate this great environment, it should not be ruined by a single generation of uncaring, unethical people! Help us defend the rainforests of California!”

If I didn’t know better, I’d be there myself.

I grew up playing under the tall shaggy trees and among the wide leafed ferns.  I love all the redwood groves but Richardson’s is a special place where I passed from childhood to young womanhood and I want my grandchildren to enjoy the incredible beauty, too.

But, the ad has the facts wrong, CALTRANS isn’t cutting any old growth trees.  In fact, Kim Floyd, the project manager told me categorically, “Absolutely, no old growth will be cut!”

According to Floyd, around 29 trees will be taken in the park.  Half of those are less than 7 inches in diameter at breast height.

Now, stand up.  put you hand out at breast height and look at the distance between thumb tip and little finger tip–mine is 8 inches. That is the size of the tree.

I’m always a little sad when a tree must be removed–whether to build a home or provide firewood or to allow a road to go through.  I can just about guarantee though that all of us reading this use wood in some form–and the trees used were probably much bigger than these described.  The largest tree to be taken is a 24 inch in diameter tan oak.  That is a nice sized tree–probably about the size of one of the ones used to build your house… .

If you don’t believe in cutting trees ever, then maybe you should be protesting.  But if like the rest of us, you live in wood homes and write at wooden tables, you might want to broaden your mind past incorrect rhetoric even when put out by people you normally side with.  I almost always vote environmental and follow the environmental line but this time the people against the widening haven’t gotten their facts straight.

It might be easy to dismiss CALTRANS as a faceless corporation filled with “uncaring, unethical people” but I’m married to a man who works there.  I know how he stays up nights, pacing the floor, figuring out ways to minimize the harm to the environment, save us tax payers money, and  balance the needs of different interests.

Kim Floyd, the project manager for the Richardson’s Grove project,  struggles through the same process as my husband.  She and many different people have worked months to minimize the impact on Richardsons Grove.

Like me, if you consider yourself concerned with environment, you probably value input from many diverse points of view and you value having an open mind to consider all the facts and opinions by different people–even if they work for CALTRANS.

If that is the case, take a moment and consider…

Just the Facts ma’am: Kim Floyd (and the Environmental Impact Report) informs me

  • Caltrans plans in the park to remove around 29 trees
  • Altogether, Caltrans plans to remove up to 87
  • They will remove only 2 redwoods in the park– one 6 inches in diameter, the other 7 inches
  • 20 of the 29 trees proposed for removal in the park are 4 – 12 inches in diameter and half of those trees are tan oaks.
  • The largest tree proposed for removal in the park is a 24-inch diameter tan oak.
  • The next two largest are a broad leaf maple and a douglas fir at 22 inches in diameter each
  • Outside the park, over half the trees to be removed are tan oak, 4-10 inches in diameter
  • Outside the park, 30% are douglas fir 4 -24 inches in diameter
  • Outside the park, seven redwoods would be removed from 4 -16 inches in diameter

The Environmental Impact Report is not impossible to plow through–though, at 192 pages, it isn’t a quick read. (Please pay particular attention to photo 7a, 7b, table 8, and figure 8  ) but it shows the level of thought and care that Kim and the designers have put into this project.  Here is a small sample quote, “The top 4 inches of duff (redwood tree litter) shall be removed, stored at a staging area location and subsequently spread out on exposed disturbed soils within the park boundary. …Ferns and other shrubs will be salvaged when possible and replanted onsite.”

A much shorter read can be found on this brochure. But if you are passionate here is the whole kit and caboodle.

Let’s widen our minds a bit.  Let’s see the proposal for what it is– an adjustment in the road line that will reduce pollution throughout the area by reducing the number of truck loads that need to come through here.  And it will help consumers and small business owners by minimizing their costs.

Some of the opponents to this plan are people I respect but when I hear them say things like “Richardsons Grove will be ruined…”  I know they’ve misunderstood the facts. Take a moment to read the brochure (or take several hours to read the EIR.) I think you’ll be reassured.

.                            .                         .                         .                           .

Kim Floyd asked me to be sure and include her contact information.  She wants to answer your questions and address your concerns.

Kim Floyd, Project Manager

(707) 441-5739

Kim_Floyd@dot.ca.gov

She’s a very nice woman who is working hard at a difficult and politically sensitive project.  Even if you disagree, please accord her the respect that any sincere, hardworking person deserves.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

*To review:What is this Widening and why do some people want it? Right now the alignment of Highway 101 through Richardsons Grove doesn’t allow for the longer, more fuel efficient and cleaner STAA trucks to access Humboldt County from the south.  This adds to pollution and fuel waste and increases costs to consumers and business owners.

Further Links:  both pro and con so you can make up your own mind.

Ernie’s view

Cristina’s view at North Coast Journal

Anon.R.Mouse’s great explanation of STAA trucks

Sophia’s well thought out post which leans towards not widening the road

Save Richardsons Grove

Hank’s Opinion at the North Coast Journal

  • Laytonville Rock
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

129 comments

  • It’s unfortunate that people are putting out this misinformation. If people oppose the project that’s fine, but no old growth will be cut. Their roots may be damaged, yes, but no ancient redwoods are on the chopping block.

  • Heraldo, I’m glad you brought up the Redwood’s roots. I talked to Kim about them. She tells me that the plan is to work around the roots by hand to minimize any damage. In fact, they have bought a special tool called an Air Spade which is a new technology tool that can be used by arborists to gently remove the soil around roots to look for disease, etc.

    In the grove, this amazing technology will be used to leave the root web in place while the dirt is removed in any necessary areas. Then a special permeable base that doesn’t have to be as thick as normal road base will be carefully put in. This all has to be done under the watchful eye of an arborist who is there specifically to advocate for the trees.

    Keep in mind, that when my grandfather and his crew went through there (okay I don’t know that for sure but he worked for CALTRANS around the time the road went through the park) they weren’t any kind of careful about the roots. And look at those trees.

    Almost 90 years later after roots were probably ruthlessly hacked out of the way, those trees look unchanged.

    I’m glad that environmentalists are there to make sure CALTRANS keeps using the best technology and the most current ideas about the trees but, I think if what was done to those roots in the past didn’t hurt the redwoods, the gentle handling they are going to get this time isn’t going to faze them either.

    • Kym, I hear your point about the roots. The old growth in Richardson Grove look healthy. But there are areas of 101 north of the grove that are dying, presumably because of the highway. What is the cause? Car emissions? Root impacts? Loss of surrounding forest? Has anyone ever answered these questions?

      I appreciate that CalTrans wants to be gentle with the roots. But I acknowledge that the consequences of their disturbance is a mystery.

      • Where is that?

        Of all the two lanes sections of roadway that have old growth redwood that have trunks right on the roadway in Humboldt and Del Norte County those trees are not dying.

        The trees adjacent to the freeway near Redcrest that are obviously ill have an unknown cause. It could be disease….? But the Avenue of the Giants, Jedidiah Smith State Park, 199 etc. all have had healthy unaffected trees for over 80 years.

        (I just realized my intonation didn’t come across here. I didn’t mean this to sound abrupt and quarrelsome just curious.)

        • One of the areas is at the last bend heading south before you reach the fork/Honeydew exit, on the river side of the road. I don’t know if it’s the roots, but the group of trees are clearly not healthy.

          • I think we are talking about the same place. I’m sure the parks must be looking into the cause. (I’m pretty sure that is park land.) Does anyone have any idea of any studies being done?

        • Not sure when my next trip is near Redcrest. But could you estimate from Google Earth the position of the ailing trees within say an eight of a mile? And send me the GPS coordinates? Then I can mark the spot on Google Earth and swing by next time down there. I think I may have caught it out of the corner of my eye, but didn’t bookmark it in my mind.

          contact is via http://www.mdvaden.com

          But I enjoy problem solving. Been doing a lot of consulation in south and north Oregon for decades. Sometimes I can put two and two together. Although, sometimes initial causes may not be present anymore.

      • One of the reasons for the dying Redwoods is the flooding of the root system. If trees are growing along a creek and the creek channel fills with sediment the channel widens and the tree “drowns”. In the case of large floods like 64 the river actually helped the groves by leaving a layer of silt to nourish trees once the river receded. If you look at the dead tress in the Redcrest area their bases are covered with gravel eroded from up the creeks.

        • Some folks point out that redwoods can recover from that. Maybe to a certain degree, but I wouldn’t call it the optimum scenerio, and it appears detrimental in some areas. Along Bull Creek Flats near the trail, I was looking at some fallen redwoods that had two root systems. The old submerged stem was evident, with its deceased smaller set of roots.

    • It looks like this will go a long ways toward answering some of my questions in the comment letter I submitted. For the record, my concerns were that the document did not provide the support needed to make an informed decision. I’m not against widening the road as such, but I could not a clear view of (1) the resulting traffic and traffic-related hazards, (2) the impact of construction methods on old-growth tree roots — something which apparently the Air Spade data will answer, and (3) the scarcity of detail on other approaches evaluated that could have met the project objective with possibly less impacts.

      • Sophie, did you get your questions answered? If not, please contact Kim or I will try answer them too, but I am no expert.

  • Heraldo, I’m glad you brought up the Redwood’s roots. I talked to Kim about them. She tells me that the plan is to work around the roots by hand to minimize any damage. In fact, they have bought a special tool called an Air Spade which is a new technology tool that can be used by arborists to gently remove the soil around roots to look for disease, etc.

    In the grove, this amazing technology will be used to leave the root web in place while the dirt is removed in any necessary areas. Then a special permeable base that doesn’t have to be as thick as normal road base will be carefully put in. This all has to be done under the watchful eye of an arborist who is there specifically to advocate for the trees.

    Keep in mind, that when my grandfather and his crew went through there (okay I don’t know that for sure but he worked for CALTRANS around the time the road went through the park) they weren’t any kind of careful about the roots. And look at those trees.

    Almost 90 years later after roots were probably ruthlessly hacked out of the way, those trees look unchanged.

    I’m glad that environmentalists are there to make sure CALTRANS keeps using the best technology and the most current ideas about the trees but, I think if what was done to those roots in the past didn’t hurt the redwoods, the gentle handling they are going to get this time isn’t going to faze them either.

    • Kym, I hear your point about the roots. The old growth in Richardson Grove look healthy. But there are areas of 101 north of the grove that are dying, presumably because of the highway. What is the cause? Car emissions? Root impacts? Loss of surrounding forest? Has anyone ever answered these questions?

      I appreciate that CalTrans wants to be gentle with the roots. But I acknowledge that the consequences of their disturbance is a mystery.

      • Where is that?

        Of all the two lanes sections of roadway that have old growth redwood that have trunks right on the roadway in Humboldt and Del Norte County those trees are not dying.

        The trees adjacent to the freeway near Redcrest that are obviously ill have an unknown cause. It could be disease….? But the Avenue of the Giants, Jedidiah Smith State Park, 199 etc. all have had healthy unaffected trees for over 80 years.

        (I just realized my intonation didn’t come across here. I didn’t mean this to sound abrupt and quarrelsome just curious.)

        • One of the areas is at the last bend heading south before you reach the fork/Honeydew exit, on the river side of the road. I don’t know if it’s the roots, but the group of trees are clearly not healthy.

          • I think we are talking about the same place. I’m sure the parks must be looking into the cause. (I’m pretty sure that is park land.) Does anyone have any idea of any studies being done?

        • Not sure when my next trip is near Redcrest. But could you estimate from Google Earth the position of the ailing trees within say an eight of a mile? And send me the GPS coordinates? Then I can mark the spot on Google Earth and swing by next time down there. I think I may have caught it out of the corner of my eye, but didn’t bookmark it in my mind.

          contact is via http://www.mdvaden.com

          But I enjoy problem solving. Been doing a lot of consulation in south and north Oregon for decades. Sometimes I can put two and two together. Although, sometimes initial causes may not be present anymore.

      • One of the reasons for the dying Redwoods is the flooding of the root system. If trees are growing along a creek and the creek channel fills with sediment the channel widens and the tree “drowns”. In the case of large floods like 64 the river actually helped the groves by leaving a layer of silt to nourish trees once the river receded. If you look at the dead tress in the Redcrest area their bases are covered with gravel eroded from up the creeks.

        • Some folks point out that redwoods can recover from that. Maybe to a certain degree, but I wouldn’t call it the optimum scenerio, and it appears detrimental in some areas. Along Bull Creek Flats near the trail, I was looking at some fallen redwoods that had two root systems. The old submerged stem was evident, with its deceased smaller set of roots.

    • It looks like this will go a long ways toward answering some of my questions in the comment letter I submitted. For the record, my concerns were that the document did not provide the support needed to make an informed decision. I’m not against widening the road as such, but I could not a clear view of (1) the resulting traffic and traffic-related hazards, (2) the impact of construction methods on old-growth tree roots — something which apparently the Air Spade data will answer, and (3) the scarcity of detail on other approaches evaluated that could have met the project objective with possibly less impacts.

      • Sophie, did you get your questions answered? If not, please contact Kim or I will try answer them too, but I am no expert.

  • My father was a CalTrans engineer/planner (not local). Your description about your husband’s concern for minimizing impacts sounds right. People tend to look upon all government entities as the same, but in my experience CalTrans does consider public input and reasonably adjust its plans.

  • I know I tend to lump a corporation or agency into one big unhelpful ball of pain but really I’ve found that good hardworking people are everywhere–sometimes you have to dig quite a bit to find them. Maybe, because of my family connection, I’ve always believed CALTRANS has lots of good people.

    • They are filled with good people. But that doesn’t stop them from making mistakes. I’ve a two hundred plus thousand dollar settlement a few years old to prove it.

      But I lean in favor of your arguments here.

      • They do make mistakes. Everyone does. But I think Caltrans is pretty responsive to people’s concerns. Many of the folk who work up here, do so because they love this county and its beautiful countryside. They know they are in an environmentally sensitive area and their careful work reflects that.

  • I know I tend to lump a corporation or agency into one big unhelpful ball of pain but really I’ve found that good hardworking people are everywhere–sometimes you have to dig quite a bit to find them. Maybe, because of my family connection, I’ve always believed CALTRANS has lots of good people.

    • They are filled with good people. But that doesn’t stop them from making mistakes. I’ve a two hundred plus thousand dollar settlement a few years old to prove it.

      But I lean in favor of your arguments here.

      • They do make mistakes. Everyone does. But I think Caltrans is pretty responsive to people’s concerns. Many of the folk who work up here, do so because they love this county and its beautiful countryside. They know they are in an environmentally sensitive area and their careful work reflects that.

  • Hey Kym, this has nothing to do with your post, but saw it and thought you might be interested:
    http://worldwidephotowalk.com/humboldt-county-ca-usa/

  • Hey Kym, this has nothing to do with your post, but saw it and thought you might be interested:
    http://worldwidephotowalk.com/humboldt-county-ca-usa/

  • Thanks Kym. Of course I didn’t take time to read all 192 pages, but I did look at the tables, photos, and figures you pointed out, and read a little here and there. Can someone who HAS read the entire thing, or at least knows the details, tell me if the ten-feet-to-the-west move of the highway will be at the spot where those two huge redwoods hug the highway (one of the most beautiful spots in the world to me)? It must be, if they are not planning to remove any huge redwoods. I am very happy to hear that those huge trees will not be cut down. I like progress, I like the idea of more “goods” being transported into Humboldt County with less trucks and less emissions, but I love the redwoods and Richardson Grove, too. As with many things, I think there can be a happy medium when both sides of the issue work together for the good of the whole community.

    • no one will be cutting any huge old growth redwoods so I can assure you that they will still be there. Thank heavens. They are too beautiful to cut.

  • Thanks Kym. Of course I didn’t take time to read all 192 pages, but I did look at the tables, photos, and figures you pointed out, and read a little here and there. Can someone who HAS read the entire thing, or at least knows the details, tell me if the ten-feet-to-the-west move of the highway will be at the spot where those two huge redwoods hug the highway (one of the most beautiful spots in the world to me)? It must be, if they are not planning to remove any huge redwoods. I am very happy to hear that those huge trees will not be cut down. I like progress, I like the idea of more “goods” being transported into Humboldt County with less trucks and less emissions, but I love the redwoods and Richardson Grove, too. As with many things, I think there can be a happy medium when both sides of the issue work together for the good of the whole community.

    • no one will be cutting any huge old growth redwoods so I can assure you that they will still be there. Thank heavens. They are too beautiful to cut.

  • Just as a point of interest, you may remember the reason we made our move to the Salmon Creek area in 1972 was because the highway was going to bypass Richardson Grove which meant that it would be going right through our rented home at Smith Point.

    My memory may be a little faded on the facts but I think the property had already been purchased to allow Hwy 101 to skirt around the East side of the Park. Before CalTrans began construction, the State Parks decided they wanted a sound barrier placed along the highway to keep the traffic noise from interfering with the atmosphere (both environmental and recreational). At that time, CalTrans decided the cost of the sound barrier would be too prohibitive so canceled the plans for the bypass.

    I probably don’t have the details quite right but I do know that there were definite plans for a bypass in 1972. Perhaps Ernie has a better historical perspective on this issue.

  • Just as a point of interest, you may remember the reason we made our move to the Salmon Creek area in 1972 was because the highway was going to bypass Richardson Grove which meant that it would be going right through our rented home at Smith Point.

    My memory may be a little faded on the facts but I think the property had already been purchased to allow Hwy 101 to skirt around the East side of the Park. Before CalTrans began construction, the State Parks decided they wanted a sound barrier placed along the highway to keep the traffic noise from interfering with the atmosphere (both environmental and recreational). At that time, CalTrans decided the cost of the sound barrier would be too prohibitive so canceled the plans for the bypass.

    I probably don’t have the details quite right but I do know that there were definite plans for a bypass in 1972. Perhaps Ernie has a better historical perspective on this issue.

  • With all due respect to your Dad and your husband, (yes they are good people!) I can’t for the life of me understand why we would want to spend millions of dollars to fix a problem that does not exist.

    Most major Humboldt companies have gone on record as saying they don’t need bigger trucks. Most trucks reach their weight limit before filling the smaller trucks. Most accidents in the grove are caused by cars speeding, not trucks.

    Why change, arguably, one of the most idyllic and unique groves on the West Coast, if not the world? People come from all over the world to drive on the incredible highway that winds through this grove! It is a a part of what makes Humboldt great!

    In my humble opinion, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Lets spend those millions on some of the more serious problems we’re facing.

    • I’m not ignoring you. I just trying to find more information about businesses opinions. Can you point me there? My impression was exactly the opposite but I have to say I don’t have any exact figures and would love to see yours.

      • Garbervillian,

        I haven’t found (in my very limited research) much about the business beyond the voluntary online project that had 39 businesses indicating that they would be served by allowing STAA trucks into the area.

        Here is a quote from the EIR that I think is pertinent.

        “According to one study (Cambridge Systematics, Inc. 2003)
        local businesses and residents pay about 10 to 15 percent more for goods due to poor truck
        access, increasing the decline of locally-owned retail business out of Humboldt County. Several businesses, including lumber, floral, food and other manufacturing, as well as the local newspaper, have noted higher costs and have considered relocating out of the County.”

        For me, the fact that this area will become somewhat safer is added bonus also.

      • Most of the businesses support the widening. There are a few exceptions, including Singing Trees and the wood carving business right there.

  • With all due respect to your Dad and your husband, (yes they are good people!) I can’t for the life of me understand why we would want to spend millions of dollars to fix a problem that does not exist.

    Most major Humboldt companies have gone on record as saying they don’t need bigger trucks. Most trucks reach their weight limit before filling the smaller trucks. Most accidents in the grove are caused by cars speeding, not trucks.

    Why change, arguably, one of the most idyllic and unique groves on the West Coast, if not the world? People come from all over the world to drive on the incredible highway that winds through this grove! It is a a part of what makes Humboldt great!

    In my humble opinion, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Lets spend those millions on some of the more serious problems we’re facing.

    • I’m not ignoring you. I just trying to find more information about businesses opinions. Can you point me there? My impression was exactly the opposite but I have to say I don’t have any exact figures and would love to see yours.

      • Garbervillian,

        I haven’t found (in my very limited research) much about the business beyond the voluntary online project that had 39 businesses indicating that they would be served by allowing STAA trucks into the area.

        Here is a quote from the EIR that I think is pertinent.

        “According to one study (Cambridge Systematics, Inc. 2003)
        local businesses and residents pay about 10 to 15 percent more for goods due to poor truck
        access, increasing the decline of locally-owned retail business out of Humboldt County. Several businesses, including lumber, floral, food and other manufacturing, as well as the local newspaper, have noted higher costs and have considered relocating out of the County.”

        For me, the fact that this area will become somewhat safer is added bonus also.

      • Most of the businesses support the widening. There are a few exceptions, including Singing Trees and the wood carving business right there.

  • Misinformation?

    Thanks for passing it on Kym…the misinformation…that is…

    • Hey Jeff,

      I’m not quite sure if I understand what you meant by your comment. It feels hostile. But maybe I misunderstood.

      I’ve always respected what you do. I just disagree with you this time. However, I feel it is possible to honestly disagree without getting hostile. If you notice, I linked to your blog as a good source of information for the anti widening position. Even though we disagree here, I’m sure that on many issues in the future we will agree again as we have in the past.

      If I misunderstood, I apologize.

  • Misinformation?

    Thanks for passing it on Kym…the misinformation…that is…

    • Hey Jeff,

      I’m not quite sure if I understand what you meant by your comment. It feels hostile. But maybe I misunderstood.

      I’ve always respected what you do. I just disagree with you this time. However, I feel it is possible to honestly disagree without getting hostile. If you notice, I linked to your blog as a good source of information for the anti widening position. Even though we disagree here, I’m sure that on many issues in the future we will agree again as we have in the past.

      If I misunderstood, I apologize.

  • Poll, should Richardson’s grove project proceed?

    Jeff keeps saying the majority doesn’t want it. So I made up a poll. Yes, no, and undecided. I support it.

    • I voted. Its fun to do but I wish there was some more scientific way to do it. I’m glad you allow people to only vote once though. That helps.

  • Poll, should Richardson’s grove project proceed?

    Jeff keeps saying the majority doesn’t want it. So I made up a poll. Yes, no, and undecided. I support it.

    • I voted. Its fun to do but I wish there was some more scientific way to do it. I’m glad you allow people to only vote once though. That helps.

  • Note I inserted numbering into Trisha’s comment in order to make following my response easier, Kym
    Hello,
    1) The article about cutting old growth was posted with mis-information. However, people who are pressing to cut into the old growth roots are also mis-informed and clearly have not studied the Caltrans Environmental Impact Report for Richardson Grove, or have invested interests. Hummmm

    2)Caltrans already tried to cut the old growth down, but that was an old plan; for which they got a road block. Caltrans has tried to minimize this project too, with lots of double talk in the DEIR. .

    3)Cutting into the roots of old growth redwood trees will effect their ability to live. There are other alternative solutions. Look in the Caltrans Draft Environmental Impact Report and see Alternatives such as signaling, and slowing the traffic even more.

    4)Did you know there are 3,500 year old Native American artifacts were found on this site?

    5)Were you aware that there will be no trickle down of any savings to us, the consumers?

    6)Did anyone at Caltrans tell you the two year study of the Marbled Murlett has not even begun, and they were planning on starting this project without any studies done as they try and sidestep in the DEIR?

    7)Were you aware the sounds from the road work proposed is not properly represented in the charts in the DEIR? These are just a few contradictions.

    8)Please pick up a hard copy for only $10 at Caltrans and really study the Caltrans Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Alignment of Richardson Grove before thinking this is anything harmless. Or see it free at the Library or on-line.

    9)If allowed to proceed, this Caltrans Richardson Grove project will have devastating effects on local businesses, it will scare off endangered species like Marbled Murlett and Northern Spotted Owl, and it will cause further run-off into the Eel River. This proposed project of 6-7 Million dollars is more money borrowed from China for our grandchildren to pay. Slow down to 25 mph, and put in a signal light for the STAA Trucks and Mobile Homes. Problem Solved. It is one mile. Remote Signal light triggered by truckers with extra wide or long loads. Engineers get busy inventing this, as it is one of the alternate solutions minimized by Caltrans in the DEIR. Please read it and see the contradictions in nearly every paragraph. Great summer study.

    10) Back to this blog. The article you are referring too, is some group who got the wrong information. They are miss-informed, just like the people pressing to cut into the roots of the old growth are mis-informed, or invested.

    • Trisha,

      I would like to address your concerns and points paragraph by paragraph.

      So I slightly edited your comment in order to number the paragraphs to make for ease of addressing them here. I hope that is okay with you. If in any way this interferes with your points, please let me know and I will remove the numbering. I apologize for the length of my answer. I tried to be thoughtful and thorough. Unfortunately, that makes the comment a bit overwhelming. Hopefully, the numbering will help.

      1. Do I have a vested interest? Anytime someone’s job or spouse’s job is connected with a project it is valid to scrutinize their motives. While I have no direct benefit from the job ie my husband is not involved in the project nor am I getting any compensation,* I do talk to Caltrans people and see them as human beings who believe they are doing the right thing–so while I don’t have a vested interest, I do have a different view that other people might like to hear.

      *[well that is not totally true, when I supported widening the road on a post Heraldo made, someone at CALTRANS sent me a chocolate bar which I immediately scarfed but I swear it wasn’t bought with money from the Headwater Funds.;>]

      2. You worry that “Caltrans already tried to cut the old growth down.” The Caltrans of today is not the Caltrans of the 1960’s. Today, Caltrans is filled with environmentally savvy folk. And the Caltrans organization while somewhat ponderous is responsive to the concerns of the public. The Draft Environmental Impact Report is put out just so concerns like yours can be addressed during the comment period. Right now people are pouring over ever single comment sent in and deciding how to investigate and satisfy concerns.

      3. You said, “Cutting into the roots of old growth redwood trees will effect their ability to live. There are other alternative solutions. Look in the Caltrans Draft Environmental Impact Report and see Alternatives such as signaling, and slowing the traffic even more.”
      Trisha, in the comments above, I talk about the Air Spade which is used by arborists to inspect tree roots for health issues. I‘ll just repeat it here for ease of reading so everybody doesn’t have to search for it.
      “…they have bought a special tool called an Air Spade which is a new technology tool that can be used by arborists to gently remove the soil around roots to look for disease, etc.
      In the grove, this amazing technology will be used to leave the root web in place while the dirt is removed in any necessary areas. Then a special permeable base that doesn’t have to be as thick as normal road base will be carefully put in. This all has to be done under the watchful eye of an arborist who is there specifically to advocate for the trees.
      Keep in mind, that [when Caltrans went through years before,]… they weren’t any kind of careful about the roots. And look at those trees. Almost 90 years later, after roots were probably ruthlessly hacked out of the way, those trees look unchanged.”

      My opinion on slowing the traffic is based on my experience with traveling through Willits. Occasionally, on busy weekends, traffic gets backed up by signal lights and slowed traffic. The resulting line of traffic gets nasty and tempers get heated and drivers get careless in their frustration for miles and miles afterwards. I believe that this is neither conducive to an enjoyment of the Grove nor safe driving afterwards. And slowing the traffic down is not a solution to the problems with allowing STAA trucks or even the Calif. Legal trucks. Geometrically, the large trucks must overlap the line in order to travel the road, slowing down wouldn’t stop trucks from hitting the other lane of traffic.

      4. Trisha, you worry about the Native American artifacts. The draft DEIR states, “In addition to the California Office of Historic Preservation and the Native American Heritage Commission, consultation with the following Native American groups occurred: Intertribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council, Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria, Round Valley Indian Tribes, Eel River Nation of Sovereign Wailaki, Table Bluff Wiyot Tribe, Coyote Valley Rancheria, Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians, Sherwood Valley Rancheria, Cahto Tribe of Laytonville Rancheria, Robinson Rancheria, Guideville Rancheria, Pinoleville Rancheria, and the Potter Valley Tribe. No opposition to the proposed project was identified during coordination.”

      But, of course, the comment period allows for people with special information to bring forth any concerns they had. And Caltrans must by law address those concerns. In fact, I believe a Native American representative is supposed to be onsite during any construction taking place in possibly sensitive areas.

      5. “Were you aware that there will be no trickle down of any savings to us, the consumers?” No I wasn’t aware of that. Where did you gather that information? It doesn’t make sense to me. The laws of economics would seem to contradict that position. If one business does not pass on the savings, then another business will in order to lure their customers.

      6/7. Trisha, like many of us, you are concerned about wildlife. But other similar projects have shown no impact. At a place called Cushing Creek in Del Norte County, a similar project I believe was carried out in 2005/6 with no effect, according to extensive studies, on the population of Marbled Murlett and Spotted Owl. I will try to find more info on this. I can’t find a link to it on the web.

      8. Trisha, I’m sure you must have missed the link to the Environmental Impact Report (which properly I should have called the Draft EIR, sorry) in my post above. I recommend people read it on line and save some trees;>

      9. You say that the project will have a “devastating effects on local businesses”—I presume you mean businesses within or close to the project. I hope those businesses are aware that they can receive compensation from Caltrans for any lost money. Caltrans is not stingy. People who are even disturbed by the noise of construction are often compensated with expensive hotel rooms. Businesses are compensated for lost revenue. I hope Patty at Singing Trees or the folks at French’s Camp are talking to their accountants right now so they can present Caltrans with a proposed compensation bill.

      As to the Marbled Murletts and Northern Spotted Owl, I don’t believe that the ambient noise will differ significantly from that of a major road that has all the jake brakes, horn honking and siren blasting that happen there. See my response to 6/7 for more of why I believe these important birds are safe.

      You are also properly concerned about more runoff to the Eel. The more space that is paved, the less the soil is able to absorb the Humboldt rains. However, as I noted in a comment above, Caltrans plans on using a special permeable base that I believe should help considerably. And the additional runoff seems pretty minimal to my admittedly untrained eye.

      Yes, the project will cost money but it is money spent here in this county for the benefit of the people of this county. Caltrans is a public service organization. Folk who work there struggle to find ways to fill the majority’s needs in as painless as way as possible to the environment and to others who may be impacted. There is no benefit to Caltrans to force anybody into widening this space. People at Caltrans (your neighbors that live here in Humboldt—many of them, like my husband, because they love its beauty) believe it is to the benefit of their community.

      If a signal light is put in, as you suggest, how do you propose to deal with the driveways that open onto 101 within the area? How will tourists in RV’s coming from the Park itself onto the highway be alerted to STAA trucks coming from one end of Highway 101 or the other.

      You can’t just say, “Engineers get busy inventing this.” Folks from Caltrans and many other agencies, ie State Parks, have crisscrossed this area for years looking for innovative and environmentally gentle techniques to allow this project to benefit the majority without harming this beautiful unique Grove. They have struggled up to now and are willing to look at the comments that came in and struggle some more to make this project the most environmentally light on the land that can be envisioned. They believe that they aren’t going to significantly make changes either to the health or the ambiance of the Grove but they are reading the comments and taking in the information and will adjust again—that is what a Draft EIR is about–getting comments from concerned people and making any adjustments necessary to protect what needs protecting.

      Trisha, people like you who put passion and energy into taking care of Humboldt’s incredible land, have done so much to mold Caltrans into the responsive agency it is today. But it isn’t perfect, and needs to take in different perspectives. People who are willing to step up and put time and thought into looking at projects help keep the folk who work at Caltrans aware of problems. Thank you.

      All I ask is that people keep an open mind. And like you, I urge them to answer any questions with the DEIR that I link to above. It is searchable and not unduly filled with acronyms and professional terms.

  • Note I inserted numbering into Trisha’s comment in order to make following my response easier, Kym
    Hello,
    1) The article about cutting old growth was posted with mis-information. However, people who are pressing to cut into the old growth roots are also mis-informed and clearly have not studied the Caltrans Environmental Impact Report for Richardson Grove, or have invested interests. Hummmm

    2)Caltrans already tried to cut the old growth down, but that was an old plan; for which they got a road block. Caltrans has tried to minimize this project too, with lots of double talk in the DEIR. .

    3)Cutting into the roots of old growth redwood trees will effect their ability to live. There are other alternative solutions. Look in the Caltrans Draft Environmental Impact Report and see Alternatives such as signaling, and slowing the traffic even more.

    4)Did you know there are 3,500 year old Native American artifacts were found on this site?

    5)Were you aware that there will be no trickle down of any savings to us, the consumers?

    6)Did anyone at Caltrans tell you the two year study of the Marbled Murlett has not even begun, and they were planning on starting this project without any studies done as they try and sidestep in the DEIR?

    7)Were you aware the sounds from the road work proposed is not properly represented in the charts in the DEIR? These are just a few contradictions.

    8)Please pick up a hard copy for only $10 at Caltrans and really study the Caltrans Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Alignment of Richardson Grove before thinking this is anything harmless. Or see it free at the Library or on-line.

    9)If allowed to proceed, this Caltrans Richardson Grove project will have devastating effects on local businesses, it will scare off endangered species like Marbled Murlett and Northern Spotted Owl, and it will cause further run-off into the Eel River. This proposed project of 6-7 Million dollars is more money borrowed from China for our grandchildren to pay. Slow down to 25 mph, and put in a signal light for the STAA Trucks and Mobile Homes. Problem Solved. It is one mile. Remote Signal light triggered by truckers with extra wide or long loads. Engineers get busy inventing this, as it is one of the alternate solutions minimized by Caltrans in the DEIR. Please read it and see the contradictions in nearly every paragraph. Great summer study.

    10) Back to this blog. The article you are referring too, is some group who got the wrong information. They are miss-informed, just like the people pressing to cut into the roots of the old growth are mis-informed, or invested.

    • Trisha,

      I would like to address your concerns and points paragraph by paragraph.

      So I slightly edited your comment in order to number the paragraphs to make for ease of addressing them here. I hope that is okay with you. If in any way this interferes with your points, please let me know and I will remove the numbering. I apologize for the length of my answer. I tried to be thoughtful and thorough. Unfortunately, that makes the comment a bit overwhelming. Hopefully, the numbering will help.

      1. Do I have a vested interest? Anytime someone’s job or spouse’s job is connected with a project it is valid to scrutinize their motives. While I have no direct benefit from the job ie my husband is not involved in the project nor am I getting any compensation,* I do talk to Caltrans people and see them as human beings who believe they are doing the right thing–so while I don’t have a vested interest, I do have a different view that other people might like to hear.

      *[well that is not totally true, when I supported widening the road on a post Heraldo made, someone at CALTRANS sent me a chocolate bar which I immediately scarfed but I swear it wasn’t bought with money from the Headwater Funds.;>]

      2. You worry that “Caltrans already tried to cut the old growth down.” The Caltrans of today is not the Caltrans of the 1960’s. Today, Caltrans is filled with environmentally savvy folk. And the Caltrans organization while somewhat ponderous is responsive to the concerns of the public. The Draft Environmental Impact Report is put out just so concerns like yours can be addressed during the comment period. Right now people are pouring over ever single comment sent in and deciding how to investigate and satisfy concerns.

      3. You said, “Cutting into the roots of old growth redwood trees will effect their ability to live. There are other alternative solutions. Look in the Caltrans Draft Environmental Impact Report and see Alternatives such as signaling, and slowing the traffic even more.”
      Trisha, in the comments above, I talk about the Air Spade which is used by arborists to inspect tree roots for health issues. I‘ll just repeat it here for ease of reading so everybody doesn’t have to search for it.
      “…they have bought a special tool called an Air Spade which is a new technology tool that can be used by arborists to gently remove the soil around roots to look for disease, etc.
      In the grove, this amazing technology will be used to leave the root web in place while the dirt is removed in any necessary areas. Then a special permeable base that doesn’t have to be as thick as normal road base will be carefully put in. This all has to be done under the watchful eye of an arborist who is there specifically to advocate for the trees.
      Keep in mind, that [when Caltrans went through years before,]… they weren’t any kind of careful about the roots. And look at those trees. Almost 90 years later, after roots were probably ruthlessly hacked out of the way, those trees look unchanged.”

      My opinion on slowing the traffic is based on my experience with traveling through Willits. Occasionally, on busy weekends, traffic gets backed up by signal lights and slowed traffic. The resulting line of traffic gets nasty and tempers get heated and drivers get careless in their frustration for miles and miles afterwards. I believe that this is neither conducive to an enjoyment of the Grove nor safe driving afterwards. And slowing the traffic down is not a solution to the problems with allowing STAA trucks or even the Calif. Legal trucks. Geometrically, the large trucks must overlap the line in order to travel the road, slowing down wouldn’t stop trucks from hitting the other lane of traffic.

      4. Trisha, you worry about the Native American artifacts. The draft DEIR states, “In addition to the California Office of Historic Preservation and the Native American Heritage Commission, consultation with the following Native American groups occurred: Intertribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council, Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria, Round Valley Indian Tribes, Eel River Nation of Sovereign Wailaki, Table Bluff Wiyot Tribe, Coyote Valley Rancheria, Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians, Sherwood Valley Rancheria, Cahto Tribe of Laytonville Rancheria, Robinson Rancheria, Guideville Rancheria, Pinoleville Rancheria, and the Potter Valley Tribe. No opposition to the proposed project was identified during coordination.”

      But, of course, the comment period allows for people with special information to bring forth any concerns they had. And Caltrans must by law address those concerns. In fact, I believe a Native American representative is supposed to be onsite during any construction taking place in possibly sensitive areas.

      5. “Were you aware that there will be no trickle down of any savings to us, the consumers?” No I wasn’t aware of that. Where did you gather that information? It doesn’t make sense to me. The laws of economics would seem to contradict that position. If one business does not pass on the savings, then another business will in order to lure their customers.

      6/7. Trisha, like many of us, you are concerned about wildlife. But other similar projects have shown no impact. At a place called Cushing Creek in Del Norte County, a similar project I believe was carried out in 2005/6 with no effect, according to extensive studies, on the population of Marbled Murlett and Spotted Owl. I will try to find more info on this. I can’t find a link to it on the web.

      8. Trisha, I’m sure you must have missed the link to the Environmental Impact Report (which properly I should have called the Draft EIR, sorry) in my post above. I recommend people read it on line and save some trees;>

      9. You say that the project will have a “devastating effects on local businesses”—I presume you mean businesses within or close to the project. I hope those businesses are aware that they can receive compensation from Caltrans for any lost money. Caltrans is not stingy. People who are even disturbed by the noise of construction are often compensated with expensive hotel rooms. Businesses are compensated for lost revenue. I hope Patty at Singing Trees or the folks at French’s Camp are talking to their accountants right now so they can present Caltrans with a proposed compensation bill.

      As to the Marbled Murletts and Northern Spotted Owl, I don’t believe that the ambient noise will differ significantly from that of a major road that has all the jake brakes, horn honking and siren blasting that happen there. See my response to 6/7 for more of why I believe these important birds are safe.

      You are also properly concerned about more runoff to the Eel. The more space that is paved, the less the soil is able to absorb the Humboldt rains. However, as I noted in a comment above, Caltrans plans on using a special permeable base that I believe should help considerably. And the additional runoff seems pretty minimal to my admittedly untrained eye.

      Yes, the project will cost money but it is money spent here in this county for the benefit of the people of this county. Caltrans is a public service organization. Folk who work there struggle to find ways to fill the majority’s needs in as painless as way as possible to the environment and to others who may be impacted. There is no benefit to Caltrans to force anybody into widening this space. People at Caltrans (your neighbors that live here in Humboldt—many of them, like my husband, because they love its beauty) believe it is to the benefit of their community.

      If a signal light is put in, as you suggest, how do you propose to deal with the driveways that open onto 101 within the area? How will tourists in RV’s coming from the Park itself onto the highway be alerted to STAA trucks coming from one end of Highway 101 or the other.

      You can’t just say, “Engineers get busy inventing this.” Folks from Caltrans and many other agencies, ie State Parks, have crisscrossed this area for years looking for innovative and environmentally gentle techniques to allow this project to benefit the majority without harming this beautiful unique Grove. They have struggled up to now and are willing to look at the comments that came in and struggle some more to make this project the most environmentally light on the land that can be envisioned. They believe that they aren’t going to significantly make changes either to the health or the ambiance of the Grove but they are reading the comments and taking in the information and will adjust again—that is what a Draft EIR is about–getting comments from concerned people and making any adjustments necessary to protect what needs protecting.

      Trisha, people like you who put passion and energy into taking care of Humboldt’s incredible land, have done so much to mold Caltrans into the responsive agency it is today. But it isn’t perfect, and needs to take in different perspectives. People who are willing to step up and put time and thought into looking at projects help keep the folk who work at Caltrans aware of problems. Thank you.

      All I ask is that people keep an open mind. And like you, I urge them to answer any questions with the DEIR that I link to above. It is searchable and not unduly filled with acronyms and professional terms.

  • Pingback: Kym’s take on Richardson Grove « Sohum Parlance II

  • Pingback: Kym’s take on Richardson Grove « Sohum Parlance II

  • Pingback: Richardson’s Grove project poll, should it proceed? « Capdiamont’s Weblog

  • Pingback: Richardson’s Grove project poll, should it proceed? « Capdiamont’s Weblog

  • Kym I waited too long to post here, and when I did, I went into too much detail for a reply, so I did a post on my blog with my concerns.

    • Ernie, I hope the Fireman’s BBQ went well and raised bags of money for the dept. I enjoyed your post and thanks for addressing the bypass issue. As Mom said above, the issue has been around forever.

  • Finally a sane look at this project. Thank you. Now we need a sane look at the Community Park in Garberville and hopefully let some things happen there as well.

    • I had the impression things were smoothing down there…I guess not.

      • Relative to a few months past, I believe so. There are still a few very vocal nay sayers. The half dozen or so “contraries” contain 3-4 people that come to every meeting of every project throughout SoHum intent on making sure that nothing happens. I am interested by the fact that none of them have children.

  • Finally a sane look at this project. Thank you. Now we need a sane look at the Community Park in Garberville and hopefully let some things happen there as well.

    • I had the impression things were smoothing down there…I guess not.

      • Relative to a few months past, I believe so. There are still a few very vocal nay sayers. The half dozen or so “contraries” contain 3-4 people that come to every meeting of every project throughout SoHum intent on making sure that nothing happens. I am interested by the fact that none of them have children.

  • Jeff simply Said:
    “Misinformation?

    Thanks for passing it on Kym…the misinformation…that is…”

    First off Kym, I am not a hostile person. I am an honest person who is not afraid to speak my mind.
    I simply and sarcastically thanked you for passing on misinformation. As in the act of you connecting Grove supporters to those involved with the Craig’s list post. You could have called, maybe wrote…

    http://www.envweb.net/homepage.html

    In my own opinion, the post and connected site appear to be “phony” with missing and broken links. The site is an empty shell of an outdated webpage. The only functioning link is to EPIC. Apparently, you failed to research that. Sometimes we only see what we want to see.

    Facts from the EIR about this destructive project such as:

    “The noise of construction is not expected to exceed ambient traffic noise (Appendix E). Noisy equipment will include jack hammering, concrete sawing, and concrete grinding as well as the back-up warning signal on heavy equipment.”

    How is ambient traffic noise comparable to heavy equipment? Are there adequate considerations for wildlife? Of course…this is one of the ridiculous two that I found:

    “In coordination with California Department of Parks and Recreation, Caltrans will replace the 13 existing trash containers near parking, picnic and camping areas in Richardson Grove State Park with corvid proof waste receptacles to enhance habitat for nesting migratory birds in Richardson Grove.”

    There are professionals, much more professional than you or myself for that matter, who have dissected the EIR and have bridged the gap between scientist and concerned community member.

    My favorite and most accessible public comment is Scott Greacen’s, Executive Director of EPIC.
    http://www.wildcalifornia.org/cgi-files/0/pdfs/1234296516_EPIC_RG_Comments_DEIR.pdf

    Despite the fact that Cal-Trans has neglected to answer Scott’s public comment letter(or my pubic comment for that matter), I challenge you Kym and Kim(Floyd) to adress the simple issues that I personally have with the EIR.

    I sincerely apologize if you feel that I came off hostile, although I still do not see how my post fits that description. Maybe we could call it passionate.

    Thank you for your blog site Kym, I’ve always thought it is original and definitely Humboldt. Please remember, there are two sides to my disdain for this project. One is the trees and the wildlife in the area. The other is keeping Humboldt “Humboldt”. Let’s keep in mind that this issue is not limited to environmental impacts to the Ancient Redwoods in a State Park at the entrance of the Redwood Curtain.

    Humboldt’s skilled labor force and local business infrastructure as well as social and community dynamics will be affected. Permanently.

    • Opposition to this project will not keep Humboldt, as Humboldt. Big box stores are not as affected by not continuing this project, as much as small businesses, which you claim to support. Walmart, Home Depot etc has never been dependent on getting modern trucks up here. This is a fact you refuse to deal with. You have Eric on his blog posting he knows of small businesses, that costs would be reduced for them if the grove would be realigned.

    • Jeff,
      Thanks for the clarification and the kind words.

      I actually hadn’t thought your group was the one that put out the ad. Your blog states that no old growth would be cut so I assumed that the ad was from another activist group against the realignment and it didn’t occur to me to write to you. But you are correct, it would have been a good idea to try and connect with the ad placer. I should have done so. Sometimes as a blogger, I forget good journalism skills. And honestly, I don’t have the time to do everything I would like. I have now sent a letter to an email address connected with the site. Hopefully, the people there will respond.

      I did check out the links and just did so again. To my limited knowledge, it looks like a decent living website with recent updates about the Grove realignment. So to your knowledge, is there a “camp in the Redwoods” planned?

      The noise issue I spoke about above. I’ll stick it in here again:”As to the Marbled Murletts and Northern Spotted Owl, I don’t believe that the ambient noise will differ significantly from that of a major road that has all the jake brakes, horn honking and siren blasting that happen there. …other similar projects have shown no impact. At a place called Cushing Creek in Del Norte County, a similar project I believe was carried out in 2005/6 with no effect, according to extensive studies, on the population of Marbled Murlett and Spotted Owl. I will try to find more info on this.”

      As to the social issues, and you and I are pretty much on the side of keeping Humboldt Humboldt, but I believe Eric said it best in his recent comment, “You don’t fight sprawl and irresponsible development by physically keeping trucks out of the county. You fight sprawl by pushing for smart growth policies.”

  • Jeff simply Said:
    “Misinformation?

    Thanks for passing it on Kym…the misinformation…that is…”

    First off Kym, I am not a hostile person. I am an honest person who is not afraid to speak my mind.
    I simply and sarcastically thanked you for passing on misinformation. As in the act of you connecting Grove supporters to those involved with the Craig’s list post. You could have called, maybe wrote…

    http://www.envweb.net/homepage.html

    In my own opinion, the post and connected site appear to be “phony” with missing and broken links. The site is an empty shell of an outdated webpage. The only functioning link is to EPIC. Apparently, you failed to research that. Sometimes we only see what we want to see.

    Facts from the EIR about this destructive project such as:

    “The noise of construction is not expected to exceed ambient traffic noise (Appendix E). Noisy equipment will include jack hammering, concrete sawing, and concrete grinding as well as the back-up warning signal on heavy equipment.”

    How is ambient traffic noise comparable to heavy equipment? Are there adequate considerations for wildlife? Of course…this is one of the ridiculous two that I found:

    “In coordination with California Department of Parks and Recreation, Caltrans will replace the 13 existing trash containers near parking, picnic and camping areas in Richardson Grove State Park with corvid proof waste receptacles to enhance habitat for nesting migratory birds in Richardson Grove.”

    There are professionals, much more professional than you or myself for that matter, who have dissected the EIR and have bridged the gap between scientist and concerned community member.

    My favorite and most accessible public comment is Scott Greacen’s, Executive Director of EPIC.
    http://www.wildcalifornia.org/cgi-files/0/pdfs/1234296516_EPIC_RG_Comments_DEIR.pdf

    Despite the fact that Cal-Trans has neglected to answer Scott’s public comment letter(or my pubic comment for that matter), I challenge you Kym and Kim(Floyd) to adress the simple issues that I personally have with the EIR.

    I sincerely apologize if you feel that I came off hostile, although I still do not see how my post fits that description. Maybe we could call it passionate.

    Thank you for your blog site Kym, I’ve always thought it is original and definitely Humboldt. Please remember, there are two sides to my disdain for this project. One is the trees and the wildlife in the area. The other is keeping Humboldt “Humboldt”. Let’s keep in mind that this issue is not limited to environmental impacts to the Ancient Redwoods in a State Park at the entrance of the Redwood Curtain.

    Humboldt’s skilled labor force and local business infrastructure as well as social and community dynamics will be affected. Permanently.

    • Opposition to this project will not keep Humboldt, as Humboldt. Big box stores are not as affected by not continuing this project, as much as small businesses, which you claim to support. Walmart, Home Depot etc has never been dependent on getting modern trucks up here. This is a fact you refuse to deal with. You have Eric on his blog posting he knows of small businesses, that costs would be reduced for them if the grove would be realigned.

    • Jeff,
      Thanks for the clarification and the kind words.

      I actually hadn’t thought your group was the one that put out the ad. Your blog states that no old growth would be cut so I assumed that the ad was from another activist group against the realignment and it didn’t occur to me to write to you. But you are correct, it would have been a good idea to try and connect with the ad placer. I should have done so. Sometimes as a blogger, I forget good journalism skills. And honestly, I don’t have the time to do everything I would like. I have now sent a letter to an email address connected with the site. Hopefully, the people there will respond.

      I did check out the links and just did so again. To my limited knowledge, it looks like a decent living website with recent updates about the Grove realignment. So to your knowledge, is there a “camp in the Redwoods” planned?

      The noise issue I spoke about above. I’ll stick it in here again:”As to the Marbled Murletts and Northern Spotted Owl, I don’t believe that the ambient noise will differ significantly from that of a major road that has all the jake brakes, horn honking and siren blasting that happen there. …other similar projects have shown no impact. At a place called Cushing Creek in Del Norte County, a similar project I believe was carried out in 2005/6 with no effect, according to extensive studies, on the population of Marbled Murlett and Spotted Owl. I will try to find more info on this.”

      As to the social issues, and you and I are pretty much on the side of keeping Humboldt Humboldt, but I believe Eric said it best in his recent comment, “You don’t fight sprawl and irresponsible development by physically keeping trucks out of the county. You fight sprawl by pushing for smart growth policies.”

  • Thank you Kym. I am really impressed about the research that you are dong in this. May it inspire you to make a difference in what you believe in.

    I sent a letter to infobutterfly regarding the Old Growth post and campout as well. No response. I didn’t really expect one.

    Surveys are subject to bias from the point of view of the surveyor. For example, do you really believe that Green Diamond, for instance, takes accurate and honest surveys? How about Cal-Trans? The Republican or Democratic Parties?

    It is impossible to create an environment free from emotional influences and habitual impulses in regards to rational thinking. Most of us see what we want to see or choose to ignore facts that do not fit our point of view.

    I have yet to see any proof or facts supporting the necessity for the project. Cal-Trans drafted an EIR that reads like a last minute college final paper on procrastination. The EIR is full of holes, contradictions, vague remedies and false promises. As someone who is continuously let down by the good intentions of the human spirit being trampled by the manipulation of semantics in regulation, I hold little hope in Cal-Trans representing the needs of the forest and our local community.

    How can I when their judgment is clouded by greed?
    What feeds your convictions?
    What are your special interests in this project?

    I sure hope that those of you who are for the project have more justification for your certainty than the hatred of Tree-Huggers. Otherwise, that’s just sad.

    ALL of us will be affected by this, not just the trees.

  • Thank you Kym. I am really impressed about the research that you are dong in this. May it inspire you to make a difference in what you believe in.

    I sent a letter to infobutterfly regarding the Old Growth post and campout as well. No response. I didn’t really expect one.

    Surveys are subject to bias from the point of view of the surveyor. For example, do you really believe that Green Diamond, for instance, takes accurate and honest surveys? How about Cal-Trans? The Republican or Democratic Parties?

    It is impossible to create an environment free from emotional influences and habitual impulses in regards to rational thinking. Most of us see what we want to see or choose to ignore facts that do not fit our point of view.

    I have yet to see any proof or facts supporting the necessity for the project. Cal-Trans drafted an EIR that reads like a last minute college final paper on procrastination. The EIR is full of holes, contradictions, vague remedies and false promises. As someone who is continuously let down by the good intentions of the human spirit being trampled by the manipulation of semantics in regulation, I hold little hope in Cal-Trans representing the needs of the forest and our local community.

    How can I when their judgment is clouded by greed?
    What feeds your convictions?
    What are your special interests in this project?

    I sure hope that those of you who are for the project have more justification for your certainty than the hatred of Tree-Huggers. Otherwise, that’s just sad.

    ALL of us will be affected by this, not just the trees.

  • Jeff, I haven’t had a response either from that site referenced by the Craig’s List ad. I haven’t heard of any camping going on yet either. But I haven’t had any contact from any reader down there either.

    I agree that surveys can be biased and agree that everyone and every agency including Caltrans and environmental groups will tend to see things slanted by their point of view. Nonetheless, the economic study attached to the Draft EIR contained evidence of businesses wanting the realignment.

    Someone who appeared knowledgeable about trucking posted the following on Ernie’s site:

    “Truck drivers are paid per mile, not per hour in most cases, and with the newer trucks, they are clean as a new car and have a fuel mileage per ton of freight moved that makes a hybrid look like a gas hog. … in three months, all the engines on reefer trailers will have to be changed to a new CARB rule, in less than two years, all trailers entering California will be changed to California only specials, and that in less than 3 years all tractors will have to be 2007 or newer (or meet EPA 2007 standards)

    These changes are not cheap. People will not be able to service Humboldt County from the south, because they will not be able to update their 48 foot trailers to the new codes, or the cabovers are dead and outdated. You will have to swap trailers or tractors in the south to move freight north, which means another truck will have to deadhead or bobtail to the south, drop and hook, or even change trailers which means storage and reloading….

    It’s bad for the environment not to update the road. And the costs will get higher and higher to ship freight in or out of Humboldt County, which is already some of the highest costs in the nation.

    If this doesn’t change, you can be looking at over 5 dollars a mile very soon for freight in Humboldt County. More for food because of the higher storage costs to change trailers/loads.”

    I have read similar figures elsewhere. Those seem compelling reasons to me. Furthermore, anyone standing for awhile in the Grove will watch even the standard trucks slipping over the yellow line. I would like to see the realignment happen so that prices will go down and safety will go up. I want this all down as environmentally soundly as possible. I want the cleaner trucks driving on my highways not the older gas guzzling higher polluting models

    Being from a Caltrans family, maybe I see things favorable to Caltrans but I just can’t wrap my mind around the idea that the folks at Caltrans have their judgment clouded by greed. I don’t understand what you think they are gaining. Caltrans has more projects than they can do. They don’t need to create work.

    When you ask “What feeds your convictions?
    What are your special interests in this project?”and that you “hope that those of you who are for the project have more justification for your certainty than the hatred of Tree-Huggers” I try not to feel insulted but I do a bit.

    I do you the courtesy of assuming that you are genuinely concerned about the Grove. Can’t I genuinely believe that this realignment is good for the county I love? I have already said that my husband doesn’t work on the project and that I don’t have any monetary interests. And I’ve always thought of myself as a Treehugger. I’ve taken flak for being one since I was a teenager.

    I believe that the way to keep Humboldt beautiful is partly to help her be financially stable. I’ve seen economically depressed areas and the environmental damage that occurs there seems more proportionately terrible.

    We need to plan for any growth intelligently but keeping big trucks out adds to pollution and adds to the burden of small sustainable businesses. I don’t want that.

    I do have a special interest and that is my love of Humboldt County and the whole North Coast. I think you have the same interest, too. We may not agree on how to protect them but we both love them.

  • Jeff, I haven’t had a response either from that site referenced by the Craig’s List ad. I haven’t heard of any camping going on yet either. But I haven’t had any contact from any reader down there either.

    I agree that surveys can be biased and agree that everyone and every agency including Caltrans and environmental groups will tend to see things slanted by their point of view. Nonetheless, the economic study attached to the Draft EIR contained evidence of businesses wanting the realignment.

    Someone who appeared knowledgeable about trucking posted the following on Ernie’s site:

    “Truck drivers are paid per mile, not per hour in most cases, and with the newer trucks, they are clean as a new car and have a fuel mileage per ton of freight moved that makes a hybrid look like a gas hog. … in three months, all the engines on reefer trailers will have to be changed to a new CARB rule, in less than two years, all trailers entering California will be changed to California only specials, and that in less than 3 years all tractors will have to be 2007 or newer (or meet EPA 2007 standards)

    These changes are not cheap. People will not be able to service Humboldt County from the south, because they will not be able to update their 48 foot trailers to the new codes, or the cabovers are dead and outdated. You will have to swap trailers or tractors in the south to move freight north, which means another truck will have to deadhead or bobtail to the south, drop and hook, or even change trailers which means storage and reloading….

    It’s bad for the environment not to update the road. And the costs will get higher and higher to ship freight in or out of Humboldt County, which is already some of the highest costs in the nation.

    If this doesn’t change, you can be looking at over 5 dollars a mile very soon for freight in Humboldt County. More for food because of the higher storage costs to change trailers/loads.”

    I have read similar figures elsewhere. Those seem compelling reasons to me. Furthermore, anyone standing for awhile in the Grove will watch even the standard trucks slipping over the yellow line. I would like to see the realignment happen so that prices will go down and safety will go up. I want this all down as environmentally soundly as possible. I want the cleaner trucks driving on my highways not the older gas guzzling higher polluting models

    Being from a Caltrans family, maybe I see things favorable to Caltrans but I just can’t wrap my mind around the idea that the folks at Caltrans have their judgment clouded by greed. I don’t understand what you think they are gaining. Caltrans has more projects than they can do. They don’t need to create work.

    When you ask “What feeds your convictions?
    What are your special interests in this project?”and that you “hope that those of you who are for the project have more justification for your certainty than the hatred of Tree-Huggers” I try not to feel insulted but I do a bit.

    I do you the courtesy of assuming that you are genuinely concerned about the Grove. Can’t I genuinely believe that this realignment is good for the county I love? I have already said that my husband doesn’t work on the project and that I don’t have any monetary interests. And I’ve always thought of myself as a Treehugger. I’ve taken flak for being one since I was a teenager.

    I believe that the way to keep Humboldt beautiful is partly to help her be financially stable. I’ve seen economically depressed areas and the environmental damage that occurs there seems more proportionately terrible.

    We need to plan for any growth intelligently but keeping big trucks out adds to pollution and adds to the burden of small sustainable businesses. I don’t want that.

    I do have a special interest and that is my love of Humboldt County and the whole North Coast. I think you have the same interest, too. We may not agree on how to protect them but we both love them.

  • Part of the reason that youth suicides are so high in Humboldt Co. is because it has a poor economy because it has tried to milk a resource based economy to death. Let’s come from behind the Redwood Curtain.

    • I worry not so much about our economy but our fear of the outside. That fear could destroy us. I love Humboldt. I want it to stay just the way it is but it isn’t going to. So next best is to shape what happens here. I believe we can’t just say no to change, we need to find ways to change and adapt –we need to find ways to keep our kids employed intelligently. We need to protect the beautiful country and gently shape a stable healthy economy.

  • Part of the reason that youth suicides are so high in Humboldt Co. is because it has a poor economy because it has tried to milk a resource based economy to death. Let’s come from behind the Redwood Curtain.

    • I worry not so much about our economy but our fear of the outside. That fear could destroy us. I love Humboldt. I want it to stay just the way it is but it isn’t going to. So next best is to shape what happens here. I believe we can’t just say no to change, we need to find ways to change and adapt –we need to find ways to keep our kids employed intelligently. We need to protect the beautiful country and gently shape a stable healthy economy.

  • Sorry Kym.

    My questions were directed to everyone, especially Rose:)

    But after reading my post, it was hard to discern whether I was directing them to you.

    I would have to say that we agree to disagree.

    And it is great to converse with someone(you) who seems to know what they are talking about, and their interests are not fueled by “Hippie Hate”. I never got that vibe from you.

    I will try to pay more attention to whom I address those types of questions. I already know where you stand, and I appreciate your postion regarding the grove. I simply don’t feel that the project is necessary, especially considering what is at stake.

    I wish that Cal-Trans could concentrate on more vital road issues, but I also deeply appreciate their work and sacrifices. They put their lives out on the line so we can get there a little faster. Considering this, I would hope that Cal-Trans focuses their attention on more necessary and needed fixes.

    • Jeff,

      Thank you for a very gracious response. One of the lessons I learned that has given me the most peace in life is that honest, good people when faced with the same set of facts often come to different conclusions. I love when we all put our facts on the table and let other people make up their minds fairly.

      (Hey, don’t be too rough on Rose–she’s a tough fighter, often on the complete opposite side of politics to me, but she can be very kind. She has gone out of her way to point me in the right direction a few times. And I’ve read her encouraging words to Jen many times.)

    • From what I understand Cypress Grove will need to relocate if this project can not be completed by 2010. This is due to new air quality/emissions requirements that will make currently operating, shorter, non staa trucks obselete. Without access thru Richardson Grove for staa trucks at that point there will not be a viable option for refrigerated shipping out of Humboldt. Cypress Grove is an incredible local company in that it supports good use of open space thru the purchase of goat milk and additionally does a great deal in establishing and promoting the often talked about Humboldt brand.
      In terms of a larger economic context, what do people actually expect to happen here. Timber and fishing are basically gone as staple industries. I hear plenty of talk about light industry and green manufacturing, but without a way for business to ship there products competitively, how can we expect them to stay? Without the growth of these small businesses how can we expect to survive economically?
      I guess my main issue is that this is sometimes labeled as a big box express lane, but without strong viable local industry, won’t we eventually be left as big box prey without any other alternatives? Furthermore, these large unwanted chains already have the ability to keep smaller trucks in their fleets just for access to our area.
      Don’t fear the change. Embrace the possibilites.

  • Sorry Kym.

    My questions were directed to everyone, especially Rose:)

    But after reading my post, it was hard to discern whether I was directing them to you.

    I would have to say that we agree to disagree.

    And it is great to converse with someone(you) who seems to know what they are talking about, and their interests are not fueled by “Hippie Hate”. I never got that vibe from you.

    I will try to pay more attention to whom I address those types of questions. I already know where you stand, and I appreciate your postion regarding the grove. I simply don’t feel that the project is necessary, especially considering what is at stake.

    I wish that Cal-Trans could concentrate on more vital road issues, but I also deeply appreciate their work and sacrifices. They put their lives out on the line so we can get there a little faster. Considering this, I would hope that Cal-Trans focuses their attention on more necessary and needed fixes.

    • Jeff,

      Thank you for a very gracious response. One of the lessons I learned that has given me the most peace in life is that honest, good people when faced with the same set of facts often come to different conclusions. I love when we all put our facts on the table and let other people make up their minds fairly.

      (Hey, don’t be too rough on Rose–she’s a tough fighter, often on the complete opposite side of politics to me, but she can be very kind. She has gone out of her way to point me in the right direction a few times. And I’ve read her encouraging words to Jen many times.)

    • From what I understand Cypress Grove will need to relocate if this project can not be completed by 2010. This is due to new air quality/emissions requirements that will make currently operating, shorter, non staa trucks obselete. Without access thru Richardson Grove for staa trucks at that point there will not be a viable option for refrigerated shipping out of Humboldt. Cypress Grove is an incredible local company in that it supports good use of open space thru the purchase of goat milk and additionally does a great deal in establishing and promoting the often talked about Humboldt brand.
      In terms of a larger economic context, what do people actually expect to happen here. Timber and fishing are basically gone as staple industries. I hear plenty of talk about light industry and green manufacturing, but without a way for business to ship there products competitively, how can we expect them to stay? Without the growth of these small businesses how can we expect to survive economically?
      I guess my main issue is that this is sometimes labeled as a big box express lane, but without strong viable local industry, won’t we eventually be left as big box prey without any other alternatives? Furthermore, these large unwanted chains already have the ability to keep smaller trucks in their fleets just for access to our area.
      Don’t fear the change. Embrace the possibilites.

  • I just checked my email and did get a response about the Craig’s list ad from someone named Cloud. He (I assume he because of the name on the return email) replied, “Unfortunately, I am extremely busy, and cannot chat, or blog, or anything like that.” He did give me a short synopsis of the anti realignment position. Hopefully, he will respond to my second email asking about the planned protest.

  • I just checked my email and did get a response about the Craig’s list ad from someone named Cloud. He (I assume he because of the name on the return email) replied, “Unfortunately, I am extremely busy, and cannot chat, or blog, or anything like that.” He did give me a short synopsis of the anti realignment position. Hopefully, he will respond to my second email asking about the planned protest.

  • Pingback: Richardson Grove Realignment–Supporting Small Green Businesses « REDHEADED BLACKBELT

  • Pingback: Richardson Grove Realignment–Supporting Small Green Businesses « REDHEADED BLACKBELT

  • Hah!

    Cypress Grove ships in their goat milk from maquiladoras in Mexico.

    How is their cheese a local and/or sustainable product?

  • Hah!

    Cypress Grove ships in their goat milk from maquiladoras in Mexico.

    How is their cheese a local and/or sustainable product?

  • Kym, I appreciate your blog on this subject,

    I do have some questions that maybe you might be able to help me find the answers to.

    I have been doing a little resarch on impacts related to redwoods and road improvements such as the Richardson Grove RIP.

    My questions were brought about by reading posts of fervent opponents(http://saverichardsongrove.blogspot.com/), and I belive they are resonalble questions.

    The blog mentioned above states that with air spades may “damage to root hairs which means they can’t absorb water and minerals, and cutting off the roots air supply by paving, adding soil, or compacting soil above them. The end result is that the tree starves and the roots suffocate and die.”

    And that “The new pavement will be (CTPB) “Cement Treated Permeable” …..and “Lime (found in cement) is a poison for acid loving trees such as our Coast Redwoods”, and “Lime easily dissolves in water, just like sugar, to make the water and slurry strongly alkaline (pH 11-13), which burns and kills fish, insects and plants that come in contact with it, much the same way acid burns us.”

    About the Air spade. I agree that this is a great tool for locating and excavation arount tree roots (for most trees), but there is appears to be no articles or studies that deals with the type of impacts related to this project and redwood trees.

    Will the air spade damage the absorbtive root caps?
    Probably, but like you I feel that these are impacts that the tree can recover from.

    Will the CTPB poison the trees?
    I belive this is a reasonable question that I would like to be addressed.

    Thanks

  • Kym, I appreciate your blog on this subject,

    I do have some questions that maybe you might be able to help me find the answers to.

    I have been doing a little resarch on impacts related to redwoods and road improvements such as the Richardson Grove RIP.

    My questions were brought about by reading posts of fervent opponents(http://saverichardsongrove.blogspot.com/), and I belive they are resonalble questions.

    The blog mentioned above states that with air spades may “damage to root hairs which means they can’t absorb water and minerals, and cutting off the roots air supply by paving, adding soil, or compacting soil above them. The end result is that the tree starves and the roots suffocate and die.”

    And that “The new pavement will be (CTPB) “Cement Treated Permeable” …..and “Lime (found in cement) is a poison for acid loving trees such as our Coast Redwoods”, and “Lime easily dissolves in water, just like sugar, to make the water and slurry strongly alkaline (pH 11-13), which burns and kills fish, insects and plants that come in contact with it, much the same way acid burns us.”

    About the Air spade. I agree that this is a great tool for locating and excavation arount tree roots (for most trees), but there is appears to be no articles or studies that deals with the type of impacts related to this project and redwood trees.

    Will the air spade damage the absorbtive root caps?
    Probably, but like you I feel that these are impacts that the tree can recover from.

    Will the CTPB poison the trees?
    I belive this is a reasonable question that I would like to be addressed.

    Thanks

  • Timo,

    Good questions that I don’t have the answer to …Yet.;> I’ll look into them and try and respond this weekend.

  • Timo,

    Good questions that I don’t have the answer to …Yet.;> I’ll look into them and try and respond this weekend.

  • I believe the facts have been overblown by the environmentalists as well. Without honesty there is no credibility.

    • You just threatened my wife, my children and my grandchildren. You might want to reconsider that.

      The only people who don’t want the truth out there are manipulators. It does no one’s cause any good to not deal in fact. I personally am not really in favor of the “straightening” of 101 at Richardson’s Grove, but I’m not frothing at the mouth about it.

      • Thanks for speaking up about your disapproval toward the project! It’s a million times more effective than discrediting people who ultimately want the same thing, regardless of how they go about it. The world is full of liars, intelligent people know smoke from a mirror.

  • I believe the facts have been overblown by the environmentalists as well. Without honesty there is no credibility.

    • You just threatened my wife, my children and my grandchildren. You might want to reconsider that.

      The only people who don’t want the truth out there are manipulators. It does no one’s cause any good to not deal in fact. I personally am not really in favor of the “straightening” of 101 at Richardson’s Grove, but I’m not frothing at the mouth about it.

      • Thanks for speaking up about your disapproval toward the project! It’s a million times more effective than discrediting people who ultimately want the same thing, regardless of how they go about it. The world is full of liars, intelligent people know smoke from a mirror.

  • On the will exposure kill redwood tree root hairs…

    Redwood trees have no root hairs.

    On will cement adjust soil pH…

    A pallet of unbound cement would potentially alter pH a yard deep over an acre. The difference here is roads are not made by mixing bags of cement with redwood duff.

    This pH theory is not impossible. We’ve all seen them disappear. All of the roads in this area are doomed in time.

  • On the will exposure kill redwood tree root hairs…

    Redwood trees have no root hairs.

    On will cement adjust soil pH…

    A pallet of unbound cement would potentially alter pH a yard deep over an acre. The difference here is roads are not made by mixing bags of cement with redwood duff.

    This pH theory is not impossible. We’ve all seen them disappear. All of the roads in this area are doomed in time.

  • Hey, guys, I know we all get hot about things we believe in. But on this blog, I ask people to try to stick to ideas and concepts. Help me out, will you?

    • Threatened him…HA! you both know better…I hope. Here’s a threat, if I ever meet him in real life, I’m gonna kick his arse….at Donkey Kong.

      The big lie is that this “improvement” project is being done for the sake of our local economy. That’s what they’re saying! With a straight face! Remember when they hyped the benefits for beef trucks? That didn’t fly so well…so it’s about a cheese factory? NOT! Now it’s about…I’m not even gonna get into it…how sad is it that it has to this. You either get it or you don’t…

  • Hey, guys, I know we all get hot about things we believe in. But on this blog, I ask people to try to stick to ideas and concepts. Help me out, will you?

    • Threatened him…HA! you both know better…I hope. Here’s a threat, if I ever meet him in real life, I’m gonna kick his arse….at Donkey Kong.

      The big lie is that this “improvement” project is being done for the sake of our local economy. That’s what they’re saying! With a straight face! Remember when they hyped the benefits for beef trucks? That didn’t fly so well…so it’s about a cheese factory? NOT! Now it’s about…I’m not even gonna get into it…how sad is it that it has to this. You either get it or you don’t…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *