A Foggy Humboldt Future
Deer in Fog
The future is always foggy. What will happen from any change is difficult to know. We can see the future only through the blur of our own opinions and personalities. But failure to act because we fear the consequences is also going to effect the future and usually not in a good way.
The Richardson Grove Realignment Project worries some people. They are afraid of the change. Setting aside any impact to the park itself (which I wrote a lot about before and don’t believe believe will be significant), I think lots of people are worried that the Richardson Grove Realignment project will change the character of Humboldt.
However, change is always unstoppable. In my philosophy, the idea is to ride the changes that are inevitable and shape them when you can. I believe, marijuana is going to be legalized sooner or later. Probably sooner. Currently, this county’s economic well being is based on an economy which like timber and fishing is going to fade to a thin veneer of itself (which doesn’t mean that we can’t get make some sort of decent economic living out of the marijuana industry even after it is legalized but it will not be the economic powerhouse it is now). I’ve seen poverty before. I’ve seen an area where survival was paramount and environmental concerns slipped away almost entirely.
If we love the North Coast and want to protect the environment, we need to make sure that it is economically healthy. One of the ways to do that is to provide cheaper shipping for small local businesses. This helps them survive. Large big box businesses survive just fine with the higher shipping fees. It is a very small percentage of their overall costs but smaller businesses pay a much larger percentage of their costs.
One of the major concerns Dr. Miller and other opponents of the project have broached is that of more truck trips into the county. In my opinion, there will be no significant increased through truck traffic. Interstate 5 provides the best run (higher speeds and a straight shot) to points north just as it currently provides the best run for trucks coming from the north and headed south of us.
Any trucks not specifically coming to the North Coast from the south will use 5. Those already coming into the county will no longer have to offload and go to smaller trucks or come through the north (which is already STAA accessible). Those trucks leaving the county can use the larger STAA trucks to ship their items–larger loads in cleaner trucks equals cost savings and less pollution.
101 was recently diverted onto the Avenue of the Giants by Pepperwood. I was there as the “small” trucks attempted to navigate those curves and nearly ended up squashed. Realignment will ease the situation in the Grove. Hopefully, resulting in safer roads.
I don’t want the beautiful rounded hills of Humboldt to be lost to big box stores and ticky tacky houses. But a safer roadway doesn’t point us inevitably in that direction. Being small business friendly doesn’t lead us inevitably in that direction either. In fact, it almost assuredly leads our community to a healthy economy based in part on local healthy businesses that can afford to export products.