Court Says Halt on Richardson Grove Highway Project Will Stay in Place

This is a press release from the Environmental Protection Information Center:

Richardson Grove

Richardson Grove [Photo from Caltrans]

EUREKA, Calif.— The Humboldt County Superior Court has ruled that a lawsuit challenging Caltrans’ proposed highway widening through Richardson Grove State Park can continue, meaning the building of the destructive highway is still on hold. The lawsuit was filed in 2010 by the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC), Center for Biological Diversity, Californians for Alternatives to Toxics and community members, to prevent a project that would needlessly damage or destroy thousand-year old redwood trees.

“Caltrans’ most recent environmental documents are deeply flawed and one-sided, failing to take a hard look at the impacts to the iconic ancient redwoods of Richardson Grove State Park,” said Tom Wheeler, executive director of EPIC. “We are heartened that Caltrans remains subject to the writ and we can show the court the inconsistencies and other alarming shortfalls by Caltrans.”

“Caltrans receives another failing grade for its latest attempt to circumvent public review and ram through an unneeded highway-widening project without fully disclosing the extent of the damage that would be done to ancient trees,” said Jeff Miller with the Center for Biological Diversity.

At issue was whether Caltrans had complied with a previous court order prohibiting road construction until a valid environmental analysis had been prepared. The 1st District Court of Appeals ruled in 2014 that Caltrans’ environmental analysis was critically flawed and the agency had to “separately identify and analyze the significance of the impacts to root zones of old growth redwood trees before proposing mitigation measures.”

Instead Caltrans released an addendum to its environmental review that repeated the state agency’s discredited arguments that highway work would not harm ancient redwood trees in the park. Caltrans allowed no public comment period and sought to dismiss the lawsuit and end the public’s right to a thorough environmental analysis of the project impacts, arguing that the addendum complied with the appellate court’s order. But Judge Kelly Neel found in the new decision that the court-ordered halt to construction should remain in place until the court can review the new documents released by Caltrans, and address legal issues presented by conservation groups in a 2017 lawsuit.

Project opponents remain vigilant in defense of the grove, with three current lawsuits challenging Caltrans’ inadequate environmental analysis and other attempts to dodge public scrutiny. For more on the campaign to protect Richardson Grove State Park, visit www.SaveRichardsonGrove.org.

  • Laytonville Rock
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25 comments

  • STAND with the Grove!

  • Twinkle Winklestein

    Yes I

  • Great news for now!!! Yay!

    • The Grove is a Treasure! Re-align attitudes instead of this beautiful One-of-a-Kind majestic grove. It’s special to even be able to drive through a grove. Have some respect!

  • They should just widen a short area of the grove and but the McKinley Statue in the middle of the road. Kill a couple of liberal problems at once!!!

    • Soon-to-be Former County Supervisor Ryan Dumberg

      “CB”, are you calling on liberals to be killed? And your comment stays?

      Check this out…. I had a comment deleted from this blog’s comments section for correcting someone’s especially hilarious misspelling of the word mathematics. For context, a commenter stated Albert Einstein was awful at “mathmatics”, and the commenter then implied they were better at “mathmatics” than Einstein.

      I simply replied stating I seriously doubted the commenter was better at mathematics than Einstein, considering the fact that he couldn’t spell mathematics. And my response was deleted. (Not to mention many other truly funny non-obscene comments as well, apparently for being on the mark.)

      But talking about killing liberals is cool?

      This is standard practice for this blog. Double standards in the extreme:
      – If you are an old racist redneck, you can say whatever you want about anyone.
      – But if you are an intelligent human being, Kym monitors your posts closely.

  • Veterans friend

    💖💖💖💖😁😊🙏💥

  • This is great news! The courts recognize CalTrans cutting corners and making work for themselves…business as usual. I wish they would go fix some of the real road problems they continually ignore.

  • clearlake fool

    if caltrans cant improve it or sometimes even work on it without idiots screaming then its time to shut it down . close it from leggit to garberville .
    no more grocery or fuel deliveries from the south , you have to pay extra , even above and beyond what the north coast already gets soaked . and no more weed supplies for the dope growers from the south , you now get extra high prices from the north and east .
    everyone is happy now

    • Soon-to-be Former County Supervisor Ryan Dumberg

      If you can’t drive, “clearlake fool”, take some lessons (or stop drinking so much before you get behind the wheel 🍷). The road through the Grove is easily passable, including for trucks, so long as the truck driver isn’t driving over the speed limit while drunk. Save the redwoods, and arrest the drunk drivers.

  • Martin Stockel

    Trading peoples lives for a few damn trees is crazy. That road needs to be fixed before another person dies!!!

    • local observer

      someone died? this is about being able to haul double trailers and increasing the profit margin of local distributers. it won’t lower the price of anything to the consumer.

    • Veteran's friend

      No one one died on that stretch of road for a very long time. You are thinking of Eureka. And the last time anyone did, it was in a head on crash of vehicles, no trees involved.

    • Soon-to-be Former County Supervisor Ryan Dumberg

      When was a tree found to be at fault? 🌲⚖️👮🏻‍♂️

  • Taurus Ballzhoff

    Leave my trees alone!

    Fighting emotional ennui with tree-hugging!

    Drive yer damn rigs over 299!

  • Thank goodness for the law suit. With a little more luck, and a lot more work, The Grove won’t go the way of the “Willits By Pass.” I hope. Thank you, EPIC.

  • Capitalist pig

    U know it just a matter of time before cal trans jumps through All the the hoops And cuts through all the red tape and they get their way and I will be so very glad , not because the road will be wider or better but because it makes all you whiny sniveling liberals angry and upset .lmao right now !! I can’t wait for all the videos of the whining snivelers being yanked out of the trees by California highway patrol and shot with rubber bullets and pepper Bags On YouTube, if you want some good laughs google Willits bypass protest. It’s just a matter time folks and we will be sailing through the Grove at 65 mph .ha ha ha

    • You’re right, CalTrans will eventually win. The only problem is the whiny sniveling liberals end up costing the state so much money, well into the tens of millions extra to get this project done. Then all of us gets screwed because the state will get that money out of us one way or the other. I think they should just charge all the people that fight against it higher registration, and state taxes since they cause all this damn unnecessary red tape and hoops they have to jump through to get anything done in the first place.

    • Soon-to-be Former County Supervisor Ryan Dumberg

      Psycho B.S. “MK” voted for Trump 🐘💩🍊🇷🇺, no doubt. And of course you know that “capitalist pig” did. Greed is good, Gordon Gecko? 💰💰🐷⚖️

      P.S. – Have you ever noticed that Dipshit Donald Trump, Junior’s hair looks exactly like Gordon Gecko’s hair? No coincidence.

  • Veteran's friend

    3 words for CALTRANS
    “LAST CHANCE GRADE”
    (Is caltrans sexually confused?)

  • No shortage of nasty attitudes here. Too bad there’s no market for those.
    Here’s a positive solution. It would “cost too much”, but it would work. Add a second level of roadway above the one that is there. Make each one lane and one way. This would give plenty of room for all vehicles within the space being used now, save the trees, and eliminate the danger of oncoming traffic.
    And to Local Observer, yes, people have died there, including a friend of mine. This IS about more than commercial interests.

  • Widen up your attitude….why can’t all vehicles just slow down and appreciate the grove while driving that short stretch of highway? When did plain old Appreciation of Nature go out of style and get left behind?

    • Soon-to-be Former County Supervisor Ryan Dumberg

      🍺🚗🚑 Stop speeding while you’re drinking and driving, first of all. Second of all, those redwood trees are not going to be cut down for the convenience of speeding drunk drivers. Deal with it, drunk rednecks (go to A.A.).

  • Symbolically, the “improvement” project is as insulting as one could be.

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