GARBERVILLE, Calif. (KIEM) The Caltrans Richardson Grove project remains an area of contention as local environmental protection agencies fight for the old growth redwoods.
The project aims to widen the road in an effort to improve the movement of goods in and out of the area. Local environmental protection groups like the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) object to the plans potentially harmful impacts on nearby redwood trees.
“Anybody who’s ever driven through that road knows that those old growth redwood trees are right next to the road,” said Tom Wheeler, the Executive Director of EPIC.
“Caltrans says that they aren’t going to cut down any old growth trees and so the project is okay”. Wheeler goes on to say that, “They are going to cut into the root system and pave over the root system. And we know from experience that these sorts of activities will cause significant impacts to those old growth redwoods”.
Last month the project was approved for the fourth time in 16 years.
“We are back with a new approval of the project… The previous three times has resulted in Caltrans having to withdraw their approval because they’ve acted illegally,” Wheeler said.
EPIC and other environmental protection groups hope this fourth time might be different.
“We are tired of this kind of Groundhog’s Day nightmare where Caltrans keeps repeating the same mistakes over and over and over again,” Wheeler said.
Caltrans was unavailable for an interview but sent Redwood News this statement: