Defending Public Lands
The Redwood Curtain Bicycle Run, Part I
December 18, 2009
What do you do if your state budget is being slashed and burned by an inept actor (again), your State Parks are closing, and corporations are conspiring with developers and state transportation agencies to invade your rural and progressive paradise? On October 2, 2009, activists departed north of Arcata, California, on a bicycle ride heading south to bring attention to the proposed Caltrans project to widen Highway 101 within Richardson Grove State Park; and to support California State Parks facing closure due to Governor Schwarzenegger's state budget cuts. The "Redwood Curtain Bicycle Run" was a three-day adventure of cycling, camping, fun, and interaction with residents of Humboldt County along the Redwood Highway, ending at the "Redwood Curtain" of Richardson Grove State Park.
The Redwood Curtain is a living barrier that shields our pristine location from mass development and Big Box invasion. The Richardson Grove "Improvement" Project (RIP) is designed to RIP a hole in the Redwood Curtain. The project proposes removal of 87 trees, cutting and paving over the roots of 30 ancient coastal redwoods that line the highway, and construction of a three-hundred-foot-long retaining wall. This is a $10 million project for a two-mile section of the Redwood Highway, US 101. Within a State Park. Without wildlife surveys.
Following is my account of the Redwood Curtain Bicycle Run.