January 2, 2009
P.O. Box 3700
Eureka, CA 95502
Re: Richard Grove Road Project
Dear Ms. Floyd:
My name is Kimberly Tays. My husband and I have been volunteers with Caltrans’ Adopt-a-Highway program for the past 2+ years. I have enjoyed getting to know some of Caltrans’ employees and, for the most part, believe Caltrans does an excellent job of keeping our roads safe and clean.
However, I am very troubled by the proposal to remove 87 trees and widen Richardson Grove to allow “longer trucks to safely travel through the area” (12-5-08 Times-Standard article). I believe the removal of so many trees would devastate this remarkable piece of landscape. I do not want to see this magical place turned into a fast-paced highway like we see in the rest of our state; we have too much of that already. When you get to this part of California, you actually want to slow down and take in the breathtaking scenery, including the big, beautiful redwoods and other trees that grace our natural environment.
As a society, we continue to value business and transportation needs over everything else—at the expense of our environment, at the expense of open space, at the expense of aesthetics, at the expense of biodiversity. Richardson Grove is one of those places that stood out in my mind the first time I visited Humboldt County—I just knew I had to come back and explore the area more because it was such an amazing place. In fact, I was so impressed with the natural beauty of Humboldt County, I moved here in 2003 and completed my degree at Humboldt State University. Richardson Grove is not just some annoying obstacle on the map to somewhere else; it is a destination for people from all over the world who come to visit our State Park lands to camp, hike and sightsee. This is what makes the Richardson Grove project all the more dreadful and incompatible in my mind. The fact that we would desecrate a national and international treasure for business and transportation interests is, in my eyes, a crime against nature. And what is even more ironic is that in your attempt to improve some business interests, you may actually destroy those businesses that cater to travelers who visit this area for its remarkable scenery and pace of life. And, you will destroy an amazing scenic roadway that is awe-inspiring.
I understand that some Humboldt businesses feel they are at an economic disadvantage because cargo from larger trucks must be offloaded onto smaller trucks to travel through this area. But we cannot ruin such a remarkable place for the interests of a few business owners; the stakes are too great and the worldwide public stands to lose an irreplaceable natural gem in our already over-built, over-desecrated and over-burdened planet.
For the public record, as a resident of Trinidad and Humboldt County, I ABSOLUTELY OPPOSE the Richardson Grove Road Project.