To the Editor:
I am writing about the proposed widening of the road through Richardson Grove. I am a Piercy resident and a Garberville small business owner, who deals with receiving truckloads of merchandise. We had a slight learning curve, figuring out how to arrange for smaller trucks that could come up our highway. We figured it out fairly easily and things have flowed smoothly ever since. We, as a business in Humboldt County, do not see the sacrifices to our beautiful grove as being worth it. There are many reasons I do not want to see our beautiful and sacred Richardson Grove altered.
1) Most of the people of Southern Humboldt do not want this. We live here. My kids walk in that state park. We love our grove exactly as it is and do not want to see it destroyed. I realize there are people making money off of this deal but they do not live here and should not be able to sell off something so precious to our community.
2) Climate change. Our planet Earth is asking us to consume less, localize, plant more trees and keep the trees we have. Redwoods sequester CO2. Bringing in more big trucks and more big box stores is going directly against the direction we should be moving in to ensure our children inherit a planet that is livable.
3) Support local small businesses. More big box stores, which are inevitable if you open up this highway, will put our small businesses out of business. We love our small businesses. They are the heart and soul of our communities and we support their continued existence.
4) Our treasured way of life. We choose to live in this rural area because it is rural. We like not having to deal with a lot of traffic and big trucks on our roads. We enjoy the slower pace of our community. We do not want the “progress” this road widening will bring. Try speed bumps instead.
5) The tourist industry. People come from all over the world to see our beautiful redwoods. Richardson Grove lets them know they have arrived. I follow these tourists cars through the grove every day making my commute to work and I see how slow they drive, how amazed they are at the size and beauty of these trees. The stretch through Richardson Grove is one of the most beautiful in the world. People post videos of it on You Tube because they love it so much. Every tourist remembers and loves Richardson Grove. Its beauty makes an impact. Once you cut these trees down they can never be replaced. Our businesses depend on the tourist industry, which depends on the slower pace, less traffic, rural feel of our area. Change this and you kill our local businesses.
6) Stability of the remaining trees. Once you cut the roots of these trees down you are going to endanger the entire forest. Other trees may become unstable and fall or die. Animals may be affected. It will throw the balance of life in the grove off and devastation may follow.
7) Stability of Hwy 101. The stretch of road directly before and after Richardson Grove is not exactly stable. The highway butts right up alongside cliffs above our river. Just what will be the impact of more traffic and bigger and heavier trucks on this unstable road? What will be the impact to the river below it? The road by Legend of Bigfoot slides -- or I should say sinks -- every year or so. They are constantly filling in to make the road level again. The huge turn at Legend of Bigfoot is dangerous and has a constant stream of tourists crossing the street. How will all of this be affected? Will you spend millions upon millions of dollars to destroy our grove and then end up with a highway that caves in to the stress of all the extra traffic and weight and become unusable?
8) Budget. California is in financial distress. To spend all this money on infrastructure that is short sighted and unwanted by our local community as well as a horrible move climate-wise and potentially devastating to our area is just stupid, regardless of who will get rich off of it.
I beg you to please take another look at this situation. The movement to stop this destruction of our beloved Richardson Grove is growing every day. We will not give up. Please listen to the people who live here, the people you represent. Thank you.