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Monday, June 28, 2010

Marked Old Growth Trees in Richardson Grove! What are the white paint dots?

On June 10th, 2010, we noticed these giant freshly marked trees during a tour of CalTrans' proposed R.I.P (Richardson Grove "Improvement" Project) for the participants of the "Families in the Forest" event. The tour involved the northernmost area of Richardson Grove State Park where Caltrans wants to widen Highway 101. The property is known as "Singing Trees":

The trees were marked with white paint dots -without the property owners knowledge. Presumably, the dots where painted on the large trees by Caltrans during a survey one week before we discovered the mysterious markings. However, Kim Floyd, the Caltrans project manager for the R.I.P has denied any knowledge of the freshly marked trees. Here are more photos, that include the Caltrans orange markers that have been present for quite some time. (Note that Highway 101 is uphill from the photographer's position, and the recently white-dotted ancient trees are between the orange markers and Highway 101.)

What do the white paint dots mean?

Could they be marking the location for future construction of a retaining wall- through the Singing Trees property - as part of the proposed CalTrans road widening project through Richardson Grove?

Could they be designation an equipment staging area for the proposed CalTrans project?

Could the white paint dots be indicative of a vehicle detour planned by CalTrans for its proposed project?

Any way we think about it, it doesn't seem good. Road construction usually requires retaining walls, equipment staging areas, and vehicle detours. Does CalTrans think their gonna take out those huge ancient trees (in addition to the ones whose roots they want to "pave over") to accomplish their plan?

Some people have suggested, "Maybe CalTrans is marking the trees that would NOT be cut or destroyed." But, we all know, that is not how things work.

Perhaps more of us should contact Kim Floyd, the Project Manager, and inquire about the white paint dots on the big awesome trees. Here's her CalTrans phone number and email:

Kim Floyd
Phone: (707) 441-5739, TTY 711

These trees are white dotted, too!



  1. Perhaps we should remove the paint, considering no one got permission to put it there in the first place, and they are denying all knowledge of it. I'll come help scrub it off if someone wants to put together a cleaning crew.

    Paint doesn't belong in our forest. It is still OUR forest, right? If anyone wants to clean up, let me know, I'm game.


  2. Thank you for your comment and enthusiasm. But I have to disagree...

    I feel we need to show motorists what trees Caltrans wants to remove. The trees for the RIP(Richardson Grove Improvement Project) are marked with these tiny metal tabs on the backs of the trees, you have to hike the roadside to find them. These white dotted trees are more visible, but not enough for travelers to see.

    We need to show travelers which trees they want to remove, and then remove the paint(etc.) after we are successful. Tagging trees, even in a State Park, is worth it if we can save them. The state park personnel have removed the tape and signs that have been used to show this travesty to the people.

    It's time to step things up...


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