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:
Phone: (707) 441-5739, TTY 711
These trees are white dotted, too!
NO WIDENING THE HIGHWAY THROUGH RICHARDSON GROVE!
NO MORE CRACKING OPEN THE REDWOOD CURTAIN!