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Saturday, August 20, 2011

RIDESHARES to Celebration to Honor Richardson Grove, Sunday Aug 28th

Rideshare/Carpool Schedule for Sunday Aug. 28th
Travel to Richardson Grove for the Celebration To Honor the Trees of Richardson Grove

If you need a ride or can give a ride, meet at one or more of these spots
depending on where you are coming from:

10:00am at the ARCATA Co-op kiosk/bulletin board
10:20am in front of Walgreens (Broadway) in EUREKA
11:30am at the Used Bookstore in GARBERVILLE

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Event In Richardson Grove, AUGUST 28th

Honor The Trees Of Richardson Grove

Sunday, August 28th
from noon to 6;00 pm

Richardson Grove State Park
day use picnic area

Bring food to share for community pot luck, as well as instruments and bathing suits.

Contact Maureen Kane at or 707.267.8960

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Benefit for Richardson Grove Legal Fund

Greetings, Friends of Richardson Grove! Let's get together and celebrate the recent success of our legal team in obtaining the Preliminary Injunction that has temporarily halted the CALTRANS project.

This event will be a benefit and fundraiser for the Richardson Grove Legal Fund being administered by EPIC. The event will be held at
Beginnings in Briceland- http://www.beginningsbrice​
on Sunday, September 4 (Labor Day we...ekend.) Doors will open at 5:00PM Admission is $20.00/sliding scale. Dinner will be offered starting at 5:30PM for a separate fee, catered by Sue Moloney of Sue's Organics. Wine and beer will be available for purchase. There will be a silent auction including items of original artwork by local artists.

There will be fabulous music. Music during dinner will include local singer/songwriters with songs honoring the Grove: Jan Bramlett, Bud Rogers and Jessie Rubin. Following an invocation by Native Elder Jene McCovey, Gary Hughes, Executive Director of EPIC will give an update on the campaign to Save Richardson Grove.

After dinner, Joanne Rand will play a set including her new Richardson Grove song. The set by Jefferson Parson and his Rasberry Jam Band will include all 5 of his original Grove songs ... and hey ... it's Jefferson's 70th birthday! The Marjo Wilson Bank will climax the evening, ricking out and bringing all dancers to their feet.

This event is being planned by a dedicated crew of volunteers BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP! We need a set-up crew of volunteers to decorate and create the right ambiance, a take-down and clean-up crew, a crew to gather silent auction items, a parking crew and a crew to mind the door.

We will need a kitchen crew to work with Sue Moloney: 4 volunteers are needed for the 7:00-10:00 PM shift; 2 are needed for washing dishes from 5:30-9:30 PM; 2 are needed for drinks and dessert from 5:00-9:00 PM; and two are needed for kitchen clean-up from 9:00 until 11:00 PM.In addition, we need donations of wine and beer. Silent auction items can include original artwork, craft items such as jewelry, donations of sessions for body work, spa, massage, donations of hotel stays and meals at area restaurants, etc.

Start thinking of who you know that would be willing to donate and please ask now. Donations are tax-deductible since EPIC is a non-profit and all donations will receive a receipt for tax-deduction purposes.

Please contact Kelly Larson at 707-923-0152 or email at​m or contact Jefferson Parsons at 707-923-3499 or email at with your questions and offers to volunteer. With everyone pitching in, this is guaranteed to be a great time. If you have ever asked "What Can I Do To Help The Grove?" - this is your answer!!

Feel free to forward this email to your own email lists, to Facebook friends and Twitter it. We have a great poster available - email for a copy.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Preliminary Injunction GRANTED! July 6, 2011

The judge granted the preliminary injunction in the federal lawsuit against CalTrans' Richardson Grove highway plan!

Here's a link to the July 6, 2011 order from the judge. (pdf)

Below is the first 5 pages, a glimpse...

Case No. C 10-04360 WHA

CALIFORNIA STATE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, and CINDY McKIM, in her official capacity as Director of the State of California Department of Transportation, Defendants.


This environmental-impact litigation arises out of a proposal to widen Highway 101 through old-growth redwood trees. A preliminary injunction is warranted until a final decision on the merits, for the reasons below.

Two hundred miles north of San Francisco, at the southern edge of Humboldt County, is
Richardson Grove State Park. It is home to ancient redwoods 300 feet tall and thousands of years old. The park shelters an abundance of wildlife, including the marbled murrelet and spotted owl.

Highway 101 threads through the park for about one mile. Some huge redwood trees come right up to the road, narrowing the two-lane highway to a mere 22 feet (EA 3). Due to its narrow and winding curves, this section of the highway poses safety hazards for large trucks. Specifically, trucks authorized by the Surface Transportation Assistance Act, 23 U.S.C. 101, are often longer and carry more volume than standard trucks. Most of these longer vehicles are prohibited from using this section of Highway 101 because of “off-tracking.” A truck off-tracks when its back tires do not follow its front tires around a curve, but rather take the shorter route. Narrow lanes and tight turns lead to off-tracking. Despite the safety hazard, there are a few legislative exceptions, including a temporary exception for livestock haulers, which allow some STAA trucks access through the park (EA 1–4).

Defendants California Department of Transportation and Cindy Kim, the director of Caltrans, have initiated the Richardson Grove Operational Improvement Project to widen the road to meet highway requirements in order to allow all STAA trucks safer passage through the park. The stated purpose of allowing larger trucks through-access on Highway 101 is to lower the cost of transportation for goods imported into and exported from Humboldt County (EA 5). Currently, for instance, STAA trucks going from Oakland to Eureka must take a 446-mile detour via I-5 through Oregon and back south on Route 101 (EA 5).

This environmental-impact controversy arises because widening the road might have adverse effects on the redwoods. Their roots are shallow. The roots extend outward three to ten times the diameter of the tree trunk (EA 41 n.6; Compl. ¶ 36). Their interlacing root system provides mutual reinforcement (Compl. ¶ 71). The soil is loose and aerated. Redwoods breathe through their roots, absorbing air, nutrients, and water. The trees need non-compact soil to thrive (McBride Decl. ¶¶ 11–14).

For these reasons, the proposal is merely to widen the roadway slightly and to do so using minimal-impact techniques. During oral argument, Caltrans’ attorney stated that the plan would fell 54 trees. Only six of them are redwoods, two of which are located inside the park and none of which are old growth — meaning those six redwoods have diameters less than 30 inches (EA 40).

Once cleared, the project plans to regrade, realign, and widen the road. In most cases, the project would shift the center line of the highway by one to six feet. The maximum realignment would shift the centerline 17 feet (EA 62). The construction calls for cut-and-fill techniques. In other words, Caltrans would cut the soil and fill it with sturdy, compact material suitable for highway foundation. This, however, is a main point of contention. (This poses a risk for the root system, which needs loose soil, not compact soil.) To continue with mitigation precautions, excavation near old-growth redwoods would be done by hand or with an air spade. An air spade uses air compression to clear away dirt rather than cutting roots while digging away at soil. Roots that are less than two inches would be cut and watered so they would not dry out. Brow logs would be braced against tree trunks to minimize the effect of fill on the trees (EA 113–15). A retaining wall to support the roadway would be installed spanning 200 feet and reaching ten to thirteen feet high (EA 19). New culverts would replace older ones to improve drainage (EA 41). Clearly, the proposal has been drawn with an eye to mitigating most damage to the redwoods.

Caltrans issued a draft and then a final Environmental Assessment. In its draft EA, Caltrans stated that construction around redwood roots has the “most potential to result in impacts to trees” and that the project would be “likely to [a]dversely [a]ffect” the spotted owl (Draft EA 83, 104). After issuing its draft EA — pursuant to NEPA — and its Section 4(f) analysis — pursuant to the Department of Transportation Act of 1966, 49 U.S.C. 303 — Caltrans received hundreds of letters protesting the project (Duggan Decl. Exh. 3-1 through 3-12). In response, Caltrans slightly changed its proposal. In May 2010, Caltrans issued a final EA, which documented relocating a proposed retaining wall, added a chart describing trees whose roots would be affected by the cut and fill soil, more than doubled the estimate of trees whose root structures might be adversely impacted, and cited the names of two arborists who claimed no significant impact would occur (EA 19–20, 108–12). Despite opposition, the agency adopted a “finding of no significant impact.” The FONSI avoided the requirement of performing a complete investigation and producing an Environmental Impact Statement.

Plaintiffs are individual supporters and non-profit environmental groups who claim this project will jeopardize the health of the trees and wildlife. Plaintiff Bess Bair is the granddaughter of the owner of The Harstook Inn (situated in the Park), which was sold to Save-The-Redwoods League. The granddaughter of the man who originally gave Richardson Grove to California, plaintiff Trish Lee Lotus remains an avid visitor to the Grove. Plaintiff Bruce Edwards is a truck driver from Humboldt County who regularly drives on this section of Highway 101. While performing volunteer work for the Piercy fire department, plaintiff Jeffrey Hedin drives through Richardson Grove. Plaintiff Loreen Eliason owns an inn on Highway 101 just six miles north of Garberville and claims that the preservation of Richardson Grove is essential to her business and those like it (Compl. ¶¶ 20–23). Plaintiffs Environmental Protection Information Center, Center for Biological Diversity, and Californians for Alternatives to Toxics are non-profit organizations that promote environmental protection. These groups and individuals bring this action on behalf of their members who have an interest in California’s wildlife and natural wonders (Compl. ¶¶ 24–26). Harm to the redwoods and natural environment of the park would allegedly irreparably hurt the “health, recreational, scientific, cultural, inspirational, educational, [and] aesthetic” interests of the plaintiffs (Compl. ¶ 27).

This action alleges that defendants have violated the National Environmental Protection Act, the Department of Transportation Act, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act. The complaint claims defendants violated NEPA by failing to (1) establish the need and purpose for the project, (2) disclose and evaluate the significant environmental effects, (3) explore and evaluate reasonable alternatives to the project, (4) adequately document public comments and concerns and responses to those comments, and (5) prepare an environmental impact statement (Compl. ¶ 99). Plaintiffs also allege that Caltrans violated Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act by failing to determine that no alternatives existed and by failing to create a plan that would minimize harm (Compl. ¶ 120). In not consulting with the National Park Service concerning the effects of relocating the retaining wall closer to the Eel River, defendants allegedly violated Section 7 of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (Compl. ¶ 125). The Administrative Procedure Act was violated, it is said, by approving and adopting an EA/FONSI contrary to NEPA and Section 4(f) standards.

By the instant motion, plaintiffs seek a preliminary injunction to halt all activity on this project while we litigate the merits. At this stage, defendants have not submitted the administrative record, but instead we have the record submitted on this motion.

A plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction must show (1) that she is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of a preliminary injunction, (2) that she is likely to succeed on the merits, (3) that the balance of equities tips in her favor, and (4) that an injunction is in the public interest. Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 129 S.Ct. 365, 374 (2008). So long as a likelihood of irreparable harm is always shown, these elements are balanced on a sliding scale, so that a stronger showing of one may offset a weaker showing of others. Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Cottrell, 632 F.3d 1127, 1131 (9th Cir. 2011). More specifically, if a likelihood of irreparable harm is shown, “[a] preliminary injunction is appropriate when a plaintiff demonstrates . . . that serious questions going to the merits were raised and the balance of
hardships tips sharply in the plaintiff’s favor.” Id. at 1134–35 (citation omitted).

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Given the number of people currently visiting Richardson Grove State Park, we are planning a July 3rd PARADE through Richardson Grove!
Short notice, we know, but we'd love to see you there. Everyone can join in!

PARADE Through the Redwoods!

Sunday, July 3rd Begins 2 pm at the Day Use Area of Richardson Grove State Park

Richardson Grove is threatened by CalTrans' highway expansion plan!

Show your support for the survival of Richardson Grove-

where some of the trees were 1,000 years old at America's birth.

Feel free to dress colorful and bring music makers and colorful non-explosives.
(No Fireworks)

~Richardson Grove Action Now

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Highway Expansion Would Significantly Harm One Hundred and Eight Old Growth Redwood Trees

Redwood Times Honors our Namesake

I appreciate this fact-filled article in Redwood Times addressing the concerns of those of us who treasure Richardson Grove and our unique Humboldt way of life. Gary Hughes and Barbara Kennedy presented Rotary new information on the likely irreparable impact to Richardson Grove, and questioned the value of this project for our community.

The new report by Dr. Joseph McBride -- forester, professor at UC Berkeley, author of 277 articles on trees (especially Redwoods) and adviser to State Parks -- offers the real science that CalTrans failed to give.

Dr. McBride’s tree-by-tree analysis of project impact on RG finds 108 old-growth trees that will have root systems significantly affected, and anticipates 37 are likely to die.

We cannot accept this likelihood of irreparable harm to our State Park, and the Redwood Curtain.

Thanks to Rotary and to Redwood Times for this good start to a fair hearing.

Lauren Oliver

Here is a link to Dr. McBride's Declaration presented in the lawsuit against CalTrans brought by the Environmental Information Protection Center [EPIC], Center for Biological Diversity, Californians for Alternatives to Toxics [CATS], and individuals. The case is formally called:

the U.S. District Court Northern District of California

Thursday, June 23, 2011

"large diesel trucks on 101...24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year"

Richardson Grove as important as general plan update
Ken Miller/For The Times-Standard

Wholesale STAA access through Richardson Grove is potentially the most immediately devastating threat to our county.

It would open the north-south link in a circuit connecting Interstate 5 and U.S. Highway 101 via routes 199, 299, and 20, putting large diesel trucks on 101 through, not just into, our county, 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Signaling or one-way traffic would create harmful congestion in the grove, and do nothing about the STAA traffic through the county.

Who benefits?

Mainly the international trucking industry and a few local businesses. Caltrans' EIR acknowledges that local industries do not need these trucks: “... There is a maximum weight restriction for loads as well as maximum length of cabs and trailers, and that for heavy loads, the economic advantage for the larger [STAA] vehicles is not there,” concluding that the “Proposed project would not result in significant increases in overall economic productivity in the region.”

Wal-Mart and Home Depot in Crescent City have been the squeakiest wheels for Richardson Grove and 199, whining that lack of STAA access costs them $15,000 monthly, savings they would surely use to undercut local businesses, and exchange good paying jobs for low-wage employment as their stores are linked all along the 101 corridor.

Could the new general plan stand up to STAA-related sprawl development?

Vehicular traffic from the proposed Marina Center is estimated at 16,000 trips daily. Add STAA to that and the pressure to open and widen Waterfront Drive and bypass Eureka escalates. Caltrans never considers this, despite the 2003 Caltrans-funded study warning about the “constraint on economic development” from “traffic congestion on U.S. 101 in Eureka's commercial and retail areas due to heavy overlapping uses for trucking, through traffic, and local traffic.”

Ambulance and coroner business may spike. These large trucks represent less than 3 percent of vehicles, but are involved in 14 percent of fatal crashes, and automobile passengers constitute 98 percent of the fatalities in car vs. truck accidents.
Who loses?

The project is a job killer for many local businesses, and will cost the rest of us in road damages, safety hazards, noise and air pollution, congestion, and quality of life. Trinidad will not be so quaint, or quiet, with 24/7 STAA on the 101 grade.

Many of these trucks have extra cabs with kitchens and beds enabling transit from Mexico to Canada without needing a motel or restaurant.

Ancient redwoods may not tolerate modern road use and construction technology. Trees that have survived for a century next to the current roadbed may have benefited from the paucity of heavy truck traffic, as well as construction in 1915 with horse and buggies, hand tools, and gravel, mitigating factors that this project would undo overnight.

Arguments that road construction will not harm ancient redwoods rely on Caltrans' arborists who have no expertise in redwoods, and on Caltrans' own claims.

Experts like Steve Sillett and Stan Binnie registered serious concerns about disturbing woody and feeder roots, justified by the numerous ancient redwoods whose tops are dying back along 101, and those which have fallen, revealing evidence of road or path-induced damage. Hence Redwood Park warnings to avoid walking over roots.

Scientific literature is clear that redwood roots interconnect for up to 500 feet, and that roots larger than one inch are considered “major.” Yet Caltrans claims that roots larger than two inches in diameter will not be cut in the structural root zone, ignoring the critical feeder roots. According to HSU's Professor Sillett, there have been no relevant studies on the impacts of roadways on redwood roots.

If ancient redwoods suffer due to this project, how many hundreds or thousands of years will it take for the damage to show up? And what penalty, or relief, is there?

Perhaps the saddest casualty has been the failure to consider alternatives to 6 mpg STAA trucks for our goods movement in the face of greenhouse gas emissions, rising fuel costs and sea levels, and climate change.

Short sea shipping from our undeveloped port is the most efficient transport modality on the planet, and with 299 STAA access it could meet nearly all of our shipping needs, creating boatloads of jobs.

A 2003 Caltrans' Cambridge Systematics study summed up the benefit of not widening 101 through Richardson Grove, and retaining the critical buffer between 101 and I-5: “The county's relative geographic isolation has spared it from some of the sprawl and growth pressures that have impacted many of California's coastal communities, lending the area a quality of life cherished by residents.”

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


OPEN WORKSHOP for anyone who might want to take direct action for the Earth or any social justice struggle...

Focus on insurgent skills: organize to be a wrench in the machine; demystify legal risks; prepare to assert power with confidence; and arm ourselves with knowledge to prevent the legal system from separating or silencing us.

We'll talk about: ● non-violent resistance ●action roles
● historical & current examples of direct action for social & environmental justice ● consensus decision-making
● dealing with aggression toward you ● affinity groups
● choosing our targets & non-violent methods
● action/jail/court strategies & solidarity tactics

Lunch & snacks provided and welcomed!

Richardson Grove Action Now: (707) 602-7551

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Richardson Grove Action Now Returns from Bay Area and Sacramento

For Immediate Release (pdf Here) June 14, 2011

Richardson Grove Action Now Steps Beyond the Redwood Curtain –
Direct Action Resistance Brought to Sacramento June 8-10!

Contact: Verbena Lea 707.602.7551

After six months of organizing rallies and actions behind the 'redwood curtain' protesting CalTrans' plan to expand Highway 101 through Richardson Grove State Park and adjacent forestland, Richardson Grove Action Now [RGAN] last week upped the ante by taking the fight to the state capital in Sacramento, where they carried out a flash mob action. The highway expansion plan has global significance, threatening some of the last 2% remaining ancient redwoods on Earth.

RGAN activists rode on the White Rose bus to Oakland, Sacramento, and Glen Cove, Vallejo in order to mobilize widespread resistance to the highway expansion, demonstrate at the Capitol, and connect with an ongoing spiritual encampment established to stave off development on a sacred indigenous burial shellmound site in Glen Cove. RGAN's Verbena Lea says, “Worldwide, people are opposed to harming or cutting ancient redwood forests, which CalTrans plans to do; ancient redwoods have all but been wiped off the face of the earth and, like the people at Glen Cove, we are saying to developers, government and corporations, 'You have already desecrated and taken too much- We're stopping you here.'”

The road widening would mutilate an ancient grove in order to facilitate trans-national corporations, nuclear materials, development, and military having greater access to the Humboldt Bay region which has been relatively protected by forest bottlenecks and winding roads. Highways 199, 299, and 36, entering the region from the East, are also on the cutting block for highway expansion.

The “White Rose” bio-diesel bus was formerly used by anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, and as a support vehicle for the Longest Walk 2 in 2008, organized by AIM to draw attention to indigenous sacred sites in danger of being destroyed by developers. (The White Rose was a German anti-fascist group during Hitler's reign, executed for distributing pamphlets encouraging resistance to the Nazis.)

Thousands of individuals and groups, including RGAN, have written Gov. Jerry Brown, urging him to cancel the road widening plan using the Governor's authority. RGAN made this demand at the Capitol through a contemporary direct action known as a flash mob, and will reach the world through their musical protest, executed without permit, then circulated via YouTube. The video will be released this week.

On the Capitol steps, despite threat of arrest from onlooking officers, RGAN activists- joined by supporters from Chico, Sacramento, Oakland, and San Francisco- busted out a flash mob version of George Clinton/ Parliament's “We Got the Funk.” RGAN's updated lyrics detail multi-faceted opposition to road widening through Richardson Grove (i.e. “We want old growth, not corporate flow.”) Followed by police, RGAN marched to CalTrans' state headquarters & chanted “No Road Widening Through Richardson Grove. We are the People and the People Say NO,” handing literature to CalTrans employees & passers-by. The final Sacramento flash mob action was done on a busy street in the business district. Families took photos, and many people including a foreign magazine writer took literature to spread the word against the highway expansion.

While at the Capitol, RGAN learned that four women in wheelchairs had just been arrested protesting California officials' refusal to fund peoples' survival needs- cutting healthcare, in home services, education, etc.-with ever-increasing monies going to prisons, corporations, police, and urbanized development. Gov Brown recently shut down seventy state parks to “save” $22 million; however, the state intends to sink $5.5 million of public money, matching federal funds, into the 1.1 mile highway expansion through Richardson Grove.

RGAN's Sue Ricker said, “If CalTrans can widen the highway through Richardson Grove, a world-renowned old-growth redwood forest, they'll go to any length to convert the 101 into an interstate NAFTA artery.” Already Cypress Grove Chevre -once a locally-owned goat cheese producer, now owned by Swiss multi-national Emmi Corp.- trucks in goat milk from Mexico. Cypress Grove is a supporter of CalTrans' project.

Although CalTrans claims that the project will not harm ancient trees, it is well-established that cutting, compacting, & excavating redwood roots, as planned for the road widening, would harm or kill the trees. Also, it appears that huge ancient redwoods would have to be cut to implement CalTrans' road widening.

RGAN vows to stop this plan in the roads, offices, trees, construction sites, & gov't buildings- near and far.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

No Willing Contractors, No Road Widening!


*New Handout* Brought to Bay Area & Sacramento


Richardson Grove is the mystifying stretch of Highway 101 that curves through the south fork of the Eel River where, coming north, one first encounters ancient redwood forest. The California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) is set to implement a plan, launched by federal, state, and corporate interests, to widen Hwy 101 through Richardson Grove.
This project threatens the survival of ancient redwood forest and would usher in and exacerbate a host of
horrendous social, economic, and cultural problems.

Some of the last 2% remaining old growth redwoods, including the 9th tallest in the world, lives in Richardson Grove. It's crucial to do everything possible NOW in order to stop Caltrans. You know you're in redwood country when you bike, walk or drive through the road lined with giants of many generations. Further from the road, the redwood grove extends. You might notice the tops of some of the huge trees along Hwy 101. No greenery and no branches way up there, but instead “spike tops.” They're the result of top die-off from compaction & other injury to the shallow roots of the giant trees. Roots must be protected.

The Richardson Grove area, for millenia, has been & remains sacred territory for First Nations people in this region and is an important place for visitors and inhabitants, human & non-human, of many nations.

Traveling north up Hwy 101 from the Bay Area, you pass hillsides, stripped of their majestic oaklands, now replaced by miles of grape vineyard grids as far as the eye can see. North of that, you arrive in Willits, where there is an arched entry announcing “Gateway to the Redwoods”. But there are no redwoods there; only gas stations and chain stores lining a four lane highway.

As the redwoods in Willits have been replaced by roads and chain-stores, the current “gateway to the redwoods” is about 60 miles north:
Richardson Grove State Park.

CalTrans, using federal and state funds, plans to cut old and young trees, excavate ancient roots, and harm rare and endangered species that inhabit Richardson Grove- all to expand Hwy 101 for greater truck and military access through the coast. Richardson Grove State Park was established to protect this area from the “drums of progress." Not one tree should be cut or harmed in a State Park.

Ancient redwood forest is rare, highly threatened, near extinction. Ancient redwood trees: at risk of there being no more left on Earth. Roads, sprawl, development & short-sighted profiteers have, in a relatively brief period of time, stripped the earth of these amazing beings & the wisdom & life they support.

There's a real NAFTA scam ruining lives all around.
Don't bring tanks and sweatshops through our ancient grounds.”
Richardson Grove Action Now



Direct Action to Stop the Road Widening!

Resist Corporate and U.S. Military Invasion

I've seen great glaciers melting...met lightning eye to eye.
Now I hear bulldozers coming & I know that I am soon to die”
The Tree, Dana Lyons



Funded by the Federal Govt. & the State of California, $5.5 million from each of them.

A State Park is supposed to be protected from any tree cutting or damage. Tree cutting and irreparable damage are part of this plan.

Ancient redwoods inhabit Richardson Grove. CalTrans would have to cut ancient redwoods in order to widen the road to the plan's dimensions.

CalTrans would excavate and cut the roots of the ancient trees in Richardson Grove and severely compact the root zones.

Redwood tree roots are shallow. They stay healthy through their connection to other redwood roots in the area, and cannot withstand compaction.

CalTrans would be would stealing private property which includes old growth trees, is steeply sloped on both sides of the road, and houses Singing Trees (Drug) Recovery Center. That land would be stripped bare and flattened into roadbed for the road widening project.

● CalTrans also has plans to widen every highway coming from the East into the Humboldt Bay region. One of those plans would desecrate Jedediah Smith State Park on Rte 199. One plan has already included a huge clearcut on both sides of Rte 299, on the eastern end.

● Highway expansion through Richardson Grove is motivated by corporate, military, & nuclear industry interests.

● CalTrans tried to pass this plan through without environmental review or public input. There are 2 lawsuits with multiple plaintiffs against the plan.

● Politicians, from the County Supervisors to the Congress reps, rubber-stamped the plan, ignoring legalities and large public outcry.

Local gov't used $55, 000 public funding to disingenuously promote the plan through paid letters to the editor, lobbying, & teaching business owners how to promote it.

● The State promotes the road widening to increase access for big trucks.

● There is a low incidence of accidents on Hwy 101 thru Richardson Grove currently -even though big semi's get through already.


►bring an increase in large trucks going faster. Conditions would make the stretch dangerous for drivers and almost impossible for anyone to walk or bike on the shoulders as they do now.

►allow an inundation of trans-national corporations into north coast towns, subjecting the land, waters, forests, local economies, and working conditions to the ruinous dominance of greedy corporations.

►in conjunction with highway expansions from every other entrance into the Humboldt Bay region, expose the entire northcoast to increased militarization and corporate exploitation.

►have irreparable negative consequences. Change the face of the north coast.

Richardson Grove Action Now 707.602.7551

Friday, June 3, 2011

Richardson Grove Action Now To Sacramento Wed, June 8th!

Richardson Grove Action Now invites you on a trip to Sacramento! We plan to leave SOON. We'll venture out on Wednesday, June 8th and will return June 10, Friday night.

We're riding down in a bio-diesel bus. We will send a creative musical message to Gov. Jerry Brown and to people ALL OVER- which will be broadcast on the world wide web. Our serenade will demand that the highway expansion plan through Richardson Grove be canceled. We will be covering old classics like "One Demand, Cancel the Plan", "Resist Invasion," and "We want old growth, not corporate flow."

We will be bringing a loud temporary presence to Sacramento regarding the road widening- which would bring a PERMANENT impact to our lives and to the survival of ancient redwoods.

If you are not able to join us, in person, on this trip, please support the action by contributing food or money. We are trying to raise $650 for travel expenses. And the food is for the people.

If you really want to go and you think there is some obstacle, call us.

If you are in the Bay area, we would like to come there for the night and bring you with us!
We are also considering, on the way, visiting the spiritual encampment/action at Glen Cove.

Our phone number is 707.602.7551
Our email:

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Richardson Grove Action Now will host a free workshop, Saturday June 18th, open to anyone who might want to participate in direct action for the Earth or any social justice struggle.

Focused on insurgent skills and resistance teachings, each of us will become more prepared to decide what actions to take and how to go about planning and implementing them! Organize to be a wrench in the machine and assert your power with confidence.

We will discuss:

~action groups and roles


~group decision-making

~legal issues and tactics

~handling aggression directed at your action, and

~solidarity tactics

This workshop will help de-mystify the legal system which people often must deal with when involved in direct action. We won't let the legal system separate or silence us!

Food and beverages will be provided, and we welcome you to bring food too!

What: Non-Violent DIRECT ACTION Workshop

Where: Location To Be Announced

When: All day beginning at NOON

Who: YOU all ages welcome, all levels/types of experience encouraged to participate!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

May 25, 2011: Injunction Sought in Lawsuit Against CalTrans

For Immediate Release, May 25, 2011

Contacts: Gary Hughes, EPIC; Patty Clary, CATS; Peter Galvin, Center for Biological Diversity

Challenge Seeks to Halt California Highway Project That Would Destroy Ancient Redwoods

SAN FRANCISCO— A coalition of conservation groups and local residents today asked a federal judge to stop California transportation officials from moving ahead with a controversial highway project that would jeopardize ancient stands of redwood trees in northern California’s Richardson Grove State Park.

The coalition seeks to halt plans by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to realign a section of Highway 101 that winds through old-growth redwoods in the park. The work would require crews to dig into the roots of towering redwoods that stand along the highway within park boundaries. Today’s filing asks a judge to stop the project until legal proceedings are complete.

The threat of possibly fatal damage to the prized ancient trees, as well as harm to sensitive wildlife posed by the controversial project, is driving today’s legal challenge, which is the second filed by the coalition. Caltrans has failed to evaluate impacts of the project in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

“The importance of this old-growth redwood stand, in view of the important heritage of the redwood forest, requires special consideration before projects that would impact the stand are allowed to go forward,” Joe McBride, a professor of forestry and landscape architecture at the University of California at Berkeley, said in today's filing. “Substantial, irreparable damage would occur to the trees in the project area. This would, in turn, cause negative impacts to the overall health of the forest.”

McBride’s finding is based on his scientific review of the potential of impacts to each tree along the project route — a review plaintiffs show Caltrans failed to undertake.

“This project will cause major damage to one of our most prized state parks,” said Gary Hughes of the Environmental Protection Information Center, one of the plaintiff groups and spokesman for the coalition. “For Caltrans to railroad this multimillion-dollar project by grossly understating its impacts is a violation of the public's trust and a wasteful use of taxpayer money.”

“With less than 3 percent of our ancient redwood trees remaining, we cannot allow Caltrans to injure and kill the precious giant trees of Richardson Grove State Park,” said Peter Galvin, conservation director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “We will fight this project to the end, no matter how long it takes.”

Plaintiffs are Trisha Lee Lotus, Bess Bair, Bruce Edwards, Jeffrey Hedin, Loreen Eliason, Environmental Protection Information Center, Californians for Alternatives to Toxics and the Center for Biological Diversity. They are represented by a team that includes Philip Gregory and former congressman “Pete” McCloskey of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, a law firm in San Francisco.

Lead Hazardous Waste in Richardson Grove

There is an important issue concerning Richardson Grove that Caltrans has done their best to keep from the public's eye. This issue is hazardous waste in the form of aerially deposited lead (ADL).

ADL is lead left behind from years of leaded gasoline use. On old roads like 101 that have been in existence since the early 1900's, lead was continuously deposited from the tailpipes of cars and poorly combusted leaded gasoline. This lead ended up in either the surrounding soil or moving downstream. In areas with thick canopy cover and deep rich soil, like Richardson Grove, much of the lead remained in the soil and usually ended up between 6 and 24 inches underground. The top six inches are usually lead free, as this is duff and recent soil accumulation post leaded gasoline.

Lead serves no purpose in our bodies and is dangerous to all living things. It is toxic to numerous organs and biological functions, including the heart, bones, intestines, kidneys, and reproductive and nervous systems. It is especially toxic to children, causing potentially permanent learning disabilities and behavior disorders. There is no safe threshold for lead exposure, no amount small enough to not cause harm. We all carry a pre-existing body burden of lead in our bones, blood and tissue, and unless specialized therapys are undertaken, it remains for life. That is why hazardous waste guidelines for lead exist. In Richardson Grove, levels of lead were found in many places to be above hazardous waste levels, and other places just slightly below. Considering how sensitive a state park like Richardson Grove is, with familys camping and people strolling about throughout the year, and automobile traffic up 101, one would think that CalTrans would care about the potential for exposing people to lead. They don't.

Removing leaded hazardous waste from roadsides requires great care and large amounts of money. Care and money that Caltrans doesn't have. This is why Caltrans is doing their best to avoid listing areas in the state as hazardous waste sites. They are doing this by either raising the allowable limits 30 times current standards in non sensitive areas. Or in the case of Richardson Grove and other sensitive areas, fudging the books and manipulating data collection. They did this in four ways;

1) Caltrans tests every six inches and then combines these together for a "Total Threshold Limit Concentration" (TTLC). If the combined levels exceed 5 ppm soluble lead its hazardous waste. Their rationale for using this dubious method is that all of the removed soil will be mixed up into one mass by the projects end. However, in the case of Richardson Grove, the project calls for excavating down 24" (except for new wall pillars that go much deeper), yet Caltrans only tested down to the 18" depth, avoiding the area with potentially the greatest concentration of lead. Caltrans website states that “Aerially deposited lead is typically found within the top 2 feet of material in unpaved areas within the highway right of way”.

2) The top 4 inches, which are lead free, were added to the mix to come up with a TTLC that was just under haz waste criteria. Yet this soil will not end up with the rest of the soil and shouldn't have been added. The FEIR states "The top 4 inches of duff (redwood tree and Douglas fir leaf litter) shall be removed, stored at a staging area location and subsequently spread out on exposed disturbed soils within the park boundary."

3) Caltrans never tested the area where the new wall is going and where the deepest excavating is to take place.

4) Caltrans used an inaccurate test method. Even though Caltrans has always prided themselves as being more protective from hazardous lead exposure than other states because they use a test method known as CA-WET (CA=citric acid), for Richardson Grove they used a method called Di-Wet. This method is known for being inaccurate, so much so that in 2007 WQCB issued a memorandum and action alert that stated “analytical data from the Waste Extraction Test (WET) performed with deionized water as the extractant (DI-WET) were used to classify a waste stream as non-hazardous. When samples of the waste were subjected to the correct version of the WET (using citric acid as the extractant), it became clear that the waste had been improperly tested initially and may have been inappropriately accepted for discharge to a landfill that was not permitted to accept hazardous waste. As a result, the owner and operator of that landfill may face significant enforcement proceedings and expensive corrective action measures.”

For Caltrans to honestly evaluate the potential for lead hazardous waste, they need to retest to the depth of 24”, the need to test the new wall site, they need to exclude the 0-4” horizon from the TTLC and they need to use their normal method of CA-WET when they test. But even then, the question will remain, will they manipulate new testing as well. Since the answer is probably yes, the testing should instead be done by an independent agency that can be trusted.

Dan Zimmerman / Environmental Investigator / Northcoast Ocean and River Protection Association (NORPA)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Food and Fun in Piercy on May 28th!



Food, music and games. The volleyball net will be up, the horseshoe court will be re-installed, basketball, Frisbees. The BBQ will be smoking nonstop. A kids corner will provide amusing books and toys. Bring your musical melody makers and something tasty to share.

LAW WORKSHOP: Get up-to-date information on the LEGAL STATUS OF THE LAW SUITS AGAINST THE STATE AND THE FEDS to Cancel the Plan. Find out how you can help.

Workshop on Nonviolence and consensus decision making: for those prepared to put their bodies on the pavement if need be.



FOR FURTHER INFO CALL 923 1491 or 923-4488

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Flash Mob /Pot Luck WED, MAY 25th


WEDNESDAY 05/25/11

6:00 P.M.


PARC is in Eureka in the Q Street alley between 3rd and 2nd. Go past the library north, staying on 3rd St. toward the Samoa Bridge; take a left at Q and 3rd, then an almost immediate right into the alley.

or CALL (707) 602-7551


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Musical Action!


FLASH MOB! We are really excited about the song we've written, a parody of "We Got the Funk" by Parliament. Here's the version BEFORE we changed the words to be all about the road widening plan through Richardson Grove and the resistance to it!

For those of you who haven't been involved in the flash mob so far, know that the routine is: very easy to learn, a lot of fun, and very informative. Our lyrics are in the link here: If you are a musician, than by all means bring your instrument. If you don't think you have any talent at all- no worries, it's very simple!

Some examples of other flash mobs:
Don't Get Caught in a Bad Hotel
Target Ain't People

Funky song and dance to prevent the road widening thru Richardson Grove! Let's bust out in this song and dance action where it counts. Takes about an hour to learn!!

Call Richardson Grove Action Now at 707.602.7551 or email

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Richardson Grove State Park Placard "Secrets of Survival"

And this is why CalTrans puts out so much propaganda trying to fool people into thinking that excavating and cutting the ancient redwood root system won't harm or kill the trees.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

May 4, 2011 Lumberjack Article

Caltrans STAA Juggernaut Stalls at Richardson Grove

by Emma Nation

The Arcata-based Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) announced on April 20 that Caltrans agreed not to bid the Richardson Grove Improvement Project or otherwise move forward on their plan to widen Richardson Grove before July 1.

EPIC and a coalition of environmental groups and individuals filed a lawsuit against Caltrans for violations of the California Environmental Quality Act in the California Superior Court in San Francisco in May 2010, and the case was transferred to Eureka in November 2010.

“We are intent in seeing that the merits of our case are heard before Caltrans attempts to implement the project, and this development is an important step in achieving that objective,” said EPIC executive director Gary Graham Hughes.

Hughes cited “environmental democracy” as one reason for the legal case, stating that Caltrans has “largely ignored” complaints about the project from citizens throughout the county and state. The legal challenge is based on procedural grounds because, Hughes says, “It is the precise and correct facilitation of the environmental review process that guarantees democracy.”

The Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA), passed by Congress in 1982 and implemented in California the following year, set the maximum limit for trucks on the national highway system. The largest rigs include sleeper cabs which, when coupled with the largest legal trailer, puts the overall length of the truck over the California legal limit going through Richardson Grove.

Caltrans terms their Richardson Grove STAA-access project as “a long-standing transportation priority” for Humboldt County.

California law allows maximum-length STAA moving vans and cattle transports through Richardson Grove, and these vehicles pass through the grove daily.

David Spreen of Kneeland has been following the issue since 2007. He points out that the largest STAA rigs are not the industry standard, but routinely referred to as “industry standard” to create an argument for imperative road widening through Richardson Grove and on all major routes into the region. He says the largest STAA trucks are not appropriate for Humboldt County.

“If we’re going to become a de facto part of the national highway system, what are the overall implications of that for the county? They’ll put a lot of wear and tear on the county roads once they’re off the highway,” he said.

Spreen says Caltrans asserts that the improved access for the big rigs will not result in more trucks, just fewer loads in larger trucks.

“To my knowledge, there has never been a project allowing larger trucks to travel through an area that resulted in no increase in truck traffic,” he says.

In a letter to the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, Spreen asked the agency to consider the cumulative watershed impacts of road building the same way it reviews the cumulative impacts of timber harvesting.

Spreen cites a November 17 article in the San Francisco Chronicle by Peter Fimrite, reporting that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency warned Caltrans that its storm runoff management is inadequate throughout the state.

Fimrite quoted EPA enforcement officer Greg Gholson: “At any given construction site the problems may not have required enforcement, but taken as a whole the agency was very concerned with the deficiencies that were seen.”

The Chronicle article said EPA documents revealed storm water discharges of metals, sediment, oil, grease, pesticides and trash from numerous Caltrans construction sites along California’s 50,000 miles of highway and freeway.

Spreen urged Water Board members to deny Caltrans a permit and send the matter back to Water Board staff to conduct a cumulative impact analysis to be completed by December 31, 2011, after Caltrans releases its upgraded storm water management plan.

Luis Rivera, executive at the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, said Caltrans' 401 water permit for the Richardson Grove project has been approved and sent to Sacramento for attorney review before it will be signed.

Although the agency is suing Caltrans for numerous 401 permit violations during the Confusion Hill Bypass Project (completed several years ago a few miles south of the Humboldt/Mendocino border), Rivera says the agency can’t deny a permit application based on Caltrans' past work performance because the water board has no power to effect reprisals for shoddy work. That matter would be up to the California Legislature, he said.

Answering concerns about excavating and severing old-growth redwood roots in the Richardson Grove plan, Caltrans says it won’t cut roots over two inches, and discounts environmental concerns that the work will harm the trees.

Caltrans states, however, that similar work on the Weott Four Bridges Project (in the planning phase) is “likely” to harm the old-growth redwood trees at that location.

The smallest, “hairy roots,” are the main water uptake organs for redwood trees.

Caltrans also states that it will work around the nesting season of the marbled murrelet in Richardson Grove, where potential nesting exists. However, the agency says in the Four Bridges project proposal that it can’t avoid working during marbled murrelet nesting season because it has to take advantage of the good weather.

Caltrans’ road widening project for Highway 199/197 may face similar problems to the Richardson Grove project, because the road through Jedediah Smith State Park also narrowly twists through old-growth forest.

The Middle of Buckhorn Project, a portion of Caltrans’ Highway 299’s proposed modification, has 17 curve improvements and is entirely earthwork—no bridges or major structures are in the plans—and could represent a major threat to the health of the Trinity River during construction and afterwards, as erosion often accompanies deforestation and mountain removal.

Chris Harvey, Caltrans District 2 Project Manager, calls the $11 million Middle of Buckhorn “a great project,” and says it’s funded by the agency’s safety program because of the accident history there.

Not everyone shares Harvey’s enthusiasm for the project, however.

Joseph Orozco, manager of tribal radio station KIDE-FM in Hoopa, and founder of the 7-Rivers Radio Network, says if Highway 299 and other roads were good enough to get the timber out of the region, they should be good enough for other exports. “If it wasn't for the roads, the logs wouldn't have gotten out of here,” he said.

Orozco says improving conditions for the big rigs would enable all traffic to go faster. He says Highway 96, which bisects Hoopa Valley, just off the 299, makes it difficult to develop the region's economy.

“People come in at a high speed and unconsciously go by at a high speed, making it unsafe for kids and others,” he said. “It's very easy to be in harm's way here.”

Orozco said fuel prices should be enough to discourage adopting transnational trucking as economic policy. “Keep the roads the way they are,” he advised. “They’ve been serving us for years. Keep commerce within your geographic area.”

In 2009 the Humboldt County Planning Commission disbursed grant money from the Headwaters Fund, which it oversees, to the Office of Economic Development to promote the Caltrans Richardson Grove Project to the public. The OED reportedly spent some of this money contracting a public relations firm to help prominent locals, including Caltrans executive Charles Fielder, write and edit six “My Word” columns in the Eureka Times-Standard, all promoting the Richardson Grove STAA project.
The OED supervises a branding scheme called Humboldt Made, and reportedly used some of the Headwaters grant money to produce a series of commercial videos featuring local products from the county's largest local exporters, including Sun Valley Floral, Lost Coast Brewery, and Cypress Grove Cheese.

These companies complain about the current cost of trucking their products out of the area, but critics of the STAA-access project say there is little evidence that their cost savings from using STAA trucks would translate into more jobs in the county.

Cypress Grove was bought last August by Emmi Holding Company, a Swiss conglomerate.

There have been 20 arrests for civil disobedience at recent demonstrations at Caltrans and before the Board of Supervisors.

Some say Humboldt County should develop sea and rail commercial routes because increased truck traffic sacrifices programs of economic sustainability and compromises the health of the region’s remaining natural resources.

Others say Humboldt County’s slow pace, quality of life, and natural beauty is what attracts tourists, some of whom see old growth redwood trees for the first time driving north on Highway 101 through Richardson Grove.

Wed, 2011-05-04

Friday, April 29, 2011

May Day in Richardson Grove!

Defend our Roots on Sunday the first of May


YES! In Richardson Grove from dawn to dusk. Celebrate the ancient holy day on Sunday May 1st by mingling with the greatest May Poles on the Planet.

Gather at the turnout just north of the Grove just after Bigfoot Burl. The Richardson Grove Truth Booth will be there, stocked with literature, videos, and graphics.

“Guided tours” by our knowledgeable booth crew will be held every hour on the hour. The Children’s Corner will be in session, providing childcare as well as special child-level explorations of the Grove.

Drummers will be drumming and entertainers will be entertaining.
So bring your instruments, songs and signs along with food to share.
Bring your tree ornaments and decorations to make this a May Day to remember.

You can spend some of the day as one of the Eco-tourism Counselors, getting the travelers out of their cars and trucks, hopefully to explore the Grove with the rest of us.

Check it out Sunday May 1st.

Thanks from the Preserve Richardson Grove Hospitality Committee.

For more info call 952-215-4058.

Times-Standard Conflict of Interest...

From the 2003 Caltrans funded study by Cambridge Systematics

A representative of the Eureka Times-Standard, the local newspaper, commented that some businesses, such as newspapers, must keep higher inventory levels due to poor access, erratic deliveries, and damage during transfers. The newspaper’s shippers do not want to bring in newsprint because of the limitations on trucks. The paper probably loses two to three truckloads of newsprint per year. The extra handling due to transferring loads to smaller trucks causes problems. Advertising inserts are printed elsewhere and added to the paper. Typically, about 30 percent of the inserts are bent through extra handling, which requires them to be inserted by hand (rather than using machines). The newspaper has to pay overtime for extra staff to add the inserts. The newspaper is unable to recoup the higher costs through advertising revenue.

[Can a newspaper that wants the road widening project through Richardson Grove cover the issue without biasing everything in favor of the project? We know the Times-Standard has pretty low standards when it comes to objective journalism AS IT IS.]

Thursday, April 28, 2011

FlashMob for the Grove!

Richardson Grove Action Now has got all the words together for the funky, powerful song and we've started working out the dance moves for the FLASH MOB! (to prevent the road widening thru Richardson Grove, of course.)

There are two rehearsals coming up soon. Please come, and bring your enthusiasm, your instruments (if you got em and know how to play them), and your best singing voice (which doesn't need to be anything special)! Our first rehearsal was a hoot and productive all in one.

*Friday Night (April 29th): 7:00-9:00pm at Synapsis*, 47 West 3rd Street, Eureka, way down 3rd toward Commercial Avenue, a block and a half from the Eureka Corp-Op and next to St. Vinnie's Free Meal

*Tuesday (May 3rd): 5:30-8:00pm at PARC*, in the Q Street Alley between 3rd & 2nd Streets, Eureka

See you there!

Please remember, in order to reply to this email, reply to
Our number is 707.602.7551