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Saturday, June 12, 2010

You gotta love the Earth First! Journal...

Call to Action
Stop A Highway Project Through the Redwood Curtain
By Jeffrey "Muskrat" Musgrave

Traveling North on Highway 101 from San Francisco, you come to a rare and extraordinary place. The "Redwood Curtain" is located just north of the Humboldt/Mendocino County line, where Redwood Highway 101 winds through a spectacular grove of ancient coast Redwoods as you pass through Richardson Grove State Park. This area is unique for many reasons, as the redwoods that line the highway form a "curtain", or natural barrier that creates a narrow point of access along the coast.

Millennial redwoods line both sides of the highway as it passes through Richardson Grove State Park. Only 3% of our ancient redwood forests remain, and since stands of old growth are seldom found outside state and national parks, these trees have value beyond description. This forest is a part of the rare sizable stands of old growth redwoods remaining in the southern section of the redwood coast, and is crucial habitat for endangered species such as the Marbled Murrelet and Northern Spotted Owl.

The California State Highway Agency (CalTrans) plans to realign this historic section of narrow highway to allow longer semi-trucks to pass through the Redwood Curtain, a $10 million project for a two mile section of scenic Redwood Highway 101. Opponents see the project as an unnecessary and costly plan that would damage these irreplaceable ancient trees, and also threaten to the local small businesses and unique community. The area just north of Richardson Grove State Park was damaged by a highway bypass project in the mid-1960's, when CalTrans (back then titled Dept. of Public Works) created a four-lane bypass around the scenic strip of old growth coast redwoods known as the Avenue of the Giants. Ground water that fed the trees was diverted into culverts, and the dried out Redwood tops that Judi Bari dubbed the "Avenue of Spiketops" are obvious to travelers on Highway 101.

Rest of Article

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It boggles my mind how people look at the trees lining the freeway and say "see? no harm done!" yet it's only been a few decades since the roads have been imposed. Only a few decades in the life of trees that would live for thousands of years. For all we know, 100 years from now they'll suddenly all fall down because of the damage done 100 years ago. They're falling pretty fast right now "on their own" need to connect the dots; nobody pro-development is acknowledging the dots are already connected.