California transportation officials are still trying to push through their controversial highway project that would destroy towering, old-growth redwoods in the state's treasured Richardson Grove State Park. So this week the Center for Biological Diversity and our partners made a third legal move against the plan -- adding oomph to the two lawsuits we've already filed by asking a federal judge to step in and put a stop to it. A motion on our request is scheduled for a hearing in San Francisco in early June.
Massive redwoods once covered 2 million acres of river valleys and hillsides from southern Oregon to Big Sur. Today just 3 percent of ancient redwoods remain. Aside from their stunning beauty, they provide crucial habitat for old-growth-dependent species like the marbled murrelet and spotted owl. But the California Department of Transportation wants to realign a section of Highway 101 that goes through Richardson Grove, causing irreparable damage to giant redwoods in the process, including severe harm to trees several feet in diameter -- and their thick, old roots, which would be cut and paved over. Our latest court action targets the transportation department for not fully evaluating the impacts this project will have on trees and local wildlife.
Read more in The Times-Standard.