In this lawsuit filed in federal court, the plaintiffs claim Caltrans failed to conduct a thorough environmental review of the project, in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
"We can see no other option than to seek help from the courts to protect this threatened grove," said Kerul Dyer, Richardson Grove Campaign coordinator for the Environmental Protection Information Center, a grassroots group in Redway, California.
"Caltrans not only failed to evaluate the harm this complex project would cause to these ancient trees, they railroaded this multi-million-dollar project through, disregarding the public's concerns and grossly understating the impacts the project would have," Dyer said.
A lawsuit was filed under state law in June accusing Caltrans of violations of the California Environmental Quality Act. A "finding of no significant impact" that Caltrans published in May contradicts the agency's own conclusions that the project is likely to harm or destroy ancient redwoods in the grove, the plaintiffs argue.