Victory! Old-Growth Redwood Saved from Caltrans Project

By Josefina Barrantes, EPIC Intern

In response to EPIC’s blog post about an old-growth redwood at risk of removal through a Caltrans project, Caltrans has reached out and decided to modify its project plan to be more mindful of the environment in the surrounding area of the proposed project. Before this intervention, its project titled “HUM-36 Three Bridges Project” was set to rebuild a bridge that went over Hely Creek at Van Duzen County Park. 

The original plans for the Hely Creek bridge would have negatively altered a half-acre of the forest, a six-foot-wide old-growth redwood, other large trees along with their root systems, as well as pruning sacred old-growth redwoods. We are pleased to announce that the liaison between Caltrans and EPIC has informed us that it will now be cutting the previous eight-foot shoulder down to a four-foot shoulder on the new bridge to preserve the lives of several large trees including the six-foot-wide old-growth redwood. 

In addition to this, their plans that previously would have impacted the root zones of another large redwood tree have been altered so that a temporary access road will not be intruding on them. In response to stakeholder input, Caltrans has modified its project of replacing a 93-year-old bridge on State Route 36 so that it is accessible to standard California legal trucks, without harming our first line of defense against climate change – old-growth trees. Thank you to all who submitted comments on behalf of preserving this incredible redwood!