To the Editor:

On March 2, Tony Smithers, Executive Director of HC Convention and Visitors Bureau (The Independent, Mar. 9) crowed to Supervisors about our county’s good occupancy and room rates. Tourism industry accounts for 4,770 jobs on the North Coast.

Smithers utilized the recent National Geographic Redwood Report as central to advertising. Not shy about how to “brand” this economic engine of Humboldt, Smithers includes: “Redwoods, redwoods, redwoods, now with 30% less fog.”

Smithers is clear about our greatest asset that draws people and their money to Humboldt. Are the Supervisors blind to our gateway, our #1 icon of Humboldt: Richardson Grove? Does Smithers know it is endangered?

Now in an amazing healthy balance with 101, Richardson Grove will be treated to root-cutting of 40-60 ancient redwoods. Can anyone say what the damage could be? You don’t need all your 10 toes, do you? We can cut off 2 or 3 toes and… you’ll be fine. And when the storm winds blow…

How will our redwood “brand” look when toppled and blocking our “new” widened 101? Will the tourists still come?

Dr. Lauren J. Oliver


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