To the Editor:

With all due respect to Planning Commissioners Kreb and Emad they would have been better served to refrain from making comments that show a lack of factual knowledge or more alarmingly – a lack of common sense. I refer to their comments at the February 10 Planning Commission meeting in relation to the Richardson Grove project.

To counter Commissioner Kreb’s statement that, "I don’t believe you can kill an old-growth redwood by chopping at its roots", I offer the opinion of an expert, HSU Professor Steve Sillett:

"Cutting woody roots of redwoods leads to decline and often die-back of the treetop and other portions of the crown, depending on the number of large roots cut and the proportion of the rooting zone impacted by construction. I have studied redwoods for many years, and my repeated observations of large redwoods near construction sites have convinced me that cutting large roots is a BAD IDEA if maintaining tree health and vigor is a goal. Surely one of the primary goals in Richardson Grove State Park, as in all of the redwood forests protected within our region, is maintenance of redwood tree health and vigor. Thus, I urge Caltrans to abandon plans to widen Highway 101 in a way that necessitates cutting woody roots, because this will greatly compromise Richardson Grove State Park’s goal of protecting the giant roadside trees in this magnificent forest." (Go to: Volume 2 of the FEIR, Responses to Comments, p.767, for Stephen Sillett’s letter:…)

As to Commissioner Emad’s comments about transporting 1500 truckloads of nuclear waste on ANY Humboldt County road- is this really a good idea? Don’t you think it would be far more practical and safer to transport such dangerous cargo via ship – for example via the newly proposed "Marine Highway?" Where would these truckloads be headed in any event? To date, no facility has yet been established for the storage of spent nuclear waste.

Barbara Kennedy


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