Monday, May 25, 2009

Richardson's Grove Issue Revisited.

I have wanted to chime in on the Richardsons Grove issue since I saw Kym posting about it, but have been otherwise occupied, as busy people are often known to be.

This issue is the same age old dilemma. It is similar to the question, “Would you kill a man to save thousands”. Many people would not, nor would they be able to, but they would suffer greatly as thousands died. Their consciences would be clear, because they were really not involved. That would be very little satisfaction to my way of thinking.

People want to “Save the Grove” because they have an emotional attachment to Redwood trees. If they really thought about it. Straightening the Grove would stop the thought of doing a bypass, which I can assure you would kill millions of trees. The east side of the river, where the road was originally planned, also has very unstable soil. You could look that fact up if you would take the time. It would take years to stabilize the soil, after much erosion.

Trucks already refuse to take loads to California because of our confusing rules. Many cities ban trucks, and many roads are not legal to take over length trucks. If you were a truck driver and hired on to take a load from Chicago to Eureka, and you wanted to see the Redwoods. You would take highway 101 north from San Francisco. You would get as far as Laytonville before you would see a sign that tells you that your over-length truck would have to turn around in approximately 30miles. Some trucks chance it and try to sneak through, because they have a commitment and a responsibility to deliver. Unfortunately most of the over-length trucks get caught by our more-than-adequate C.H.P. They then have to pay a fine and hire a special short-coupled truck to haul their trailer back south. No wonder a lot of truckers simply refuse California job loads.

In the near future trucks will all have to meet new standards. Most of the old beater trucks, that we have now, will be outlawed and abandoned. Most trucks won’t be able to come into the north coast. Think about it, if you were to purchase a new truck to haul freight, wouldn’t you buy one that could give you the most bang-for-the-buck. You would buy the truck that would be able to haul the most payload.

Back to redwood trees, my family goes back to 1857 in logging redwood trees, and making redwood lumber. I’ve learned a great deal about redwood from my family and my own experience. Dave Kirby is a very wise man for a newcomer. Somewhere along the way he educated himself. The knowledge is out there to those who will pay attention.

Two things will kill redwood trees, wet roots from the change of a creek-bed, or anything that will cause a swampy condition. And, root suffocation from dirt or gravel being placed over them. I have never seen a redwood tree be killed by cutting through the roots on a small portion of one side, as long as at least ¾ of the roots stayed unaffected. I challenge you to show me one that has.

Talk to some of the old families that settled in the south Ferndale Valley and find out how many years it took to kill the old redwood stumps. It is almost impossible to kill a redwood.

The reason the cost of the straightening project is so high is because the engineers are spending most of the time and money trying to deal with uneducated peoples emotions rather that the real project.

My suggestion would be to see how much that could be got from the project in other forms. As I’ve said, I’m very little concerned about the trees being damaged. It isn’t going to happen. What I think, is that a person should get something for the privilege of them fixing the road. Get thousands of new trees planted, in a like area, or some research done on why the trees died at Jordan creek. Would you read it if they did?

Like Kym Kemp, I am sincerely sorry if I sound evil, I don’t mean to be, but from a knowledgeable standpoint it sounds a lot like there is gobs of emotion about what is happening at the Grove and not enough reality. Get real! Get something good for the environment. Don’t try to force the project over budget. Don’t force the State to take ridiculous precautions. Get mitigation, like a person truly trying to benefit the environment. You only have to make a small sacrafice, and you can have most anything that you ask for.

When they straighten it anyway, you are going to kick yourself for not getting something good out of it. I would!

39 comments:

silence do good said...

Hey Ernie,I had the awsome pleasure one year working reggae, of riding my Specialized Rockhopper
down the 101 from Richardson Grove
to the old enterance at French's Camp at 3am. Not one truck or car,
just the Redwoods and the highway and one sweet cruise, dude, if I may be so bold,anyways, my fondest reggae moment since sleeping on a cot in da Eel.talk about bonding w/a river, ps Thanks for the web insight ,highndsight,bullshistory & the like.

Bunny said...

Dave's been here 31 years... is that really still a newcomer??

Carol said...

Bunny, I think if someone has been here for 31 years, they are called an oldtimer. Right, Ernie?

Ernie,I thought a bypas around the park would be best, until I read your post. However, what about installing stop lights in the narrow sections?

Ernie Branscomb said...

S D G,
I am glad that you enjoy our trees. I don't ever want anyone to get the impression that I don't love the Redwoods. I love them like they were a part of me. Even though it was Mother Natures choice, I was heart-broken when the Dyerville Giant fell in a storm. I'm glad that Maxxam is gone, and I am elated that Hurwitz no longer owns redwoods. I wish that there was a responsible redwood lumber industry though.

I was raised when living off of the land was part of life. We ate a lot of deer and fish, we ate out of our garden. We raised and killed our own livestock. We were responsible stewards of our land. Now, I am worried that the American economy has been sold away by our irresponsible politicians. I often wonder what China would do if they owned our redwoods. I have a feeling that they would be less considerate than Hurwitz. We need to keep our economy strong so L.A. or China doesn't take us over. I think that we are disenfranchising ourselves by not being responsible about keeping the North Coast strong and independent. I feel us slipping away. We need usable roads. Not golden brick roads, but usable and legal.

If we are responsible stewards of Richardson's Grove, S. D. G. will be able to ride his bike through there in the middle of the night from now until he tires of it, and unless someone showed him what was different, he would never know.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Bunny,
Dave would be an awfully good example of how long some people would have to live here to get a clue. Dave is a Sharpie, and catches right on. Some people never get it. Also, Dave has open mindedly educated himself. I wish I could count the times that I heard people say "I don't want to read all of that stuff about redwoods, all I know is I don't want any hurt". Sadly their ignorance of availible facts is what is most likely to kill them.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Carol
I really feel that straightening the Grove is the most environmentally sound plan to give the North Coast a legal road. I've even read all of the information that is available, and added my genetic knowedge.

spyrock said...

well, i learn stuff here all the time. ive got a cedar that is pushing up my sidewalk and i was thinking of cutting the root out that is pushing it up so it sounds like i won't kill the tree. also, i have a redwood from up your way at my dads house and its got roots up over the lawn and i just started to cover them up. so i will just stop doing that so i don't kill the tree. as far as being a newcomer, i'm a 4th generation native californian and my daughter is a 5th generation native. john was born in 1864 in marysville and laura was born in 1865 in cahto/long valley. but if you count all the indigineous people that have lived here thousands and thousands of years, i guess to some people we will all always be newcomers.

kymk said...

Spyrock, well said.

Carol, my memory of the bypass was that it was going to cause a whole sale slaughter of some beautiful trees. The realignment has been the result of years of working out innovations to make the road usable by the bigger trucks while having almost no effect on the Grove.

spyrock said...

This issue is the same age old dilemma. It is similar to the question, “Would you kill a man to save thousands”. Many people would not, nor would they be able to, but they would suffer greatly as thousands died. Their consciences would be clear, because they were really not involved. That would be very little satisfaction to my way of thinking."
i just found out that two distant relatives died at the hands of wylackie john wathen back in the day. "wathen's outward kindness was the very opposite of the interior soul of this man, as unscrupulous a man who ever lived. it was said that he had no conscience for right or wrong. he could be described as a robber, a poisoner, an arsonist, a perjurer, and a murderer. he was an absolute genius for planning evil, and employed all his talents with tireless energy in the interests of his master, george e. white. as soon as someone came to the country to live, he would post a man on the same property with the instructions to shoot the newcomer and wathen would then provide either an alibi or a case of self=defense. if he found himself in debt to that person, that person died and when white''s buckaroos grew restless and thought about talking, they died, and the danger of speaking out was soon understood. wylackie john was a valuable man for george white to have around, it assured white of getting anything and everything his greedy ambitious heart desired."
this distant relative set out to kill wylackie john and went up against george white's buckaroos who killed him. it was probably someone who wylackie john paid that burned down the simmerly barn and haystack that wound up dead afterwards nearby. its a wonder that i'm still alive after going after the local yocals back in the day. i usually follow the path of least resistance these days, but if you don't stand up to evil who will. papa joe downey fought to get rid of the last stop light on 99 and the underpass than killed one of his best friends not to mention all the other people who had been killed trying to cross the freeway. it took about 30 years but i guess thats par for the course according to ernie for newcomers to understand things. its been 5 years since joe died but he lived to see that stoplight come down and they are still making overpasses nearby.
all you gotta do is fight dude. if you got the time. it might take you 30 years to getherdone.

Anonymous said...

I drive through Richardson Grove now and then and can't see any problems there. The road is still the same as it was 60 years ago and most didn't have power steering and air conditioning in those days. So what's the problem?
I used to drive over South Fork Mountain every weekend and the East side was still dirt so I had to watch as far ahead as I could to spot logging truks so I didn't have to back any father than I had to. Not a problem.

I talked to a guy back in the early 80's that moved here from god knows where and had a house built on the ridge above DeHaven Creek by the Branscomb road and was bitchin' because they hadn't built a 4 lane road from his house through Dos Rios and to rhe Sacramento Valley. I'm still wondering about that guy.

I used to catch a ride on the Foremost truck ( set of doubles and a conventional tractor ) and we took both sides of the road going over the half bridge North of Laytonville. I don't remember anybody crying about that.
Now I will give my definition of a "old timer", at least second generation. You can live anywhere for a 142 years but if you moved there from some place else you will always be a newcomer.

Oregon

Ernie Branscomb said...

Here's a dated but pertinent article from Discover Magazine, written back when there was still some logging going on. It has some interesting details about redwoods, including how really hard they are to kill.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Oregon,
You have a real good grasp on the problem. The latest round of newcomers have decided that you can't drive through the grove safely, so they have banned large trucks.

The people that move here all love the place to death, but they won’t educate themselves at all. It’s not fair that Humboldt County is kept away from safe reliable truck freight.

Just so you know, your ancestors go back to 1857 in the South Fork of the Eel, and you were born in the Garberville hospital, that proves that you couldn’t possibly know about the real world out there, and the newcomers know best. So stop trying to give them advice!

Anonymous said...

Just another friendly thought here, how many that have been here for 31 years or 41 years can remember the 3 plus hour drive to Eureka from Garberville during the tourist season?
I even used to bitch about that one. LOL

Oregon

Anonymous said...

Well back in the GOOD DAYS there was not a real hospital. Doctor Lowen had his office there and when someone went in to see the doctor Jan the nurse had to call him in from the horse pasture which was next to the doctors office. There was even ash trays in the lobby that got used. Things got on a uphill swing when we got a second doctor in town. Doctor Phelps moved in with his boys and a big saint bernard. I did'nt know dogs got that big. I remember we had to roll up the truck windows when the big dog come over to check our tires out. Well it was high time with two doctors, one could be shoeing his horse or patching up one of the wounded animals us kids would take to him. On the other hand Doctor Lowen would be on hand when Doctor Phelps was home doing the butchering of one of his sheep.

Oregon

Carol said...

I appreciate all of your collective wisdom. I can see that the bypass would not be a good idea considering the fragility of the land there. Yes, I have seen the light.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Carol
Welcome to our little world. Get used to the fact that few people will agree with us. In return we won't ask you to kill anyone to save thousands, Okay?

kymk said...

Ernie, the Discover Magazine link is broken.

Anonymous said...

ernie is right, trucks are changing. just look at our daughter state of nevada where they allow triple rigs and triple articulated busses. some day you are going to see the boys and girls in sacremento pass a regulation or rule that will allow triples in california.
just can't wait intell the state tells the counties that they will have to foot the bill for the widening of intersections so that commercial commerce can be brought to their domain.
but ernie and kym have it right on the richardson grove project. responsable growth is needed, and although i write this from palm springs way south of you folks, i as a citizen look forward to your efforts to preserve your part of the state as you see fit.

Carol said...

I am already use to people not agreeing with me, especially on the Humboldt Blogosphere!

:)

Ben said...

Well I guess I'll slide in here with my view.
Ernie... It ain't preservationists who limit truck size in the grove. It's the Highway Dept. The problem with redwoods is not that they don't grow back. It's that we cut them as soon as they get 12 or 16 inches DBH. They never see 100 years. The environmental pitch opposing the Grove widening is not cutting trees as few will be cut. Rather it is that opening the County to larger trucks will tremendously increase thru traffic on 101. That we will be subject to gazillions of trucks heading to and fro to Oregon. I live across the river from the freeway and after 38 years (I too am a newcomer) I hardly hear them. Until the recession, Evergreen was running at least 100 loads of pulp up and down 101 every day. I didn't hear anyone objecting. No one seems to miss them either. Living where I do, I would like to ban Harley Davidsons from Humboldt County but I think it would be rather unpopular. Oh well, I guess I'll just learn to tune them out.

Anonymous said...

Ben, 5:44 PM,

Dangit Ben I like you already. I'm not into the saving of more redwoods as I didn't like the way my world changed about 1968 in Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity. I think most of the newcomers here now days, like the last 35 years or so, don't like the change they see in their new world either. Get used to it.
I stopped in Garberville last Wednesday and went into Browns Sporting goods and it felt good and familier. I used to buy my boots from Bill Brown and I bet most don't even remember Bill. Now I always liked ol' Bill and bought my clothes and boots there but I did git my ammo across the street because I didn't need the green stamps and Darrell always gave me an extra box of 22 bullets when I bought the 500 pack. Now I remember bitchin' about the price too. Darrell always hooked me for $8:00 for my 550 rounds but like I said, I had no use for green stamps.

Oregon

Anonymous said...

Well I guess I'll slide in here with my view.
Ernie... It ain't preservationists who limit truck size in the grove. It's the Highway Dept. The problem with redwoods is not that they don't grow back. It's that we cut them as soon as they get 12 or 16 inches DBH. They never see 100 years. The environmental pitch opposing the Grove widening is not cutting trees as few will be cut. Rather it is that opening the County to larger trucks will tremendously increase thru traffic on 101. That we will be subject to gazillions of trucks heading to and fro to Oregon. I live across the river from the freeway and after 38 years (I too am a newcomer) I hardly hear them. Until the recession, Evergreen was running at least 100 loads of pulp up and down 101 every day. I didn't hear anyone objecting. No one seems to miss them either. Living where I do, I would like to ban Harley Davidsons from Humboldt County but I think it would be rather unpopular. Oh well, I guess I'll just learn to tune them out.
Bullcrap.

Anybody who does longhaul knows that you wouldn't pull 101 going North, even out of the bay area. I-5 to 97 run the ridge to 58 back to I-5.

Don't be retarded and say what ever comes to mind. And this is coimg from someone who have driven a large truck across the Golden Gate bridge, we just don't pull routes outta our asses at whim. If we would enter Humboldt County, it would be for a reason, not whim.

100 loads of pulp. That's 4.5millon pounds a day. Please stop smoking the good stuff.

Ernie Branscomb said...

Anon 10:25pm
Sounds like we got ourselves a trucker wiggling on the line.

So, let me pose a question to you. Say the economy turned around, and you got a good contract hauling light freight into Eureka, and no matter how much freight that you put on your truck you couldn't break the scales. The company that you work for drops your loaded trailer in Ukiah, because that is the best point for both of the drivers to make the flip flop in one day. Which route would you Pull out of your ass, and how big a truck would you want? Would you want a new truck that didn't give you maintenance problems? Remember you get paid for the freight that you haul, not how much time you waste.

I used that example, because that was the same exact route that we got our Sears freight when we owned the Sears Catalogue store.

Anonymous said...

So, let me pose a question to you. Say the economy turned around, and you got a good contract hauling light freight into Eureka, and no matter how much freight that you put on your truck you couldn't break the scales. The company that you work for drops your loaded trailer in Ukiah, because that is the best point for both of the drivers to make the flip flop in one day. Which route would you Pull out of your ass, and how big a truck would you want? Would you want a new truck that didn't give you maintenance problems? Remember you get paid for the freight that you haul, not how much time you waste.

I used that example, because that was the same exact route that we got our Sears freight when we owned the Sears Catalogue store.
So a Eureka to Ukiah turn? Doesn't matter which truck I'd like, because in 2010-2012 all trucks in California have to have the new EPA engine, which means all trucks that are in California have to be 2007 or newer or they have to leave within three days.

If you where doing a turn, that means you would be returning home after each day so you could get away with a day cab. Still it would have to be a new day cab. But let's just say that wasn't the case, and I was just passing through on a longer run, which a low volume store would have more than one stop in a trailer. I'd go right up 101.

Truck drivers are paid per mile, not per hour in most cases, and with the newer trucks, they are clean as a new car and have a fuel mileage per ton of freight moved that makes a hybrid look like a gas hog. People who think "well, it has worked before" don't seem to understand that in three months, all the engines on reefer trailers will have to be changed to a new CARB rule, in less than two years, all trailers entering California will be changed to California only specials, and that in less than 3 years all tractors will have to be 2007 or newer (or meet EPA 2007 standards)

These changes are not cheap. People will not be able to service Humboldt County from the south, because they will not be able to update their 48 foot trailers to the new codes, or the cabovers are dead and outdated. You will have to swap trailers or tractors in the south to move freight north, which means another truck will have to deadhead or bobtail to the south, drop and hook, or even change trailers which means storage and reloading....

It's bad for the environment not to update the road. And the costs will get higher and higher to ship freight in or out of Humboldt County, which is already some of the highest costs in the nation.

If this doesn't change, you can be looking at over 5 dollars a mile very soon for freight in Humboldt County. More for food because of the higher storage costs to change trailers/loads.

Ernie Branscomb said...

"It's bad for the environment not to update the road. And the costs will get higher and higher to ship freight in or out of Humboldt County, which is already some of the highest costs in the nation."

Whoa, Goood answer!!!

Do you know how many people don't know that? But, they still think that they should have an opinion.

capdiamont said...

Thanks Ernie, for such a great post. It seems the other side is pretty closed minded.

Robin Shelley said...

Well, I think now that I'm here we should build a gate across the highway & not let anyone else in!
Mi, mi, mi, meeeeeeeeee!

Anonymous said...

Here is something to think about, the 2010 EPA truck engines are going to be so advanced that they will be cleaner than most cars. Using Bluetec or advanced EGR they will have 100x better emissions than the trucks from 2000

Ernie Branscomb said...

"the 2010 EPA truck engines are going to be so advanced that they will be cleaner than most cars."The new trucks will be a huge investment, and our freight cost will go up. I find that reasonable and acceptable. I don't mind an expense like that to help make a remarkable improvement in the air we breathe. But, I think that the whole world should be held to the same standards. We shouldn't allow goods, that are manufactured in China for a bad example, to come into our country when they have no standards for clean air. If Americans are allowed a level playing field, I know that we can out produce the rest of the world easily.

Unless the roads in Humboldt county are repaired, and fair trade laws with other counties are enforced, our fancy new trucks will be “all dressed up with nowhere to go.”

Kym said...

Anonymous, I appreciate the time you took to write that information. It was very helpful.

spyrock said...

am i getting this right. y'all want to increase the size of trucks passing through a redwood grove. or just allow trucks to pass through. since your main crop is maryjane these days, no wonder you seem to be surviving.
or is it that you want to ship out more pot cheaper at the expense of the few remaining old growth redwoods. i got my copy of mendo remembered volume one and there is a big picture of them chopping down a huge redwood tree with axes. well ben is right, they aint letting no damn trees live to be 100 years old. so you want to chop down the rest of the old guys for who, sears roebuck. don't tell me that.
i'm all for banning harleys off our roads as well. most people riding harleys these days make over 50g's a year otherwise they couldn't buy one. every lawyer, dentist, and retired school principal has one. it ain't like the old days when the bikers thought that spyrock was one of them because he had covelo blood running through his veins. its fairys on wheels these days. so what i would do is wish for a fairy to create your blessed bypass or straight shooter. these guys are like the elks or kiwanas these days. the next thing you know, there will be a 3 lane freeway through richardson grove both ways and nobody would be the wiser.
i would write a letter to arnold and tell him that humbolt weed is the best and can he help with the roads getting the best out to market. the truth will set you free and straighten out your roads.

Jeff Muskrat said...

Ernie,

Stop beating a dead horse to death.

We all know how Redwoods produce.

The trouble is, it takes thousands of years for trees to get that big.

silence do good said...

Hey Ernie, thanks for the feed back.I,ve lived on the Mattole,& on that beautiful hill,way across the river & the free way, and the Inn ,on your website here.Oh, yeah and down below ,just up the hill a little from Fish Creek & I,ve actually got some inlaws w/ a little BShistory in Latonville, I trully love the area down there where you folks are, and value all the info here and have noticed some changes in 21 years, I live in Oregon.I've also spent some time in Ettersberg just walking down the road. ps try that nocturnal ride down the 101 one if you haven,t in years.ps,thank you for your honesty.SDG

Anonymous said...

Jeff Muskrat said...
Ernie,

Stop beating a dead horse to death.

We all know how Redwoods produce.

The trouble is, it takes thousands of years for trees to get that big.

May 29, 2009 4:09 PM
Stop spreading lies, it does not take "thousands" of years. Why dirty hippies claim this is beyond reason. They do this with everything. Half-life of this is BILLIONS of years and the Iraq war has killed TRILLIONS.

More people have died from Breast Cancer in a year in the US than the Iraq war, total.

Cristina said...

Anon, the fact that more people die from breast cancer in a year than have died in Iraq doesn't mean jack. It doesn't justify Iraq, does it? That's a loopy argument with no logic in it whatsoever.

Back to the topic at hand... I think the economic argument is bogus, because it assumes that having an STAA-standard road will automatically lead to big boxes springing up and multiplying just like that - POOF! There already ARE big boxes in HumCo (Target, Costco, Kmart). It's up to the individual cities and governments (VOTERS!) to prevent the rise of any more. Whether or not the road is there is largely moot; if they really want to be here, they'll get the merchandise in SOMEHOW.

Anonymous said...

Wow Cristina, I was just braggin' to Ernie Branscomb about how I keep up on his blog but I think I missed something here. Cristina, I have two daughters, lots of cousins, aunts and a couple of ex wives, all female. None that I know have died from breast cancer. But what I read here is you compared the Iraq war to our homeland. I do know more americans die on our roads every month than has died in Iraq in the last 6 years. I will take it a step farther, more people died in Chicogo last year from guns than all of Iraq AND Afganistan. All I can say Cristina, is instead of handing out money is hand out more bullets.

Oregon

suzy blah blah said...

the fact that more people die from breast cancer in a year than have died in Iraq doesn't mean jack.

--it means jill.

Cristina said...

Oregon, I still don't understand your point. More people die of hunger and thirst than die on our roads; that doesn't mean that accidents aren't a problem and we should just give up on preventing them. I stand by my previous statement: your logic is loopy.

Anonymous said...

Big Boxes is the GREAT SATAN? What about the newest engines in Diesels that are cleaner than your 1985 Volvo? This isn't about the big boxes, this is about the ENVROMENT. Anyone who says any different is a liar and a scumbag.