Data source
Date of text
04 Apr 2012
Original language


Type of text
National - lower court
Reference number
Court name
United States District Court,Northern District California
Alsup, W.

This environmental-impact litigation arises out of a proposal to widen Highway 101 through Richardson Grove State Park. The park is home to ancient redwoods 300 feet tall and thousands of years old, and the park shelters an abundance of wildlife, including the marbled murrelet and spotted owl.
The federal court has ordered the California Department of Transportation (DOT ) to redo its environmental assessment (EA) of a project to expand Highway 101 through a mile-long park containing the redwood trees up to 16 feet in diameter. Although the court denied plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, it remanded the action to DOT and issued a preliminary injunction blocking construction and contract solicitations for work on the project.
According to the court, the project maps DOT created were inaccurate in that they omitted and incorrectly measured certain redwood trees, raising serious questions about whether DOT “took a hard look at the effects of the project.” The court instructed DOT to draw up more accurate maps and procure the approval of a qualified engineer. Finding that the prepared EA violated the National Environmental Policy Act, the court gave DOT the option of revising its EA or preparing a full environmental impact statement.