May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 28

L AW R EV I EW

In the case of Bair v. California Department of Transportation,
a number of individuals and environmental groups alleged a
proposed highway project through a state park failed to comply
with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.

Environmental Review of State
Park Highway Widening
By James C. Kozlowski, J.D., Ph.D.

I

n the case of Bair v. California Department of Transportation, 982 F.3d
569, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 37604 (9th Cir. 12/2/2020), a number of
individuals and environmental groups (hereinafter referred to collectively as " Bair " ) alleged a proposed highway project through a state
park failed to comply with NEPA, the National Environmental Policy Act
of 1969, Pub. L. No. 91-190, 83 Stat. 852 (1970).
The federal district court had
determined that defendant California Department of Transportation
(Caltrans) had arbitrarily and capriciously relied upon a 2010 Environmental Assessment (2010 EA), as
supplemented and revised. Specifically, the district court held the 2010
EA had failed to sufficiently consider certain " significant issues. " Accordingly, the district court enjoined
Caltrans from continuing the project
until Caltrans " finalized an appro-

28	 Parks & Recreation

| M AY 2 02 1 | PA R K S A N D R E C R E AT I O N .O R G

priate environmental impact statement (EIS). " Caltrans appealed the
judgment of the district court to the
9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Save the Redwoods
Richardson Grove State Park (the
Grove) comprises approximately
2,000 acres within the redwood forests of southern Humboldt County,
California, and is bisected by United States Highway 101 (tinyurl.
com/9n5v7h5f).

Within the Grove, Highway 101
is a two-lane highway " on a nonstandard alignment " with tight
curves, narrow travel lanes and
roadway shoulders. A number of
trees, including old-growth redwood trees, abut the roadway as
it meanders through the Grove.
In light of antiquated roadway design, there are restrictions on the
types of vehicles that may travel
that portion of the highway.
Sixty-five-foot-long " California
Legal " trucks are permitted, but
industry-standard Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982
(STAA) trucks generally are not.
STAA trucks are longer than California Legal trucks and can carry larger cargo volumes, although


https://www.tinyurl.com/9n5v7h5f https://www.tinyurl.com/9n5v7h5f

May 2021 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of May 2021 - Parks & Recreation

May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 1
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 2
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 3
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 4
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 5
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May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 28
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May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 55
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 56
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
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