California Farm Bureau reaches agreement with Caltrans on Willits Bypass lawsuit




 EUREKA – Caltrans announced that it has come to an agreement with the California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF). As a result of the agreement, CFBF has dismissed its Federal lawsuit against Caltrans and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Under the settlement terms, Caltrans has agreed to cooperate with the University of California, Davis, and UC Cooperative Extension on a long-term UC study of how rangeland practices interrelate with wetland function.  The study will center on the Caltrans properties that will be managed and monitored for environmental mitigation purposes.  Caltrans will also meet with farmers and ranchers with lands adjacent to the Willits Bypass mitigation properties to address any questions or concerns they may have about neighboring State mitigation properties, and will provide CFBF with information regarding Caltrans’ processes and protocols for evaluating farmland impacts under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

“We are very pleased that we have come to this agreement with the Farm Bureau,” said Matt Brady, Caltrans District 1 Deputy District Director for Program/Project Management.  “These discussions have increased our understanding of each other’s needs, and we now have a stronger relationship as we move forward with the Willits Bypass Project, and with other projects in the future.”

The Willits Bypass Project will relieve congestion, reduce delays, and improve safety for traffic and pedestrians along U.S. Route 101 through Willits in Mendocino County.  This $210 million highway improvement project, now under construction, is funded by $136 million in Proposition 1B funds, the 2006 voter-approved transportation bond.

While the CFBF has dismissed its complaint, the claims of the remaining parties will continue to be litigated in Federal court until there is a judicial resolution, which could occur as early as this June.

For the latest information about the Willits Bypass Project, visit the Willits Bypass Project News, located at