[Updated on 11/2/15 to clarify participation by Round Valley Indian Tribes, that cultural resources are avoided if possible or mitigated for, and add more detail to (c)]
On October 30, 2015, Caltrans was notified by the media that the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians and the Round Valley Indian Tribes sent out a press release outlining tribal complaints regarding the Willits Bypass project and announcing their intention to file suit against the Department. The Tribes allege that Caltrans knowingly destroyed historic cultural sites in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act.
These statements are factually inaccurate, and are damaging not only to this project – which will link Californians north of Willits to the rest of the state with a safe, reliable, and efficient route through Mendocino County – but also to the taxpayers of California, who will ultimately end up footing the bill for this unnecessary legal action. Continue reading