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Indybay Feature
Sat Jun 28 2014
Caltrans Willits Bypass Permit Suspended
Destruction of Little Lake Valley Wetlands Finally Halted After Many Permit Violations
In a move that stunned but was welcomed by long-time opponents, the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) suspended the permit for the Caltrans Willits Bypass on Friday, June 20. ACE is the agency that regulates impacts on federally protected wetlands. This project has been highly contested, with Native American involvement and over 50 arrests last year.

“This appears to be the first time ACE has ever pulled a permit on an approved project under construction,” said Ellen Drell, co-founder of the Willits Environmental Center, one of the project’s opponents. ”We are surprised and elated that ACE has finally acted, although we have been pointing out the enormous problems with Caltrans’ plans for years."

Over 50 people were arrested last year in protests to stop Caltrans' construction and advocate for alternative plans. In addition to the issues of wetlands destruction, a long list of violations of the Migratory Bird Act, Clean Water Act, and numerous permit violations and other habitat threats, it has come to the attention of local Tribes that archaeological sites were buried with new fill without Tribal consultation, as required by law.

Read More | See Also: Ceremony to Protect Wetlands Brings Together Environmentalists, Indigenous People

Previous Coverage: Occupation of the Willits Bypass on Highway 101 | Action Camp to Defend Little Lake Valley Established
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