California's High Speed Rail Could Significantly Impact 140-180 Parks, Wildlife Refuges, and Parcels of Protected Open Space.
Some of the protected resources that could be significantly impacted include:
Henry Coe State Park and its Orestimba Wilderness
Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge
Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge
Southern California State Beaches including: San Clemente, San Onofre, Carlsbad, Doheny and more
Cornfields and Taylor Yard Properties (yet to be developed State Parks in the City of Los Angeles)
Elysian Park (Los Angeles)
The High Speed Rail Draft Environmental Impact Report fails to adequately consider the impact on parks, wildlife refuges and protected open space
Federal and state laws require that the new transportation projects not harm parks unless there is no "prudent and feasible alternative to using that land; and the program or project includes all possible planning to minimize harm to the park, recreation area, wildlife and waterfowl refuge, or historic site resulting from the use." Not only are there often feasible alternatives to using protected lands (such as the Altamont Pass route), but the DEIR does almost nothing to indicate that everything has been done to minimize harm to those protected resources.
Major failures of the DEIR with regards to protected lands include:
No discussion of the quality of the impacts to protected resources. The DEIR simply tallies the total number total number of parks that would be highly impacted by the high speed rail and compares it to the modal alternative. This analysis gives equal weight to the impacts to a small city park as it does to a massive wilderness park such as Henry Coe.
No complete list of the names of the parks that might be impacted by the high speed rail. Because of this omission, the DEIR fails the most basic requirement of NEPA and CEQA by not identifying the impacts of the project.
No mention of the fact that the routes through Henry Coe State Park would violate the California Wilderness Act.
Defense of Place