June 29, 2020--Underneath the Willits Bypass on the 101, lies a 2,087 acre wetland oasis. Compared to the hot, dry air and dusty, golden mountain sides that mark the arrival of summer, the Willits Bypass Wetland in Little Lake Valley feels like a different world. The plan to create the 101 bypass began all the way back in 1988. In 2002, CalTrans presented its first environmental impact Report for public comment. They received more than 400 comments from the public, over half requesting non-freeway alternatives. The Willits Bypass wetland is a result of the fight against the bypass and the compromises CalTrans made to those who opposed the new section of highway. After six years of mitigation work led by CalTrans and The Mendocino County Resource Conservation District, the ecosystem is thriving.