Tag Archives: treesit

Uprooted: What Fuels Such an Absolute Commitment to a Cause?

12 May

by Sarah Pike, Cross Posted from Aeon Magazine

Julia Butterfly Hill spent 738 days living in a 55m California Redwood tree in a successful attempt to prevent the clearing of surrounding forest. Photo by Eric Slomanson

Julia Butterfly Hill spent 738 days living in a 55m California Redwood tree. Photo by Eric Slomanson

One day last summer, a young woman looked down on a small crowd of vocal supporters and police officers from her hammock or ‘sky pod’, 60ft above an old logging road in Moshannon State Forest in Pennsylvania. The pod was tied to trees and anchored to a blockade across the road, so that anyone trying to move the blockade would release her in a dangerous, perhaps fatal, fall to the forest floor. Another activist on the ground had locked his neck to one of the lines anchoring her pod.

It was a familiar sight from protests against the logging of old-growth forests, but here the target was different. Workers who arrived for their shift that Sunday morning could not get past the blockades to attend to a 70ft hydraulic fracturing drill rig used to extract natural gas from the rock formations beneath the forest floor. ‘You’re adults, but you’re acting like children,’ shouted one of the officers. They had been called to the scene by EQT, the natural gas company that had leased mineral rights to the gas-rich Marcellus Shale that lies beneath a large portion of several northeastern states, including Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York. ‘We are peaceful protesters,’ responded one of the activists. Other officers stood by with assault rifles, waiting to see what would happen.

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Tree sitters blocking Willits bypass route pulled from trees

3 Apr
cross posted from The Willits News

Early morning scene at tree sitter Amanda “Warbler” Senseman’s tree just after she had been taken away in a patrol car. Will Parrish is sitting in the middle of Highway 101 in protest. (Photo by Steve Eberhard)

A large contingent of California Highway Patrol officers removed four tree-sitters Tuesday morning and was in the process of removing the remaining one at 4:30 p.m.

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Action Camp to Defend Little Lake Valley!

29 Mar


The California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) is attempting to construct a four-lane  superhighway through Little Lake Valley, otherwise known as Willits.

Caltrans Bypass Battle in Willits Heats Up As Activists Sit Down to Block Equipment

16 Mar

Willits, CA-Local residents say Caltrans tried to bulldoze their way through Federal and State regulations again in what has become a running battle over the planned Bypass highway around Willits in Mendocino County. Activists sat down in front of moving equipment and called Cal-tip to report violations of the International Migratory Bird Act after bird nests were found. This was the third time activists have blocked equipment since Jan. 28, when a tree sitter named Warbler Warblerwent aloft in a tall ponderosa pine at the southern end of the proposed construction site on Hwy. 101 just outside Willits to protest Caltrans’ Bypass.

At issue is protocol regarding required surveys for nesting birds in compliance with the Migratory Bird Act and a “jurisdictional wetland” damaged when Caltrans workers drove an excavator into the boggy area and it became stuck.

Treesit in California Against CalTrans Bypass

29 Jan

cross-posted from The Willits News, by Linda Williams

"Warbler," a Little Lake Valley resident, is now perched in a tree along the future Willits bypass footprint to prevent CalTrans from cutting down trees.

“Warbler,” a Little Lake Valley resident, is now perched in a tree along the future Willits bypass footprint to prevent CalTrans from cutting down trees.

A coalition of environmental groups staged a protest Monday morning along Highway 101 to protest the construction of the highway bypass around Willits.

Dozens of protestors from Earth First! joined with a newly formed Willits group called Save our Little Lake Valley in an effort to stop the planned tree cutting along the bypass footprint. In addition to picket signs, a local woman is now living on a platform nestled in top of one of the trees slated for removal. Picketers on the ground vowed to support her tree sitting protest for as long as it takes.

“CalTrans did not cut today, it was definitely a victory,” says organizer Sarah Grusky of Save our Little Lake Valley. “We plan to hold vigils as often as possible to keep a lookout.”

CalTrans has been working for the past few weeks, placing markers along the project right of way preparing for the contractor to begin work. The first significant work scheduled for the contractor is to cut the trees along the bypass route to prevent migratory birds from nesting in them. Tree cutting is expected to start within two to three weeks according to CalTrans spokesman Phil Frisbie. Continue reading

World’s Longest Treesit Campaign, Update from Bilston Glen

7 Jan

Bilston_3Yesterday, people involved in the campaign to save Bilston Glen sent an update stating, “We have new information from the Midlothian Council and it would seem likely that the road is being redirected along a different route, one that does not go through Bilston Glen. We have a map of the alternative route and it makes a lot more sense than any of the plans that we had seen before. We will not know until the spring what plan has been finalized for the road. They are also planning a lot of other development in the area so it is possible that the glen might still be under threat even if the proposed development is not the road.

We should have a lot more information in the spring. They are also considering building a new open cast coal mine somewhere near Rosewell, so depending on what is going on we may be joining in with that campaign as well. Keep in touch and we’ll let everyone know what is going on.”

The tree village is open for visiting and staying. Help is always needed in a variety of ways, from donating funds and supplies to attending Sunday Free Cafes in the glen and participating in the public outreach, education and demonstrations against the development in Midlothian Scotland. Continue reading

McKay Tract Tree-sitters Declare Victory

19 Jun

Cutten, Ca. – Monday, June 18th 2012 – After 4 years of continuous tree-sitting in the McKay Tract, Earth First! Humboldt is declaring success. Green Diamond Resource Company (GDRC) has sent paperwork to the Calfire’s forestry department, ending the clear-cut logging plan where the tree-sits are located. The logging company recently stated that it’s close to signing a deal to sell roughly 2,000 acres of the western McKay Tract to the Trust for Public Land. The Trust plans to manage the area as a community forest in a similar manner to Arcata’s community forest .

“These trees would have been logged in 2009 if we hadn’t gone up there, and the threat remained until now,” said forest defender Jeremy Jensen. “We are very relieved that there was a positive outcome, and that Green Diamond decided to do the right thing for this particular grove.”

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New Tree Sit in Tasmania

19 Dec

Check out the blog theObserverTree to get real time updates and offer support.

by CRAIG HOGGETT / The Mercury

Miranda Gibson of Still Wild Still Threatened in her new tree-top home in the Styx Valley. Picture: MATT THOMPSON

[On December 14, the Tasmanian forest defense group] Still Wild Still Threatened…set up a 60m-high tree sit-in at the TN044B logging coupe near Maydena inside the 430,000ha being assessed for reserve status under the forestry peace deal.

The “Observer Tree” will be occupied by SWST’s Miranda Gibson, who was one of two activists assaulted by workers during a protest in 2008.

Speaking to the media via mobile phone from the platform, Ms Gibson said she would maintain a blog and a web camera to broadcast to the world.

“It’s a different approach because one of our major concerns is that there is a misconception out there that the forest has been protected,” Ms Gibson said. “We want people to see what is happening in the forests.”

She said she was committed to staying on the platform until logging in 13 coupes inside the area being assessed for protection stopped.

Technical difficulties prevented Ms Gibson from speaking to journalists via video-link, but SWST expect the webcast to be up in the next few days.

Senator Bob Brown yesterday used his taxpayer-funded charter allowance to hire a helicopter to allow media outlets to photograph and film the tree-sit from the air.

He said Premier Lara Giddings and Prime Minister Julia Gillard were dishonouring their own agreement by allowing Forestry Tasmania to log the coupes.

“Their word is being clear-felled by what I judge is illegal logging. If this agreement has any legal force then this logging is illegal,” Senator Brown said.

“I didn’t write this agreement, I didn’t have anything to do with it, but the Prime Minister did and the Premier did. The Prime Minister wrote to me and said these forests had been placed in informal reserves.”

Forestry Tasmania’s general manager of operations Steve Whitely said the coupe was one of 13 being logged inside the assessment area that was identified by independent schedulers as necessary for supply contracts.

He described the protest as frustrating and pointless given that forestry operations would shut down for about a month from tomorrow.

“Forestry Tasmania needs to keep operating and we need to select some coupes that are suitable to meet our customers’ needs and we’re doing that while there’s a verification process going on,” Mr Whitely said.

Ms Kerr said that she would not be deterred by the Christmas shutdown. “I’ll stay up here and keep an eye on things and be here ready when they get back,” she said.



Coal River Mountain Treesit Updates

6 Aug


8/2/2011: After being a participant for 14 days on the still-active treesit at Coal River Mountain, WV, Becks Kolins descended the tulip poplar and was immediately apprehended. In their own words, Becks writes “I am not doing this because I am giving up but rather because I am taking the fight into jail and into the legal system”
Read the full arrest statement written by Becks Kolins in their own words HERE

Becks Kolins has been released without bail after being charged with trespassing, conspiracy and littering. Becks Kolins has also released a follow-up statement about their arrest and what is still to come with this protest: (Excerpt)

“Thank you all for your support; Catherine Ann and I relished in it while we sat, sometimes very bored, in our trees. Although Catherine Ann is up there by herself right now, she remains very strong, and will love the time this solitude will give her with nature. Please continue supporting Catherine Ann and Ramps as she remains in her tree and we continue to stop work on the Bee Tree Hollow Permit!!!

read the full statement here

Catherine-Ann Macdougal is doing well, according to her own words posted on the RAMPS update page.
“We need to fight boldly for our rights and for those of others. Or they will continue to be stripped away, like the forest from this mountain.”


Charges dropped on two treesitters fighting Scripps Biotech

18 May

Two others prepare for trial

By Everglades Earth First!

Treesit against Scripps Biotech in Briger forest as seen from a Ch 12 news helicopters

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida— Four activists with Everglades Earth First! (EEF!) attended a court hearing today, related to the treesits in an ongoing campaign to stop the expansion of Scripps Biotech facilities into the Briger forest.

Two of the four, Brandon Block and Courtney Claar, have had their charges dropped.

The others, Russell McSpadden, a current editor with the Earth First! Journal, and Rachel Kijewski, a climb trainer with Everglades Earth First!, were offered a plea deal barring them from the property and requiring psychiatric evaluations. They are preparing for trial. According to the affidavits from their arrest, a Joint Terrorism Task Force agent is involved in the case.

Despite these legal obstacles, the campaign to stop Scripps Biotech from expanding continues on several fronts. And these activists continue to be on the front lines. For example, on May 1, 2011, Kijewski authored a response to the Biological Opinion by US Fish & Wildlife Service regarding the protection of federally protected species in the forest.

The group is inviting support in the form of donations for their legal battles ahead.

To read more background stories from the fight to stop Scripps and save Briger forest, click here


[If you value these stories from the front lines of ecological resistance, help keep us around by subscribing or donating to the Earth First! Journal.]