from Save Little Lake Valley
Kim Bancroft is a writer, homesteader, and retired teacher who lives in Willits. She has been working to oppose the Caltrans Willits Bypass since The Warbler’s tree sit commenced in January. Earlier this month, Kim and Arcata resident Maureen Kane were arrested for locking down to an excavator in the Bypass southern interchange area, with Willits resident Steve Keyes being arrested as part of the same action. She chronicles the experience in detail on her blog, Urban Woman’s Guide Back to the Land, in a series of six very well-written posts. It is the most detailed chronicle of a Bypass protester’s experience of an action and their subsequent incarceration that anyone has written.
In the same vein, Will Parrish published the first in a series of two articles on his experience as a crane sitter in the Anderson Valley Advertiser last week.
Kim’s posts recount her experience of being locked to the excavator, her interactions with a kindly, God-fearing negotiating officer who believes God has commanded people to obey the government and that global warming is a farce, the experience of total surveillance that exists in jail, her sense of the injustice vis-à-vis the incarceration of other inmates for minor (or non-existent) offenses, the camaraderie among inmates, the solidarity she experienced upon being released, and much more.
This incident occurred on the third day that Red-Tailed Hawk has been perched on a stitcher, blocking Willits bypass construction and protecting critical wetlands. For some background read Red-Tailed Hawk High Up on the Stitcher for Second Day.
from Save Little Lake Valley
Crowd of supporters marches onto wetlands destruction site to resupply Red-Tailed Hawk, who has run out of food.
Saturday evening around 45 supporters of Red-Tailed Hawk’s occupation of a wick drain “stitching machine” converged on the site in what was precious wetlands in the path of CalTrans’ freeway project. Supporters walked onto the site unopposed until they reached CHP squad cars, when two officers emerged and tried to call a halt to the march. Supporters from Willits, Ukiah and beyond proceeded on the the stitcher in which Red-Tailed Hawk is perched. When he lowered a supply rope, they tried to attach bundles of food and water. CHP officers repelled the attempt three times, cutting the rope in the process.
With press on hand protestors quietly sat and reasoned with the officers to allow resupply to Red-Tailed Hawk, who has no food and very little water left. The officers refused and refused as well to reveal whether they were under orders to starve him until he descends.
by Red-Tailed Hawk / Save Little Lake Valley
“Red-Tailed Hawk,” aka Will Parrish (a local journalist), issued the following statement from his tree sit yesterday, May 20th, titled “The Greatest Gift Mondocino County Could Give the World is to Stop the Willits By-pass.”
On May 14th, I ascended roughly 70 feet into a 100-foot tall valley oak that stands in the path of the California Department of Transportation’s proposed six-mile freeway (“The Willits Bypass”) through Little Lake Valley. This tree, which has a nearly six-foot trunk and is covered from top to bottom with an intricate tapestry of lichens and moss, stands amid hundreds of ash trees in a lustrous grove in the north Little Lake Valley wetlands. The tree is certainly older than the State of California. It may be older than the United States of America.
Cross Posted from Save Little Lake Valley
Early on Friday morning, a new tree sit began in the path of Caltrans’ proposed Willits Bypass route. A contingent of roughly 20 Save Our Little Lake Valley members would meet with several key legislative staff people at the State Capitol—Alexis Podesta, Director of External Affairs for Gov. Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown, Gareth Lacy, Deputy Secretary of Communications & Strategic Planning and Brian Putler of the Business, Transportation & Housing Agency—hours later.
While we are unable to report on details of the meeting, we will say that Ms. Podesta was advised of the new tree sit and the message on its banner: “Gov. Brown, do the right thing, please (by telling the California Transportation Commission to cancel the funding at their Tuesday meeting in Los Angeles.)”
The tree sit is located in an Oregon ash grove north of Willits – part of the nearly 90 acres of wetlands CalTrans intends to fill, piledrive, and pave over in the Willits Valley, of which an unknown number would also be wick drained.
The tree sit is visible from Highway 101! It is approximately a mile north of the high school. It is located at around mile maker 48.5. The tree sitter, Condor, is perched in one of the only oak trees in the grove, a valley oak that appears to be several hundred years old.
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.
Pretty decent mainstream corporate media coverage from Dumpster Muffin to Warbler at Willits, with some sweet hippy mandolin jammin’ b-roll to boot. The cops are on their way so get on out there and lend a hand!
And be sure to check out this video compilation showing some of the destruction and grassroots resistance going on out there in Willits, California. Get out there and help if you can.
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.
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