October Luna Tree-sit Update

Recycled News ay903 at extra.lafn.org
Mon Oct 19 20:12:08 EST 1998

October Luna Tree-sit Update

Julia Butterfly Hill Now In Her Tenth Month of 
Continuous Ancient Redwood Occupation

As heated controversy over the recent death of activist David
Chain and the renewed use of pepper spray against non-violent protestors by
Humboldt County Sheriffs Deputies gains national attention, efforts by
forest activists continue to protect ancient redwood trees here in Humboldt
County. On Saturday, October 10 tree-sitter Julia Butterfly Hill will have
continuously occupied the 1000 year-old redwood tree known as Luna for 10
months. Her feet have not touched the ground since December 10, 1997 and
she states she is determined to continue her vigil.

"I gave my word to this tree, the forest, and to all the people that my
feet would not touch the ground until I had done everything in my power to
make the world aware of this problem and to stop the destruction," said
Hill, 24.

The tree-sit was initiated by Earth First! activists in October of last
year in an effort to spare Luna and the surrounding residual old-growth
stand from logging by the Pacific Lumber Company, and is the longest
occupation of its type in history. Butterfly's perch, 180 feet high in the
branches of the tree, is one of four tree-sits currently being conducted
within PL holdings. The company is seeking federal approval of a Habitat
Conservation Plan (HCP) that has been met with strong opposition by
Northern California residents and activists.

"This issue is far from resolved," said Hill. "Luna and the slope she
stands on will be destroyed under the Headwaters Forest Agreement and HCP,
along with hundreds of other similarly steep, unstable slopes and thousands
of acres of virgin and residual old growth."

On-ground support coordinator Robert Parker stated that the tree-sit has
been running smoothly. "We have managed to keep our supply lines open and
are working to prepare for the upcoming winter. Julia is in high spirits
right now and is a woman of incredible determination. As long as she
remains in Luna, those of us on the ground will continue to support her." 

A Message From Julia

"Everyone has thier own 'personal tree' to sit in. Life's circumstances
sometimes seem overwhelming, but we must remember the amazing power of
love. Just as the ripples in the ocean shape and form the land - from the
cliffs to the tiny grains of sand - so do our actions, words, and thoughts
shape and form our reality. Even more, ripples joining one another form
tidal waves that change the planet. If we make sure that our every thought,
word, and action are based in love then the ripples we create will bring
about positive change for a positive future."

More On the Luna Tree-sit 

In early October, 1998 the ancient redwood Luna will have been continuously
occupied for one year and forest activist Julia Butterfly Hill will mark
the ten month anniversary of her ascent to the platform high atop the 1000
year-old tree. Enduring El Nino storms, helicopter harassment, a 10 day
siege by company security, and the sorrow brought about by witnessing the
destruction of a forest her feet have not touched the ground since December
10 of last year. Yet Butterfly continues to persevere, inspiring people
around the world while continuing her struggle to save the last of the
ancient forests.

Throughout the course of this action, many events have transpired on the
ground, which will affect the fate of our forests for decades to come. From
legislation surrounding the Headwaters Forest Agreement to lawsuits that
have brought about temporary reprieve for old growth stands in the Mattole
River watershed, forest activists have been consistently faced with a
rapidly changing landscape, both literally and politically. Amidst these
developments the Luna tree-sit has continued to grow in scope, adapting to
meet the bigger picture issues that all of us, as defenders of the Earth,
must begin to address. The protection of Luna and the surrounding hillside
continues as a primary goal and purpose of the action. Yet those involved
in this almost year-long endeavor, especially Julia Butterfly herself, have
expanded their vision beyond Luna - to the ancient groves of Headwaters
Forest, the halls of government in Washington and Sacramento, and to the
very hearts and minds of people around the world.

Carrying Julia's message to the world to encourage people to take action
has become a focal point of the Luna tree-sit in the months since the
rally. Working in close communication with numerous organizations and
individuals this action has transcended its status as an isolated act of
civil disobedience. The effort has indeed become an important component of
the ancient forest campaign. From the development of internet based
information, to a national postcard campaign denouncing Pacific Lumber
Company's Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP), to continuing with massive
public outreach, both personally and through the media - Luna, with the aid
of on-ground organizers, has been utilized as a platform to inform and
influence. Julia has even participated in lobbying the California State
Legislature via cell phone during recent negotiations surrounding
appropriations for the Headwaters Forest Agreement, a first from a

Amidst determined and coordinated efforts by activists throughout
California, the Legislature's approval of the now $245 million
appropriation for the Headwaters Agreement on August 31 has now forced
attention to turn toward PL's HCP. Although permanent protection for the
Headwaters and Elk Head Springs Groves, and possibly Owl and Grizzly Creek
Groves has been secured, our over decade long struggle is not over. The
current Agreement and Habitat Conservation Plan are horribly inadequate in
terms of restricting logging and road building on steep, unstable
hillsides. Logging in these areas has been shown to increase the risk of
disastrous landslides, many of which have destroyed the property of small
private landowners in addition to the streams necessary for successful
spawning and rearing of California's endangered Coho salmon.

"Even with the new protections incorporated by the Legislature, Luna and
the slope she stands on will be destroyed under the Headwaters Forest
Agreement and Habitat Conservation Plan, along with hundreds of other
similarly steep, unstable slopes and thousands of acres of virgin and
residual old growth," said Butterfly. "The government once again has turned
its back on the local residents and the endangered species that it is
required to protect. We support the protection of habitat through public
acquisition where necessary, but not when attached to a Habitat
Conservation Plan that amounts to a license to kill endangered species."

As activists enter this newest phase of the campaign to protect Northern
California's forests and watersheds, the resolve of those working to
sustain the tree-sit grows daily. Still high atop Luna remains Julia
Butterfly. Still food and supplies are delivered day by day, mile by mile,
up into a tree which would not exist had it not been for the dedication of
a small group of determined activists and the support of a community. The
Spirit of Luna lives on, inspiring each of us to find the strength within
ourselves to do everything that we can to create a world where all beings
are treated with love and respect.

In Loving Memory of David Gypsy Chain

On September 17, 1998 forest activist David Gypsy Chain, 24, was killed
while defending ancient redwoods near Grizzly Creek against an illegal
logging operation conducted by Pacific Lumber Company. Our deepest sympathy
is extended to David's family and friends during this time of sadness. We
have suffered a great loss in his passing, but David's spirit will always
burn brightly within our hearts and in our resolve to never give up in
defense and respect for all life.

Headwaters Forest Information

For the latest information on how you can join in the fight to protect
California's ancient forests please see our Headwaters Action Alert (sent
as a seperate email message) or go to the action page at our website

Luna Media Services
PO Box 1265
Eureka, CA 95502
lunanews at humboldt1.com

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