Mishap in Calif. kills protester from Texas.
dstaples at livingston.net
Sat Sep 19 09:42:10 EST 1998
Mishap in California kills protester from Texas.
Environmental activist is hit by falling tree
By BILL DAWSON
Houston Chronicle Environment Writer, September 19, 1998.
A 24-year-old Texan who a friend said had traveled to California to
save the wildern6ss"
was killed Thursday by a falling tree while protesting redwood logging
by a subsidiary of
David N. Chain's death was the first fatality in 10 years of protests
against the timber
practices of Pacific Lumber Co. after it was taken over by Houston
Friends of Chain said Friday that he was from Austin and had lived in
Pasadena, but the
Humbolt County Sheriff's Department said he was from "Cold Springs,
a reference to the San Jacinto County town of Coldspring.
Chain and about seven others affiliated with Earth First! - a loose-band
band of radical
environmentalists - were on Pacific Lumber property to play 'cat and
mouse with the
logging operation , the sheriffs said one activist told investigators.
Environmentalists have engaged in practices commonly known by that name
for years in
their efforts to delay and obstruct company logging.
Fellow activists said Chain was involved in anti-Maxxam protest last
fall in California and
had returned there from Texas about a week ago to participate in more
"He was a really nice guy, a really committed guy who was great to be
around," said Chris
Symmank of Austin, who was with Chain during last year's protest
activities in California.
"He was trying to make some difference and save the wilderness out
The statement issued by the sheriffs department said Chain's death was
accidental and occurred after company employees had chased activists
from a logging area
about an hour earlier.
Pacific Lumber President John Campbell said the logger who felled the
tree that killed
Chain had seen no one in his area for "well over an hour."
Campbell said Chain's death was a tragedy and "shattering for our
work crew", who
worked more than three hours to free his body.
He said that "the leadership of Earth First! needs to come to its sense
and not send these
young people out into harm's way. Logging is a dangerous occupation."
Earth First! activists, based in Arcata, Calif., contended in a press
release, however, that
loggers knew protesters were in the area where Chain was killed "and
trees in their direction."
The California Legislature recently approved funds to clear the way for
the state and
federal governments to buy the 3,000-acre Headwaters grove from Pacific
become the core of a 7,500-acre preserve.
The fate of Headwaters, the largest remaining grove of ancient redwoods
still in private
hands, was at the center of a year of protests against the company.
Chain's death occurred in an area that Campbell said was separate' from
grove and other old-growth areas where logging will be prohibited as
part of the same deal
involving the Headwaters sale.
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