Sun, Dec 19, 1999 ; A1
Butterfly lands safely
By Carla Martinez
STAFFORD -- With the history of her two years living in a redwood tree
blood and mud on her hands and bare feet -- and the strong emotions of the
moment reflected in her grin -- Julia "Butterfly" Hill spent a surreal
first day on the
After her climb down, just sitting in a simple chair behind a table adorned
bright roses inspired a moment of reflection from Hill.
"This is for me, huh? I'm supposed to sit there? I haven't sat on one of
two years," she said
It was a time for rediscovering ordinary things -- she remarked how strange her
first car ride would be and spoke of how great it was feeling the earth
feet. But Hill kept focused on her unique protest and the fruits of her labor.
"To make magic happen, I had to give up a few things," she said.
That magic was coming to an agreement with Pacific Lumber Co. over the
preservation of the 200-foot tall, 15-foot diameter, 1,000-year-old tree named
Luna. The "few things" she gave up, if listed, would fill volumes.
"If there's one thought that will describe how we feel, it is glad it's
Director of Public Relations Mary Bullwinkel said. "It's a reasonable
brought this controversy to an end. What she was engaged in was an illegal
In March, PL made a $480 million agreement with federal and state
an old-growth grove in the Headwaters Forest to be turned into a public
But the deal did not include the land where Luna stands.
Hill's sit continued.
Negotiations finally ended with an agreement that both parties could
accept. Hill and
her supporters raised $50,000 to ensure the permanent protection of Luna and a
200-foot buffer zone as part of a Preservation Agreement and Covenant. The
money will be given to Humboldt State University to fund scientific research.
"We have reached this preservation agreement in order to end this
focus positive public attention on Pacific Lumber's very real commitment to the
environment, the community, and job preservation," PL President and CEO John
Campbell said in the company's public statement. "We are reaching out to the
environmental community with an outstretched hand, and hope that they will join
us in an effort to work together to preserve 1,300 jobs and protect the
Sharon Duggan, a San Francisco attorney for the Circle of Life Foundation,
emerged from Julia's experiences, said they negotiated for nine months.
close to a deal over the summer but it fell through.
"I think this is a very unique circumstance. In the end, reasonable minds
The attorney for PL was on vacation and not available for comment.
"I did have to draw a line. I could not sign away my rights, my beliefs, my
my morals and my truths," Hill said.
"I understand that this is a really big move for them, I understand that
this is not something that they would typically do. And I honor them for
being willing to do the
right thing," Hill added.
Hill's father, Dale Hill, didn't know she had climbed the tree until after
she had been
up there for a while. He waited for her at the foot of the tree Saturday
her down the mountain, along with about 10 supporters, where a group of about
30 supporters and reporters met her.
"I approached it one day at a time," he said, reflecting on the first
year didn't mean anything special to me."
In July 1998 he came out to see his daughter and climbed the tree. Once he saw
the beauty of the landscape, he moved to Garberville this past summer.
"I moved here more for the area than I did for the fact that she's living
in a tree,"
Hill's tree-sit was controversial all the way to the end.
One man, Patrick Lancilin, who lives on a ranch in Stafford tried to
disrupt the news
conference by yelling and waving a package of mail for Hill. Lancilin used
Headwaters rallies and provided parking space for Hill's visitors. That was
things apparently unraveled.
"You environmentalists are the biggest hypocrites in this whole thing," he
before rushing the news conference several times. He had to be tackled by
Lancilin was later detained by police and spent the remainder of the news
conference in a police car.
Tears ran down wind-reddened cheeks when Hill heard comments about her sit that
lasted for 738 days.
"The goal was when I first climbed up there, was that I wanted to do
the forest," Hill said. "There's no way of being in the presence of these
beings and not have a new understanding of who we are as people."
"No matter how controversial an issue is, no matter how intense, no matter
apart we seem, we can find our common ground," Hill added.
Times-Standard City Editor Nate Ferguson contributed to this report.
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