>Friday, September 18, 1998
>©1998 San Francisco Chronicle
>Toppled Tree Kills Logging Protester in Humboldt
>First fatality in decade of activism
>Alex Barnum, Chronicle Staff Writer
>A young anti-logging activist was struck in the head and killed by a
>falling tree yesterday during a protest to block the cutting of redwoods on
>North Coast land owned by Pacific Lumber Co.
>It was the first fatality in more than a decade of contentious but mostly
>peaceful protests against the company's logging of ancient redwoods on its
>property in Humboldt County.
>David Chain of Austin, Texas, thought to be in his mid-20s, was one of
>about a dozen Earth First activists protesting logging near Grizzly Creek,
>one of the redwood groves that would be protected under the pending
>Headwaters Forest agreement.
>Accounts of the incident conflicted. An Earth First spokesman said Chain
>and others were trying to dissuade loggers from cutting down the trees when
>he was struck and killed in the remote area.
>"I'm not saying it was intentional. I'm not saying it was accidental. I
>don't know exactly what happened," said Darryl Cherney, the group's
>A spokeswoman for Pacific Lumber said the company's tree- felling crew was
>unaware that any protesters were in the area when the accident occurred.
>The company is "deeply saddened" by "what appears to be a tragic accident
>on its property this morning," spokeswoman Mary Bullwinkel said.
>"Pacific Lumber has one of the finest records in the industry. But despite
>all our precautions, a trespasser was apparently killed by a falling tree
>at one of our logging sites on our private property," she said.
>Members of the logging crew told Humboldt County sheriff's investigators
>that they heard yelling after a tree they were cutting knocked down a
>second tree and apparently hit Chain, said officer Janet Held.
>"They said they had no idea anyone was there," Held said. Authorities were
>investigating the incident, she said.
>The area had been the scene of a 12-day protest against the logging of
>redwoods near Grizzly Creek, in a ravine near the mill town of Fortuna,
>about 300 miles up the coast from San Francisco.
>On Wednesday, eight Earth First activists were arrested blocking a logging
>truck while protesting what they said was illegal logging in an area
>bordering Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park.
>Earth First activists said the company was violating logging restrictions
>while surveys were being conducted for the marbled murrelet, an endangered
>seabird that nests in old-growth redwoods.
>Bullwinkel said the work was being conducted in accordance with a timber
>harvest plan approved by the state Department of Forestry.
>The area is near Grizzly Creek, one of a dozen ancient redwood groves on
>Pacific Lumber land. The grove recently was added to those that would be
>protected in the $45 million Headwaters agreement approved by the state
David M. Walsh
P.O. Box 903
Redway, CA 95560
Office and Fax(707) 923-3015
Home (707) 986-1644
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