>Thursday, September 17, 1998 11:08 PM
>Environmental protester killed by redwood tree
>FORTUNA, Calif., Sept 17 (Reuters) - An environmental activist protesting
>against logging of old growth redwood trees was killed on Thursday when a
>redwood tree fell on him after being cut by loggers, officials said.
>David Chain, who was in his mid-20's, died after pleading with loggers from
>Pacific Lumber Co. not to chop down redwood trees near Grizzly Creek,
>outside the town of Fortuna, Darryl Cherney of the group Earth First! said.
>Cherney, a co-founder of the environmental activist group, said the
>accident occurred as Earth First! members were playing "cat and mouse" with
>loggers -- fanning out through the forest in hopes that their presence
>would deter logging of the world's largest trees.
>"They try to engage the loggers, they try to talk to them, or show them
>that they are there in hopes that loggers will leave the trees alone,"
>"We hope people won't think it's worth killing people to make a buck," he
>said, but added that often loggers ignore the tactic.
>"This is not the first time that a person has been hit by a tree, but it is
>the first time that someone has been killed," Cherney said. "I'm not saying
>they did this on purpose, I am saying that they did know activists were
>Officials at Pacific Lumber, a unit of MAXXAM Inc (Amex:MXM) . which owns
>200,000 (81,000 hectares) acres of California forests, said the death
>appeared to be "a tragic accident".
>"Pacific Lumber has one of the finest safety 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 private property," the company
>said in a statement.
>Pacific Lumber said the work crew "had no knowledge that this individual
>was anywhere nearby" and had followed safety precautions to the letter.
>Cherney said Earth First! targeted the Grizzly Creek area, about 300 miles
>(480 km) north of San Francisco, because it contained significant numbers
>of old growth redwood trees and was a habitat for the marbled murrelet, an
>endangered bird that depends on redwood trees for its nesting habitat.
>Pacific Lumber, which has long been the target of environmental protesters,
>has agreed to sell the government some 8,500 acres (3,400 hectares) of
>timberland for almost $500 million under a deal designed to save the
>Headwaters Forest, the largest privately owned stand of virgin redwoods in
>© 1998, Reuters
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