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>Date: Tue, 16 Jun 1998 18:35:55 -0800
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>From: Mark Bult <mark@enews.org>
>Subject: AP: Protest May Hurt Deal To Save Trees
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>Protest May Hurt Deal To Save Trees
>.c The Associated Press
>STAFFORD, Calif. (AP) - For six months, Julia Hill has lived on a plywood
>perch no bigger than a queen-sized bed, 18 stories above tree stumps the size
>of small cars.
>It's a record-setting act of defiance that has galvanized the struggle to
>defend what remains of a glorious redwood forest as old as Christianity.
>But her devotion to the forest may be planting the seeds of its destruction.
>With her unwavering opposition leading the way, environmentalists are now
>backing away from a deal to take the world's largest privately owned ancient
>redwoods - the Headwaters Forest - out of the hands of loggers and convert it
>into a nature preserve.
>Hill's attention-grabbing stunt has highlighted environmentalists' deep
>reservations about the $380 million cash-for-property Headwaters deal. If it
>falls through, Pacific Lumber Co. has vowed to begin logging.
>``Sometimes, by saving one tree, you might lose the forest,'' said Jim
>Youngson of the state Resources Agency.
>Hill's feet last touched solid ground Dec. 10, when she clambered to the top
>of the redwood she calls Luna, atop a ridge some 280 miles up the coast from
>San Francisco. Her tree - like much of Humboldt County - is owned by Pacific
>Below her is a landscape shaped by logging. Roads have been carved by
>tractors. Exposed dirt marks the spot where a landslide demolished several
>homes below. To the east, massive bandsaws at Pacific Lumber mills turn trees
>like Luna into tens of thousands of dollars worth of lumber.
>The Headwaters Forest - named for a spot where three streams come together -
>has become an environmental cause celebre since 1996, when 1,000 people were
>arrested at a mass rally. Last year, a videotape of authorities daubing
>spray in the eyes of protesters was broadcast worldwide.
>Two years ago, state and federal officials began negotiations with Pacific
>Lumber and its parent company, Houston-based Maxxam Corp., to save the uncut
>trees. They settled on $380 million in cash for the 7,500 acres.
>Congress has since approved its $250 million share. But state lawmakers have
>held up California's $130 million share, saying the deal doesn't go far
>The proposed agreement would permit logging within 30 feet of streams where
>the endangered coho salmon live - a ``glaring discrepancy,'' said state Sen.
>Byron Sher, who wants a buffer zone five times as wide.
>``All of us want to see Headwaters Forest preserved, but we don't want the
>salmon to go extinct as a result - and that's the tradeoff our government has
>made,'' said Kevin Bundy of the Environmental Protection Information Center.
>The deal has another big problem, environmentalists say. It allows the
>to log a section of ancient redwoods larger than Central Park in New York
>Charles Hurwitz, chief executive of Maxxam, says the deal he signed is the
>only one he'll accept. Either it stands or the trees fall, he told a board
>meeting last month.
>Losing the Headwaters deal doesn't worry Hill, who calls it ``a drop of water
>in the bucket of a man dying of thirst.'' Loggers have already cut 97 percent
>of the ancient redwood forest that once stretched for over 300 miles, from
>Sur to the Oregon border, she said.
>``We're at the point where we have everything to lose and nothing to gain,''
>Hill said from a lower platform 100 feet above the damp forest floor.
>Her position: an end to all logging of the ancient redwoods. ``Not one more
>old-growth tree,'' she said - the timber company can rely on second-growth
>``We're ignoring her,'' Pacific Lumber spokeswoman Mary Bullwinkel said.
>``We've been focused on keeping our local sawmills running and keeping people
>Hill's journey to the treetops began in 1996, when a near-fatal car wreck led
>her to believe that life as a bartender in Fayetteville, Ark., lacked
>On a journey west, the 24-year-old discovered the redwoods.
>Taking the nom de guerre Julia Butterfly, she began her tree sit, penning
>poetry on the backs of Ronzoni pasta boxes and Graham Treats packages.
>Atop Luna, 90-mph winds have lashed Hill's tent and storms have dumped 43
>inches of rain on the overhead tarp. She uses a bucket for a toilet, takes
>only sponge baths and relies on supplies ferried to her in the backpacks of
>Earth First! members.
>These days, two cell phones and a pager keep Hill connected to the world.
>Woody Harrelson has climbed the tree - the usual way is to use rock-climbing
>equipment to ascend and descend ropes hanging from her perch. Martin Sheen
>members of the Grateful Dead have called.
>Once, when a severe storm once caused Luna to pitch and writhe beneath her,
>Hill was prepared to die.
>``I gave myself up completely that night,'' she said. ``I let go of
>and said, `I'm here for the forest.'''
>AP-NY-06-16-98 0139EDT
> Copyright 1998 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP
>news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise
>distributed without prior written authority of The Associated Press.
David M. Walsh
P.O. Box 903
Redway, CA 95560
Office and Fax(707) 923-3015
Home (707) 986-1644

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