Up a Tree
When Julia Butterfly Hill did it, it was a novelty. Now, it seems, it’s becoming a trend: young people taking to the trees to fend off logging companies. From Santa Cruz, Calif., to the Pacific Northwest, dozens of tree-sitters are living in the canopy to protect old-growth forests from the axe — so many that a cottage industry has grown up around them to provide food, water, clothes, company, encouragement, and publicity. Unlike the hoopla that surrounded Hill, most protestors receive little or no attention from the general public. Lumber companies know where they are but don’t quite know what to do with them. Pacific Lumber Company, which has seen dissent grow even among its own ranks for its practice of aggressively targeting old-growth redwoods for cutting, characterizes some of the logging protestors as eco-terrorists. Thus far, though, the company hasn’t taken any steps to remove the tree-sitters, and so up in the canopy, they are beginning to prepare for winter.