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700 Acres Old-Growth Redwood Approved for Imminent Cut! Come to Base Camp/Send $

by Ben White (fwd) Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2002 at 5:43 PM
freedom@rockisland.com 360-317-5685

The federal and state government are at this moment releasing a letter to Pacific Lumber Company (PALCO) of Humboldt County, California that allows them to begin cutting seven hundred acres of the largest unprotected redwoods in the world. Called the E stands, these are the best unprotected trees of the 211,000 acres PALCO owns, the creme de la creme: trees 15' in diameter, some over 2000 years old, some groves perfect, unentered, no stumps - the forest primeval.

Dear Friends,

Over the last few years, I have contacted some of you to join in stopping

a particularly horrible act of aggression against the Earth and her

greater family. Such was the case with organizing swimmers to block the

sound-blasting of humpback whales in early 1998 as part of a Navy test of

their Low-Frequency Active Sonar (LFAS) and with recruiting 240

volunteers to don sea turtle costumes and hit the streets of Seattle to

block the meetings of the World Trade Organization.

This alert is even more urgent and your participation even more critical.

One of the greatest natural treasures on Earth is in imminent danger and

will be destroyed if enough people do now find it in their hearts to

respond and respond now.

The federal and state government are at this moment releasing a letter to

Pacific Lumber Company (PALCO) of Humboldt County, California that allows

them to begin cutting seven hundred acres of the largest unprotected

redwoods in the world. Called the E stands, these are the best

unprotected trees of the 211,000 acres PALCO owns, the creme de la creme:

trees 15' in diameter, some over 2000 years old, some groves perfect,

unentered, no stumps- the forest primeval.

Even though the trees are known habitat for the marbled murrelet and

other endangered creatures, PALCO is being allowed to cut these stands

under the deal struck for the Headwaters about three years ago.

Progressive-sounding "habitat conservation plans" or HCP's create

loopholes in the Endangered Species Act and give the company permission

to destroy hundreds of marbled murrelets even though their population is

crashing in California. Any cutting of trees must be suspended when the

murrelets come back to roost in the trees on March 24. So the chainsaws

and bulldozers are rushing to cut and drag these monarchs as fast as


For dealing with this and other assaults on our sacred Earth, we have

banded together into a new all-volunteer organization called the Natural

Guard. The idea is that we organize to protect life in our home towns-

whether the threat is chemicals in our bloodstreams, opposing war, or the

destruction of forests and rivers. We recruit our friends and families to

join in the "reserves" to be called up when needed. Our approach is to

fight like water- tenacious and non-violent opposition to the infliction

of violence to families and the Earth.

This particular fight brings every element of our current struggle on

Earth into focus: an irreplaceable natural treasure about to be

destroyed, a corporate villain bent on cutting and running, state and

federal governments happy to craft a deal if you have enough money and

lawyers, laws circumvented and sheer brutality used to curtail dissent.

Humboldt County Sheriffs have used pepper spray in the eyes and pain

compliance holds to torture forest defenders into surrendering. One of

the unentered groves about to be cut is just up the hill from where David

Gypsy Chain was murdered by a PALCO logger a couple of years ago.

This is the culmination of a seventeen-year old fight for the ancient

redwoods of California, ever since corporate raider Charles Hurwitz

staged a hostile takeover of Pacific Lumber Company with the help of the

infamous Michael Miliken and Ivan Boesky. He immediately raided their

pension fund, more than doubled the cut of timber, instituted clear-cut

logging and the subsequent dousing of the denuded land with herbicide

mixed with diesel fuel. Just before Christmas he closed the 104 year-old

mill in the company town of Scotia, not only taking jobs away from those

who worked there but their homes as well. Now, having silted the rivers,

poisoned the fish, shattered the forests, and destroyed the economic base

of Humboldt County, Hurwitz is preparing to announce bankruptcy for PALCO

and take his millions back to Houston.

Some say that the destruction of these ancient forests is a done deal and

that any opposition will be futile. Maybe so. The forests are on PALCO's

private property. Both federal and state permits have been issued.

Stopping the logging by climbing the trees and setting up platforms to

live on is exceedingly difficult- often the first branch is 150' up.

Many of us, however, do not see how we can sit and watch TV while the

last of the biggest trees on Earth and the creatures that depend on them

are wiped out. So we are mobilizing. We are calling on everyone who cares

to join us at either Grizzly Creek or Swimmer's Delight campgrounds from

now until March 24 to do everything peaceful in our power to stop this

cutting. These campgrounds are located 12 and 17 miles east on route 36

from the Fortuna junction of 101. We are setting up a kitchen and

training in tree climbing and survival techniques. We hope to make a

strong enough stand to buy time for these trees and the life they hold. A

California referendum is pending that would ban the cutting of old

growth trees, of which barely 3 percent remain.

To you now reading these words- I call on you. Come on down and join us.

Bring what skills you have- even if you are not prepared to get arrested

or climb trees, we badly need support people. Come with enough camping

gear and clothing to live in the woods for a month. Our goal is to put a

peaceful army of 1,000 souls in tree villages over the next month and

stop these trees from falling. For those of you who have volunteered

before to join others in defending the Earth, you know that there is

precious little else that brings such joy.

Don't come out of obligation. Do it for yourself, to refuse to acquiesce

in your heart to the surrender of the wild and wonderful. Be the


This is your wake-up call. Your presence is urgently requested.

What do we need? Just about everything, including:

Doctors Riggers Cooks

Survival Experts Lawyers media contacts

Funding Ropes cameras

tents climbing saddles cargo nets

tarps musicians food

warm clothes an office raingear

a camper Propane stoves helmets


>See you there. Please send this alert far and wide.

Love and Revolution,

Ben White

International Coordinator for the Animal Welfare Institute

home office: 202-337-2332

regional office: 360-378-8755

cell phone: 360-317-5685

email: freedom@rockisland.com

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful

committed citizens can change the world;

Indeed it is the only thing

that ever has!"

Margaret Meade

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