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Interview with a Tree-sitter

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Message Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
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Photo:  View from the tree-sit (Photo courtesy Redwood Forest Defense)
Photo: View from the tree-sit (Photo courtesy Redwood Forest Defense)
(Image by Kollibri terre Sonnenblume)
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On June 9th and 12th, I interviewed Lupine, a tree-sitter who is currently participating in a Redwood Forest Defense campaign to stop logging at a site in Humboldt County, California. We spoke on the phone, and though we were disconnected several times by a weak signal, we were able to have a great conversation. Tree-sitters have always been heroes to me, and I really appreciated the chance to connect with someone from the newest generation to be out there fighting the good fight.

What follows is a partial transcript, edited for clarity. You can listen to the entire interview here.

Kollibri: So where did I reach you? Are you up in the tree today?"

Lupine: Yes

Kollibri: What's the view like from up there?

Lupine: The tree I'm in is kind of in the middle of the grove of trees that are still standing. So, it's nice. There's Redwoods on one side and a grove of Red Alders on the other side. The clearcut is a little bit down the hill. It's like 50 or 60 feet away and I can see it. And I can see the ocean from here. If I climb to the top of the tree, I can see pretty far south. I think I'm seeing Arcata Bay.

Kollibri: Wow, that's a beautiful view. I mean, except for the clearcut.

Lupine: Totally. Yeah, the clearcut is a trip. It means we have really good sunsets here because there's a really open view, but it also amplifies the freeway noise, and it itself is really horrible to witness.

Kollibri: So you've had the tree-sit up since about April 1, I believe?

Lupine: Yeah, that's right. It's not a joke. It's been 70 days today.

Kollibri: That was when Green Diamond, the local company, started to come in and log?

Lupine: They started logging out here in March and we discovered at the end of March and we set this up in response. Green Diamond does own a lot of land in this area but they are a massive corporation and they own-as you might be aware since you spent time in Oregon-they own many many acres of land in Oregon and Washington as well.

Kollibri: I've spent quite a bit of time in Humboldt & Mendocino counties over the last five years, working on farms there, so I'm kind of familiar with the area, but I hadn't actually heard of Green Diamond before. So that's private land you're on?

Lupine: That's right. These are private timber lands. Green Diamond owns hundreds of acres in Humboldt County, a lot of it in northern Humboldt County" This land is an indigenous village site named Tsurai and the closest settler town is now known as Trinidad.

Kollibri: "What kind of forest is it around there?

Lupine: It's a really beautiful mixed forest. A lot of it has been logged before. North of us is the protected Redwood National Park. The timberlands that we are here on is all second and third growth. It's Redwood dominant, but it's a mixed forest, so there's Sitka Spruce, Douglasfir, Red Alder, and regionally endemic Prickle Cone Pine.

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Kollibri terre Sonnenblume's articles are republished from his website Macska Moksha.  He is a writer, photographer, tree hugger, animal lover, and dissident.

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