Action report from the frontlines of the continued fight in Northern California to stop logging of the ancient Mattole forest.
Yesterday, tree sitter Erin Reed, known as “Pascal”, was caught on the ground by private security while trying to defend the Mattole forest on Rainbow Ridge. His passion to defend the forest led to him taking up residence in a large Douglas fir, sleeping on a wooden plank high above the forest floor in the threatened forest stand designated as “Unit 1” in Humboldt Redwood Company’s “Long Ridge Cable” logging plan (1-12-026HUM).
“I was trying to save as much virgin forest as possible” he said “Unit 1 is entirely virgin forest. Now I don’t know if it will be cut.”
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Today, #treesitter Pascal was arrested after seeking relief from the wet weather on Rainbow Ridge. This daring #forestdefender was chased and then jumped on by a security guard after tumbling down a steep slope with his hiking backpack on. During his two week stay on a #woodenplank in the #treetop he located another #sonomatreevoles nest in a small cave at the top of the tree. The fresh needles indicate the nest is actively being maintained. Heavy fog moved in to the area a few days ago, causing the canopy to rain down moisture collected in the #bristley needles of the Douglas fir. This is part of the importance of the #ridgetop #groves, collecting moisture from clouds even in the dry months of summer. (Editors note: In previous editions of our esteemed publication we erroneously referred to him as Pasqual. He corrected us yesterday.) #savethemattolesancientforest #climatecrisis #defendtheearth #earthfirst! #extinctionrebellion #humboldtredwoodcompany #getredwood #diyideas #treehouse #canopydweller #fsc #forestsarecarbon #piscesfoundation #sansomepartners @getredwood @fsc_us
He says the wet weather had forced him down after two weeks in the treetop where he endured the elements and aggressive employees of Lear Asset management, who alternated between assuring him that unit 1 won’t be cut and trying to deprive him of sleep and support from friends who attempted to bring him supplies.
When asked why he took this action, Reed said, “In my opinion, sections of forest that have never been logged are worth protecting, even if they are adjacent to areas that have been logged before. HRC, Lear, and the loggers up here seem to think that such untouched areas, even if 300 acres or more, are no longer virgin forest or worth protecting because they are next to logged areas. These intact parcels are homes to numerous species that depend on them. One day, hopefully, the logged areas can be restored and combine with the untouched areas to once again create a vibrant, healthy entire ecosystem that in my eyes the Mattole is meant to be.”
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Folks rallied at Monument Gate again yesterday, opposing #humboldtredwoodcompany 's #ecocidal #deforestation on #rainbowridge. They attempted to hand off #nutritiousfood and water to @getredwood 's security guards in the hopes they would deliver them to Rook and Pascal who are both #treesitting in the logging plan area. One guard leaned casually on the gate, striking the pose of a two dimensional cowboy lawn ornament minus the straw, and said it was their "directive" not to accept the much needed supplies, and he follows his orders. He said his boss is Ben Hawk, forester for #hrcllc. Ben Hawks email is email@example.com if you'd like to express your opinion on this behavior. Today, the sawing and crashing of more huge trees echoed from the hillsides…#thestrugglecontinues #savethemattolesancientforest #earthfirst! #extinctionrebellion #
This season has seen a major escalation in the decades long struggle over the fate of this forest in the Mattole River headwaters, with a dozen protestors having been arrested while attempting to slow the logging. Multiple instances of reckless and violent behavior of loggers and sheriffs towards protestors has been caught on video.
A treesitter called Rook has been in another towering tree for 40 days since June 9th. She has endured trees being felled dangerously close and long periods of isolation and harassment by security guards but refuses to come down until the tree is protected in writing.