Action report from continued resistance to logging in the ancient Mattole forest in Northern California.
Rio Dell, Humboldt County, CA–An intergenerational road blockade disrupted work at Monument Gate early this morning, blocking access to the contentious active logging plans on Rainbow Ridge in the Mattole River watershed. Three elder activist women nearing eighty, and one in her thirties, locked their bodies together and sat in front of the gate, closing it to logging traffic and drawing the presence of several Humboldt County Sheriffs. “Elders were concerned over the sheriffs’ violent treatment of younger activists in recent actions,” stated Naomi Wagner of Humboldt and Mendocino counties, a veteran of California “timber wars” who locked down this morning.
Another elder who locked down, Ellen Faulkner, 80, of Mendocino County, stated, “I’m doing it for my grandchildren and everyone else’s grandchildren. I just feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing with my life.” Ellen is also veteran of the fight to save Headwaters Forest.
Opposition to the ongoing logging on Long Ridge is broadening. Members of Lost Coast League and the Pacific Alliance for Indigenous and Environmental Action, a bioregional organization, were at Monument Gate to bear witness this morning and call for the protection of Rainbow Ridge and collaboration with local indigenous activists.
Meanwhile, at 4:30 a.m. in the active logging operation, another forest defender, Stanton Wood, locked himself to the same excavator that, just yesterday, was used to topple trees close enough to touch the tree sitter. Humboldt County Sheriffs removed and arrested him at 8 a.m. and he was released shortly after. “We need to keep the Mattole wild and free and not perpetuate colonization,” Wood stated.
This is part of a string of actions that have been happening nearly every day since logging started there three weeks ago, including the tree sit that has been occupied continuously for 18 days despite harassment and endangerment from private security, and multiple actions at Monument gate and in Scotia.