Press Conference at 3pm
Response to the Tragedy at Eagle Creek
CASCADIA FOREST ALLIANCE
Last night 22 year old Beth O'Brien died in a fall from a tree sit at Eagle Creek. We are a community shocked and saddened by Beth's tragic death.
Years of community efforts, heralded by direct action, have protected the Eagle Creek area thus far. Beth's death came as we were preparing to take down the tree sits upon receipt of a signed legally binding contract canceling the sales. This document is expected to be signed by the Bush Administration early next week.
Tree-sitting is a risk taken to protect our remaining native forest from destruction. It is a tragedy that such risks must be taken. While we recognize the dangers inherent in tree-sitting, we take safety seriously. Tree-sitters and tree-climbing trainers are taught the best safety available and constantly stress the importance of conveying safety protocols to others. This tragic accident results because communities must risk their lives to protect their land.
The timeline of events leading to the accident are as follows. For two hours Beth and two companions snow shoed into the area with supplies. At 7pm, after climbing to a height of 150 feet Beth fell from a rope ladder between platforms. She did not use a safety connection that was available. She survived the impact. Emergency services were called by cell phone immediately. First responders did not arrive on the scene until two and-one-half hours later. She was pronounced dead upon examination.
We view Beth's death in a tradition of courageous action to defend life that extends through decades of non-violent protest in the US and abroad.
A candlelight vigil in Beth's memory is scheduled for Mt. Tabor City Park tomorrow, Sunday at sunset.