http://www.cascadiaforestalliance.org/imgs/freepitch.jpg Pitch, Emma Murphy-Ellis, 19, was released from her four month sentence in the work release program. She was arrested during the campaign to save Eagle Creek last summer. Activists put pressure on Judge John Jeldreks to release her early, with a post card campaign. The Judge at one point said he wanted to commute her sentence to time served, but the prosecuter, Bob Ross, would not allow Jeldreks to commute here sentence to time served.
Pitch was first at the Eagle Creek in the Summer of 2000. Her and 3 other women were arrested for blocking the two access points to the Eagle timber sale. Her charges were dropped since she was only 17 at the time. The other 3 women were eached sentenced to the YWCA for a month, along with fines.
In the Summer of 2001, logging equipment was brought to the timber slae for the first time in a year or so. Activists had been ready and about 40 activists sat, stood, and did cartwheels in the road to prevent the equipment from entering the sale area to clear spur (small access) roads. If you looked at each individual seperately in the blockade no one of course was single handedly blocking the road. However the U.S. Forest Service gave Pitch 4 citations. She was the only person in the blockade to be cited.
Since then the Eagle Creek timber sale has been cancelled, while Pitch was locked up, and activists still could not win her early release. It is unfortunate that people need to stick their necks out to protect the native forests in Oregon. She greatly deserves our gratitude. A great way to do that is to get involved in forest activism. To find out more on how to get involved visit the Portland IMC forest activism page or the Cascadia Forest Alliance webpage.