Dead tree-sitter identified
By DAN WHITE
Sentinel staff writer
The Santa Clara County Coroner's Office has identified the young tree-sitter who died after falling 85 feet from his perch in a redwood Tuesday night.
The activist was Robert Bryan, 25, of Salt Lake City, Utah.
A staff worker at the Coroner's Office said fingerprints and a missing-person's report helped with the identification. The report had apparently been filed long before Bryan's arrival in Santa Cruz. The office has also contacted Bryan's family.
Earth First! protesters knew the man as "Naya."
Conflicting accounts are surfacing on the circumstances leading to the man's death.
Loggers who saw him on the ground said he was not wearing a harness. According to a man who spoke to Bryan, who was conscious and breathing after the fall, Bryan spoke of a problem with some netting.
But "as far as we know, there was no netting in the tree at all," Earth First! spokesman Dennis Davie said. "We don't have any idea (what went wrong). It is one of those situations where we may never know."
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, which went to the man's aid, would not comment about the incident.
The man was part of an organized protest against logging in the Ramsey Gulch area above Corralitos. Davie said the man spoke of being an experienced rock climber, and climbed the tree, which the activists call "Esperanza," quickly and confidently. He was in the tree just 12 hours prior to the accident.
Earth First! is firming up plans for an Oct. 19 memorial, but has yet to set a location or time.