Freshwater, CA - Life has been quiet around the treesits here over the last few months (minus the incessant logging, of course). That ended today, when representatives from Pacific Lumber paid visits to at least two of the treesits in Freshwater. No trespassing signs were nailed up, along with signs reading (ironically enough) "Keep California Green." Spray paint was used to mark the trees occupied by treesitters, as well as every tree and stump leading to those trees.
At the treesit called Presidia, the words "Gass [sic] here" were painted on the tree with an arrow pointing up. The words "night ops" (as in "nighttime operations) were also tagged. Treesitters were enjoying the view from the top of the tree when they heard hammering as the signs were nailed around the area. Attempts to communicate with the man wielding the hammer were unsuccessful. Shortly after they left, a young woman treesitter began rappelling down the climbing rope. She realized too late that the Pacific Lumber employee had cut her rope when she slid off the end, falling fifteen feet to the ground. No serious injuries were sustained though she will be sore and bruised in the coming days.
This is not the first time Pacific Lumber has risked the safety of non-violent activists in the woods. In March 2003, a PL security guard cut the end of a rope as a treesitter was coming down, cutting the treesitter in the process. In 1998, activist David "Gypsy" Chain was killed by a tree Pacific Lumber fell in his direction. Activists routinely have gear stolen and safety precautions tampered with by Pacific Lumber employees. There is no deterrent for the company, or its parent corporation, Maxxam, as they are not held accountable for their actions, whether for violations to water quality laws, endangered species protections, or the violent handling of treesitters.
Call Pacific Lumber and tell them what you think of their dangerous and lawless behavior. Richard Bettis (PL property manager) - (707)764.2222 or email them at info@PALCO.com