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North Coast Earth First! visted by Pacific Lumber -Tree-Sitters' Gear Burned

North Coast Earth First!

For immediate release January 13, 2005
Contact: Kim Starr (707) 476-9112
Tree-Sitters' Gear Burned By Pacific Lumber
Activists Vow To Defend Forest In Mattole River Watershed

Humboldt county, CA.-After an early Wednesday morning visit by tree-sit extractor Eric Schatz, two tree-sitters in the Rattlesnake Creek forest that feeds the headwaters of the Mattole River are now threatened with extraction as Maxxam/PL security arrives on the site today. The tree-sitters are teachers at a local environmental school, and the sits were put up last summer to save the old growth Douglas Fir grove and call attention to the crisis in the steep Mattole River watershed caused by Maxxam/Pacific Lumber's clearcutting, helicopter logging, road building, herbicide use, and cutting of old growth trees.

Pacific Lumber (PL), local front for Texas-based Maxxam Corporation, now outsources all of their logging and contracts with Eric Schatz of Schatz Tree Service, to forcibly remove tree-sitters. For nearly seven years, Schatz has been yanking people out of the high treetops of ancient redwoods using sometimes violent and reckless means. In fact, Schatz, a man with a record of domestic violence, is currently being sued by five tree-sitters for assault, battery, negligence, and other violations of civil rights.

On Wednesday morning, Schatz arrived with PL's land manager and PL head of security and cut down the activists' supplies in two trees, starting a fire on the forest floor to burn the gear--clothes, plastic tarps, and a wooden platform-and left the fire burning when they departed. Forest defenders expect Schatz will be back soon-possibly today-to attempt to forcibly remove the people from the forest canopy.

The Mattole tree-sits are in a logging plan (THP 1-03-235-"Foxtrot") in the upper Rattlesnake Creek drainage that has seen more logging in the past five years than any drainage in the Mattole. In fact, state Forest Practices Program staff urged the Dept. of Forestry (CDF) staff to question the rate of harvest in this watershed, as it suffers from ongoing cumulative impacts that include huge geologic instabilities. In addition, State Parks Dept. filed a non-concurrence due to their issues with the plan, stemming from the proximity of park land. Despite these objections, the plan was approved by CDF and has been mostly cut, except for the grove where forest defenders remain.

More non-violent direct actions are planned to protect this unique and diverse coastal forest, crucial habitat for endangered species including the northern spotted owl and Pacific fisher.

Directions to the Mattole Treesits:
Highway 101 to Honeydew/South Fork exit (S of Eureka, N of Garberville). Go west towards Honeydew, Founders' Grove etc. on Mattole Rd. for about 12-13 miles. At big water tank on right, you are 2 mi. from Fox Camp Gate (big brown gate on the right of a clearcut turnout area) Park on road near the gate; walk through the gate; stay on main uphill road (Humboldt Redwoods State Park Rd.), to the 1-mile marker. To your left are the tree-sits.

add a comment on this article

no law 15.Jan.2005 22:30

wood chuck

There's still no law in Humboldt County after all these years. PL runs roughshod over people just like one of those coal companies in the thirties, beating up on union men and generally terrorizing the community at will, unhindered by the police and judicial system. They've already dropped trees right on protesters heads, and got away with it. You think a little tarp fire is going to stop them? Somebody ought to make a movie, but Darryl cherney might sue!

Way Past Time 16.Jan.2005 10:10

Watching

I think it's time for a huge and unforgiving lawsuit against Climbing Erik. He's putting people's lives and safety at risk, and the fucking timber barons keep hiring him to do their dirty work. He, and they, need to be held accountable. The first time someone is injured in this episode, I will personally help raise funds to see them held accountable.

Tree-Sitter Lawsuits Against Maxxam/Pacific Lumber Multiply 18.Jan.2005 12:56

repost

Jan. 17, 2005

Tree-Sitter Lawsuits Against Maxxam/Pacific Lumber Multiply

Eureka, CA - Two more tree-sitters who had been forcibly removed from threatened ancient redwoods in Northern California have filed lawsuits against Maxxam Corporation, Pacific Lumber, and the men hired to seize them high above the ground. Amy Gershman and Jamie Kohler joined fellow tree-sitters Jeny Card, Lindsey Holm, Kristi Sanchez, Scott Petersen and Anna Farnam in filing counter suits January 14, 2005 related to the string of tree-sit evictions that occurred in the forested hills above the tiny hamlet of Freshwater, California in the spring of 2003.

The seven tree-sitters, along with more than twenty other local residents and protestors were slapped with a lawsuit by PL that charged trespass and conspiracy. A SLAPP suit is a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. The activists' counter suits include allegations of assault, battery, negligence, infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, and violation of their civil rights.

Unlike most of the other redwood giants formerly occupied by activists to protect them, the trees Gershman and Kohler sat in are still standing. Kohler was the third tree-sitter to be evicted from the ancient redwood known as "Jerry," from which Card (better known as marathon tree-sitter "Remedy") and Sanchez were also removed. Gershman, another long term tree-sitter whose feet didn't touch the ground for seven months, was removed from a giant, double trunk redwood dubbed "Everlasting Life." The two trees are still occupied by tree-sitters on tiny tree-top platforms. Maxxam/PL still intends to cut the trees down.

The SLAPP suit is on hold following a move by attorneys for the PL-hired extractors that disqualified Judge W. Bruce Watson. Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Dale Reinholtsen will rule soon on whether the disqualification was legal, and determine whether he or Judge Watson will take on the case.
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Donate to sue Eric Schatz 22.Jan.2005 09:25

Treesitters suing for damages

Thanks for your encouragement of an "unforgiving lawsuit" against Eric Schatz. Seven treesitters who were forcibly removed from ancient trees in Humboldt county are suing Schatz, Pacific Lumber, Maxxam, and all of the extractors hired to take down treesitters. The lawsuits are expensive! You can make a tax-deductable donation to

S.O.I.L.
P.O. Box 691
Eureka, Ca 95502

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