Magazine article Newsweek

The Moral High Ground

Magazine article Newsweek

The Moral High Ground

Article excerpt

Activists in treetop aeries try to stop logging or at least draw attention to their cause

Deep in oregon's Willamette National Forest, eight men and women wake up groggy. They're dirty, 15 to 24, wearing scruffy clothing and looking like they've been out in the forest for a long time. They have--some for more than three months. Even more unusual is their choice of campsites: plywood treehouses in three Douglas firs some 200 feet above the forest floor. As a dozen teenagers working for the U.S. Forest Service approach the trees and begin cleaning up garbage there, angry shouts erupt from above. "Help stop the logging!" yell the campers. One dread-locked girl in a black T shirt declares: "You're working for the enemy!"

Radical environmental activists have been chaining themselves to logging equipment for years. Now, using "tree sits," they've moved the battlefield up in the air. Loosely affiliated with the eco-activists Earth First!, protesters set up camp in a lofty perch, defying anyone to cut the tree down with them in it. In so doing, they attract media attention to their cause. Julia (Butterfly) Hill, 24, has occupied a threatened Humboldt County, Calif., redwood tree (on private land) for eight months. "If nothing else, we're going to save the trees we're sitting in," says Hill over her cell phone. Even if she fails in the short term, she's helped inspire similar demonstrations: four ongoing sits in Oregon, California and Washington, with three more planned. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.