UHS News was in Jackson Demonstration State Forest on Saturday, April 17 to interview the tree-sitters that are protesting Cal Fire clearcutting of old-growth redwoods. According to the tree-sitters we spoke with, Cal Fire has been marking redwoods that are greater than the recommended 48-inch diameter to be cut down. Some of the trees marked for cutting are even as large as 77inches. The protesters have built platforms high up in the trees and are camping out on them to prevent Cal Fire from cutting them down.
According to one of the tree-sitters at Jackson Demonstration State Forest, Cal Fire has designated some of the trees with black paint signifying that these are to be ignored for cutting. Trees farther off the trail are still marked blue, which the tree-sitter thought suggested Cal Fire was attempting to appear they were not cutting down trees to the public while still planning on cutting trees down out of public view.
A tree-sitter told us protesters want Cal Fire to delay the cutting for at least a year so that they can discuss the matter civilly. They do not want to stop cutting altogether, they just want to delay it until they can discuss the cutting
When asked about how the tree-sitters built the platforms high in the trees, one explained in detail what they did. They swung a rope up with a weight on it onto a branch then ascended the tree with materials to build. They hung the platforms off these branches and drilled no holes in the tree. They even padded the platform where it is held against the tree to protect it further.
The protesters believe that the California fires that happen each year are getting closer and closer to the coast. They reference the Brooktrails fire that happened last fall as an example.
Looking towards the future, the protestors said they hope for more community support for their efforts and legal support in their fight for the redwoods.