Home / Funny / Viral / Meet The Woman Who Stayed In a Tree For Two Years To Protect It Against Loggers


They say  who stands for nothing will fall into everything. By standing up for what you believe in, you shape identity and create change that spreads throughout society. December 1997 was the moment for environmental activist Julia Butterfly Hill to defend her position. The then 23-year-old activist was traveling through California when she encountered a group of eco-warriors moving between the Humboldts around the "Tree Seats." Magnificent redwoods of the county. Hill volunteered for a week to go rock climbing and spent more than two years - 738 days - in the tall branches of a magnificent 200-foot tree. Their actions and those of their comrades-in-arms saved the tree from being destroyed by loggers.

The tree may have been felled by the Pacific Lumber Company. The tree itself was 1,000 years old and alive despite the recent lightning strike. The activists named it Luna, after the moon. Hill was employed on a two foot by four foot platform made of reclaimed wood for a short time, but as we know it lasted much longer. 

The stay was not easy. Volunteers, including the radical environmental group Earth First!, moved relief supplies using a bucket  system. Hill cooked on a single-burner propane stove and slept in a tightly wrapped sleeping bag. Freezing  and 40-mph winds posed a threat. Helicopters circled overhead, angry loggers gave chase, and a logging company besieged the tree for ten days in a bid to kill the activist.

During her tenure, Hill gave interviews and garnered a lot of attention (via solar-powered phones). She descended only after a decision was made with the logging company to keep the moon and other trees within a 200-foot radius. Hill then took a more radical stance on the environment and became a proponent of tax diversion (not paying  taxes to the government but donating directly  to causes he felt deserved).

As brave as Hill's tree stance is, beautiful young white women tend to get  news coverage and praise for a different climate, which earth activists don't. For example, Indigenous protesters in Standing Rock who opposed the desecration of their land by the Dakota Access pipeline faced violent opposition and harsh weather conditions.

Women and even the elderly in Appalachia have undertaken a number of tree plantings to protect biodiversity and discourage pipeline construction. Meanwhile, the indigenous peoples of the Amazon are fighting to save the lungs of our planet.

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