The Perspective From Up Here: A Note From Our Local Treesitters

By Redwood Forest Defense

 

We write to you from our perch among the branches of a redwood grove in Tsurai (near so-called Trinidad). We’ve been living here for four months now, actively protecting this forest from being clearcut by the notorious Green Diamond Resource Company. We will not tolerate Green Diamond clearcutting our backyards! Green Diamond manages nearly 400,000 acres of our forests in Humboldt and Del Norte County, and they intend to clearcut the forests upstream from your home, too. We call for Green Diamond to cancel their destruction of this forest and, more broadly, to take responsibility for the generations of harm they have caused – the legacy of colonization they benefit from and their profit-driven destruction of habitat.

Photo provided by Redwood Forest Defense

Green Diamond is rapidly turning this biodiverse land into a massive, monocropped redwood tree farm. Across their 1.5 million-acre West coast timberlands, they cut everything on 45 year rotations – meaning every forest will be clearcut before it can even begin to mature. The company reported using 2800 lbs of pesticides, bought from Dow Chemical, Bayer and Monsanto, in Humboldt and Del Norte County in 2019. They use these pesticides not to control invasive species, but to suppress native trees that aren’t profitable. Green Diamond sells “greenwashed” timber – a subtle and dangerous marketing strategy portraying environmentally irresponsible, capitalist extraction as a “sustainable” solution. We know that a profit driven corporation will never truly prioritize the land and their meager attempts at stewardship are actually ploys to placate concerned consumers and the public.

Photo provided by Redwood Forest Defense

During the last four months aloft we have witnessed the world shut down in response to COVID-19, a virus that acutely affects our respiratory systems, while the “essential” work of corporate timber companies are decimating the planet’s lungs for profit. Through this pandemic we have seen how the government prioritizes economy over people’s lives, with Black and Indigenous communities the hardest hit. When George Floyd was murdered and lifetimes of justified anger at the police boiled over into the streets, the agents of oppression attacked us with tear gas and pepper spray. These layered attacks on life itself sadden and anger us, but shouldn’t surprise us. This Uprising reminds us of the power of decentralized movements, and inspires us to keep resisting. We know that industrial logging is a death sentence, for the Northern spotted owl, for the Humboldt marten, and for humankind as we rely on rainforests in a multitude of ways.

The world we see is one where carceral systems have been abolished, where policing and prisons are not a life or death struggle for our Black comrades. The world we see is one where the land is returned to its Indigenous stewards. Where the practice of forestry doesn’t mean the extinction of a species. These visions are not dreams. The fires of change are lit and burning now. We have the power to make the changes needed to dismantle this oppressive, destructive system by standing in solidarity with our Black and Indigenous comrades. We intend to continue protecting these groves and resisting corporate dominance and ecocide in this community and everywhere.

With love, rage, and land back!

Your local treesitters

Redwood Forest Defense

www.redwoodforestdefense.org