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U.S. | Environment & Forest Defense

Who says Treesitting doesn't work?
by Jeff Muskrat ( spooner [at] spoonerdirect.org )
Friday Mar 28th, 2008 3:26 PM
We won! Spooner and Nanning Creek are saved!
Apparently, Pacific Lumber missed the boat to refile the "Bonanza" THP in Nanning Creek, home of "Spooner" and the Nanning Creek Treesit village. Pacific Lumber was required to file an extension on THP#1-05-097 by mid-March 2008 in order to continue their attempts to log the Ancient Grove(the first of two CDF allowed extensions). To our surprise, PL failed to file the extension, saving Nanning Creek for at least the next 5-8 years.
The Nanning Creek Treesit began November 2005. "Spooner", one of the largest coast redwoods ever defended, was discovered by an activist named "Jungle". "Jungle" is still missing, and friends and family would appreciate any information in regards to his whereabouts. Many of us are worried there may be foul play involved with his disappearance. "Spooner" was named by "Amy", the first to climb the 297 foot tall giant. After climbing hundreds of feet to reach "Sprout"(one of "Spooner's" branches or reiterations), "Amy" "Spooned" with "Spooner" on the very first night, without the safety or comfort of a platform or "dream catcher", hence the name "Spooner". As the action continued, other large old growth trees in Nanning Creek were added to the village, both to protect activists and above all, to keep the trees verticle. Over the past 3 years, countless activists have put their hearts and souls into helping continue the collective cause. Nanning Creek was raided by PL just last September, weeks before logging operations were allowed due to the Marbled Murrelett's protective nesting season restrictions. Activists were quick to respond, and despite PL's attempts to block forest defenders from reestablishing the Nanning Creek action, the Earth Warriors prevailed and "Spooner" continues to stand. We could not have accomplished this victory without the help and patience of dedicated sitters, the bravery of experienced setters, and most importantly the generosity and support of the community at our most needed time. Nanning Creek has seen quite a diverse crew. Many who have sat and set were experienced from prior Humboldt actions, lifelong forest activists, the bravest of the brave. Many sitters were from international locations, such as Canada and Puerto Rico, just to name a few. Over the past three years, thousands of dollars have been donated locally and from across the nation and around the world to perpetuate this action, primarily from direct contact to the spoonerdirect.org site from multiple and repeat donors and philanthropists. This is appreciated far beyond what words can express. Due to the dissolution of the greater NCEF! movement, Nanning Creek was virtually an independent action, contrary to what is implied on the NCEF! Media site. My opinion is that this allowed for greater diversity and less inhibition towards individuality, less hierarchy, and more freedom to create as opposed to destroy. This also allowed for important alliances to form, such as between Fern Gully Treesit and Mattole Wildlands Defense, forming Humboldt Forest Defense. One common theme that all activists shared was their beliefs regarding non-violence. Without this shared goal of peace, PL may have been forced to remove us in order to protect equipment, roads, etc.
Nanning Creek sitters cared a lot about one particular tree, "Spooner", the largest of the grove. As well as the freedoms that sitters enjoyed from not having the complexities of answering to an office bound pencil pusher in town, "Spooner" was the magical force that brought real and active activists together, to recognize the common goal of saving the Ancient grove. "Spooner" kept us honest, and held us together as a group just as "Spooner" held us safely hundreds of feet above the ground. A lot of Nanning's defenders experienced dreams of "Spooner" asking for help, even before hearing about the action. Those who stayed long enough developed a remarkable and almost obsessive relationship with the tree, one that can never be explained by science or words. Forest defenders in Nanning have a deep place in their hearts for "Spooner". No one ever left the tree unless the tree was safe. I believe that this connection to a 2000+ year old ancient being that so many shared saved "Spooner", and the rest of the grove. I, along with many others, feel that "Spooner" asked us all to help keep up the fight, and to treat this risk that we took seriously. And we all did. We all answered the call for help together in solidarity. We all stood together against great odds. Not many treesits have worked like this in the past. Sadly, some actions fell to internal conflicts and lack of community interest. Some were even abandoned by their supposed defenders, which is truly no one's fault. Usually the first people to complain about an action are those who are doing the least work, or have the least involvement in the day to day aspects of sustaining a safe and sustainable action. There were and are multiple affinity groups who kept the action going, and this could not have been accomplished without the continuous cycle of new (learning) visitors and returning (teaching) defenders. Nanning Creek has taught an incredible amount of activists how to build and sustain a treesit, a starting point for forest activism across the continent and hopefully around the world. Caring is sharing, and it is everyone's hope that this experience will sprout new actions needed desperately right now, around the entire planet. Our deepest thanks and eternal gratitude for those who sat through freezing storms, braved dangerous winds, and sat non-violently through flying squirrel attacks. To the donors and local contributers who saw past Shunka's NCEF! Media scam, and made sure that the much needed funding made it to where it was really needed, to the treesitters in the woods. Also, to those who supported the action by hiking food in and garbage out, rain or shine, this could not have happened without you. There is a lot of blood, sweat, and tears on that trail leading to Nanning Creek, home of "Spooner". Most thanks of all to those who passed their wisdom of non-violence and the necessity of keeping it safe, and those who took their gifts seriously. We are grateful that we all made it here to this day, alive, well and accident free. SPOONER STANDS! SPOONER WILL CONTINUE TO STAND! BLESSINGS TO ALL WARRIORS OF THE EARTH! THIS IS PROOF THAT REAL ACTIONS WORK. YOU TRULY CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THIS WORLD. NO MATTER HOW FAR GONE YOU MAY THINK THE PLANET AND SOCIETY HAS STRAYED PAST THE TIPPING POINT, THE LIGHT WILL ALWAYS PREVAIL. YOU ONLY NEED TO RECOGNIZE YOUR PLACE IN THIS WORLD, THAT YOU ARE NEEDED, AND THAT YOU CAN ACHIEVE THE IMPOSSIBLE. DON'T LET THE DARK DISCOURAGE YOU. NEVER, EVER GIVE UP YOUR HOPES AND DREAMS, MAGIC AND/OR SPIRIT WILL HELP YOU BECAUSE THE EARTH NEEDS YOU, THE PLANET NEEDS YOUR HELP RIGHT NOW MORE THAN EVER. LOVE AND PEACE ALWAYS,
FROM THE TREES. JEFF MUSKRAT
spooner@spoonerdirect.org PS. Spooner has introduced the most amazing and beautiful people into my life and has brought me so many life changing revelations and lessons. For that alone, I am eternally inspired and grateful to help protect a 297 foot tall Sequoia Sempervirens with an eviction notice named Spooner. I would do it all again, even if it only bought a few years of time for an Ancient one. We must respect our elders. You really can learn a lot from a tree.