From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Sat Apr 23 2005
Felony Charges Dropped Against Old Growth Redwood Treesitter
Ramsey "Phoenix" Gifford will go to trial on misdemeanor charges
Eureka, CA - Felony charges will not be pressed against treesitter Ramsey Noah Gifford, who has faced bogus charges of assault with a deadly weapon for nearly two years following an April 2003 tree-top altercation with Maxxam/Pacific Lumber climbers hired to eject protestors in order to clear-cut old-growth redwood forest.

Gifford was one of about 15 treesitters who were forcibly removed from old-growth redwoods in the Freshwater Creek area in March and April 2003. Most of the trees were cut following the extractions, and nearly fifty people were arrested in protest of Maxxam/PL’s liquidation logging. Freshwater Creek has been listed as sediment impaired under the Clean Water Act since 1997.

PL treesit extractor Eric Schatz of Schatz Tree Service, who is the alleged victim of the assault, gave three days of testimony, mostly in answer to heavy questioning by defense attorney Michael Acosta. Attorneys for Gifford played footage of the incident taken with the extractor’s helmet cameras, and asked Schatz to stop the tape at the time Gifford allegedly tried to unhook Schatz from his safety gear. Schatz was unable to pinpoint an assault.
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Related Categories: Environment & Forest Defense

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