Tree-sit Villages in Freshwater

Greenwood Heights Freshwater Watershed Defenders Collection. Winter 2003, roll-2. Source: Humboldt Area Peoples Archive.

In August 2002, two tree-sit villages were started in Freshwater, Humboldt County, in preparation for the 13-13-13 action, which involved 13 women in 13 trees for 13 days, lasting from September 23 to October 6, 2002, to safeguard Redwoods from being cut down. 

The “Upper Village” was a collection of four tree-top platforms on the edge of a proposed clear-cut officially known as Timber Harvest Plan 01-451.

The “Lower Village” village on Greenwood Heights Road in Freshwater started with three trees and three platforms with walkway traverses in between them. After the 13-13-13 action, the village began expanding. A “doughnut” platform 15 by 15 feet in size was built that completely encircled a tree called Poseidon . This platform served as a gathering place for tree-sitters in the village to meet, cook meals, and play music. It could be accessed from the other tree-sits by walkway traverses that go from tree to tree connecting all the trees in the village.

By spring 2003, the village has expanded to eight platforms and over 20 trees tied in by traverses. Logging began in this unit of the Timber Harvest Plan on January 2, 2003, just after Maxxam/Pacific Lumber’s yearly limit of 500 acres in the Freshwater Creek watershed was renewed with the coming of the new year.

The cutting began approximately 500 feet from the tree-sit village in the valley at the bottom of the unit, and day by day as the trees fell the fallers worked their way up hill towards the road and the tree-sit village.

“Lower Village” text excerpted from Earth First! Spring 2003 Newsletter, written by Annapurna.