Naked Tree-Huggers Mounted Eucalyptus Trees At UC Berkeley To Combat ‘War On Trees’
Naked tree-huggers mounted eucalyptus trees at the University of California at Berkeley in an effort to stop what they deemed a “war on trees.” Approximately 75 people stripped and literally hugged the trees to protest a massive Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant which allowed scores of trees to be cut down.
The UC Berkeley trees were determined to be a fire hazard by college officials and FEMA. The federal agency gave $5.7 million in taxpayer funds to the university to cut down and remove the eucalyptus trees. In 1991, a massive blaze in the area was responsible for 25 deaths, 150 injuries, and more than 3,300 destroyed homes.
“This is a war on trees,” Jack Gescheidt, a wildlife activist, stated during an interview with Campus Reform.
Here’s an excerpt from the TreeSpirit Project’s mission statement.
“Raising awareness of the critical roles trees play in our lives, globally and personally. Trees help create and maintain life-sustaining air, soil, water and animal habitat. We humans need trees in order to thrive. Trees enrich our daily lives in numerous, profound, often inexplicable ways; calming us, soothing us, inspiring us.”
Gescheidt reportedly organized the protest with members of his The TreeSpirit Project, participating. The stated mission of the organization is to “raise awareness of the critical role trees play in our lives, both globally and personally.” The activist also stated that he does not believe that trees cause forest fires.
“The claim about trees being flammable is nonsense. All living trees and forests are fire resistant.”
The TreeSpirit Project group joined others who opposed what they feel is “unnecessary and harmful clear-cutting.” FEMA is being sued in federal court by the Hills Conservation Network. The lawsuit reportedly states that the tree cutting will actually increase and not decrease forest fires. The HCN group feels that by reducing live “fire resistant” trees into dead wood, more roaring blazes will be sparked. The organization also opposes using the controversial chemical herbicide glyphosate (or RoundyReady made by Monsanto) on tree stumps.
The Claremont Canyon Conservancy is also angry at the FEMA clear-cutting plan because they feel the project does not go far enough.
“The problem today is eucalyptuses crowd out native trees, leaving a dense eucalyptus forest with oaks and bays underneath, starved for sunlight,” Jon Kaufman, CCC stewardship coordinator, said.
What do you think about the naked tree-huggers project at UC Berkeley and the fire prevention debate in California?
[Image via: Shutterstock.com]