STAFFORD — Filled with sadness, environmental activist Julia “Butterfly” Hill returned Wednesday to the wounded tree that was her home for two years.
One of Hill’s supporters discovered during the weekend that someone had sawed a quarter of the way through the trunk of the redwood, which could be anywhere from 600 to 1,000 years old.
A team of arborists and foresters hiked up to the tree Tuesday to stabilize it with steel plates and braces before a windstorm could topple it. The tree that Hill called Luna was still standing when she reached it Wednesday morning.
“When I read the news I immediately felt it within myself,” Hill said. “Someone in rage, anger and frustration struck out at Luna.”
Hill also spoke on the struggle in Mattole River Valley between logging firm Pacific Lumber Co. and the activists who have tried to block access to roads to slow logging of old-growth Douglas fir.
Hill drew worldwide attention for two years as she perched on top of the tree – 18 stories high – to protest logging. She descended last December after Pacific Lumber, which owns the tree, agreed to spare it and a surrounding buffer zone.