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(en) Tree Village Under Siege in Remote Idaho Wilderness

From whispered media <whisper@jps.net>
Date Thu, 27 Aug 1998 08:24:48 -0700


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

CONTACT:				August 26, 1998
Cove/Mallard Coalition
Jonathan Crowell or Lori Graves 208-882-9755
Native Forest Network
Bryce Smedley 406-542-7343

TREE VILLAGE UNDER SIEGE

On Tuesday, August 25, a man and a woman were arrested at the site of the
tree village at the Otter-Wing timber sale in North-Central Idaho.

The arrested man, John Hunter Terry, was taken to Boise, ID to be arraigned in
federal Court at 3:00pm on Wed., August 26. The woman was turned over to
the Idaho County authorities. Both arrestees removed themselves from the
tree village site. They were never informed that their activities (climbing
a tree in the National Forest) were in violation of any legal codes until
the man was charged.

"It is unclear if the tree sitters voluntarily lowered themselves down or
if the threats of violence and lack of police intervention coerced the
peaceful citizens to comply with law enforcement and corporate demands".
According to one citizen at the tree village site, "Don Bluitt, the
contractor for Highland Enterprises [Road Construction Company], is calling
the shots".

The tree village sustained a barrage psychological and physical warfare
including threats at gunpoint, threats of sexual assault and a violent
attack upon the citizen's camp resulting in the burning of backpacks,
clothes, tarps, and food, the slashing of sleeping bags and theft of gear.
Conveniently for the attacking party, the regular face of the law
enforcement was no where to be found and, upon their tardy arrival, Idaho
County Sheriff and Forest Service LEOs said "There is nothing we as law
enforcement can
do to ensure your well being".

The law enforcement began a 24-hour watch and a three day siege with K-9
units, smoke jumpers, and snipers to cut supplies to tree sitters on
Sunday. The siege entailed a law enforcement occupation of the National
Forest - our public lands.

The Cove/Mallard Coalition and the Wild Angels conducted a fly over of the
tree village, the surrounding roadless areas, as well as watersheds that
are hammered by clearcuts and roads. The plane expedition revealed that the
rerouted #1875 road around the tree village resembles three large
hair-pinned turns including a stretch through a sensitive bog.

The Idaho Sporting Congress and other participants in the Otter-Wing
lawsuit resubmitted a motion for a Temporary Restraining Order on August
20. A status hearing will be conducted by Judge Edward Lodge tomorrow
(August 27)
in Boise. "The tree village has helped minimize the destruction of the
Otter-Wing roadless area until the Federal Courts figure out that the sale
is in violation of the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act and National
Environmental Protection Act."
#########

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		PO Box 40130	San Francisco, CA	94140-0130

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