Long before Chiara D'Angelo climbed a tree on Bainbridge Island, Julia Butterfly Hill celebrated the end of her very long protest in Humboldt County, Calif.
KIRO 7’s Monique Ming Laven found archival news coverage from 1999, as Hill came down from a 600-year-old redwood she called “Luna.”
She had lived up on a small platform for two years.
“To some people I'm just a dirty tree-hugging hippie, but I can't imagine being able to take a chainsaw to something like this,” said Hill.
The practice is called tree sitting and it has been traced back to the late '70s.
Tree-sitting paid off for activists who occupied a forest scheduled for clear-cutting in New Zealand, the land is Pureora National Park.
“We are very concerned about the safety of our members and we are hoping the foresters will take a more responsible line as we speak,” said a protester.
And tree-sitting became a viable means of protest. But not always with the same result.
In 2008, tree-sitters in Berkeley descended after 21 months in an Oak Grove -- the site of a new sports facility for the University of California.
Their battle was lost and the trees are gone.
Activists with Conservation Northwest and Cascadia Wildland say successful tree-sits tend to happen on property that is publicly owned -- and is old growth, like 600-year-old Luna.
It's a tougher sell on Bainbridge Island, with second and third generation growth on private land already zoned for development.
Pacific Northwest environmental groups also say most of the protests tend to be outside of our state because our forestry agencies already have policies against logging old-growth trees.