Ancient redwood tree Luna
where Julia Butterfly Hill lived for over two years

Shaun Walker/ OtterMedia

For images of Luna and Julia, see


Wednesday, November 29, 2000
Dear Friends,

Last night an incredible team including foresters, engineers and arborists devised a method of securing Luna so she could weather the infamous Humboldt County winter storms. Julia and Circle of Life endured a sleepless night as the wind raged and we feared for Luna and the courageous tree surgeons. We drove north to the town of Stafford not knowing if Luna had survived the windstorm. You can imagine the elation we felt when we saw Luna standing tall on the ridge. We hiked to her and witnessed the mortal wound and the attempt to heal the tree. Julia says she really feels all the prayers and love that supporters have sent. Here is a poem that Julia wrote upon learning of the attack on Luna.

I heard today . . .
Luna's been cut.
Two-thirds and maybe more.
Someone in their rage,
in their anger,
in their frustration
struck out at Luna
wanting to hurt Her . . .
wanting to hurt me
the way they must be hurting inside.
See . . .
what we do to the Earth
we do to each other.
And how we treat the Earth
is reflected in how we treat each other.
The pain I feel right now that threatens to rip me apart
is the pain I feel every time I see an Ancient Elder cut . . .
the pain I feel every time another species goes extinct . . .
the pain I feel every time someone yells at a child . . .
the pain I feel every time another woman dies of breast cancer
caused by all the legal pollutants in her food,
her planet,
her life . . .
The pain I feel every time I think of Leonard Peltier locked inside
our prisons of disrespect and disconnect.
On and on and on
the pain in our world grows bigger and erupts.
Ricocheting bullets school yards and halls.
Chainsaws to sacred beings.
When do we begin to look at where this DIS-EASE begins?
In the disconnection from the sacred . . .
In the disconnection from the heart.
The person who ripped metal into Luna's flesh
is just as ripped apart inside as Luna now is,
as I now am,
as is the world.
May the tears that pour out from the depths of my soul
cleanse the sadness of any who would wish to react in rage.
The person who so viciously attacked Luna
has enough anger for the world.
May we love ever more
May we motivate ourselves to committed love in Action
May we motivate ourselves to live the life we wish to see in the world.
May we be the transformation we wish to see in the world.
From the inside out . . .
From the roots branching upwards . . .
From the heart
to thought
to word
to action.
Through life's trials and hardships
we can arise beautiful and free.

Julia Butterfly
Sunday, November 26, 2000

Tuesday, November 28, 2000
Dear Friends of Luna,

Thank you for your outpouring of support to Luna and Julia. Today the critically injured tree received CPR (Conservation, Preservation and Restoration as coined by the late archdruid David Brower). Sanctuary Forest, Pacific Lumber, visiting arborists, foresters, engineers and other specialists believe that the tree can survive if it can be stabilized before a heavy windstorm. Tree experts are attempting to save this magnificent redwood that is an international beacon of hope. Many of you have asked WHAT YOU CAN DO. Prayers and contributions are gratefully accepted to help with investigative and preservation costs.

Press Release

Contact: Circle of Life Foundation: (707) 923-9522, (707) 923-4619

The small hamlet of Stafford, California is the site of a landslide that originated on PL/Maxxam land that destroyed seven families' homes. Stafford is also home to the Stafford Giant, an ancient redwood tree now known to the world as Luna. The tree was named Luna by forest activists who used the light of the full moon to rig a treesitting platform 180 feet high in the redwood in October, 1997.

On December 10, 1997 Julia Butterfly Hill climbed into the tree to protect the magnificent redwood and to help make the world aware of the plight of the ancient forests. From her perch she carried out a tremendous amount of outreach to politicians, religious leaders, school children and citizens worldwide.  After two years of risking her life, Julia, with the help of members of the US Steelworkers of America and other forest activists, successfully negotiated the permanent protection of Luna and a nearly three-acre buffer zone.

The tree was protected by a Deed of Covenant, similar to a conservation easement that is held by the land trust Sanctuary Forest. The Luna Preservation Agreement, signed by Julia Hill and PL/Maxxam Corp., was designed to protect Luna in perpetuity so the tree could live for another millennium.

On Thanksgiving weekend it was discovered that a critical cut had been made into Luna by a large chainsaw. The perpetrator made one deep and precise cut that went through a significant portion of the tree. While the tree is still alive and standing, Luna is extremely vulnerable to a windstorm. Judging from the precision of the cut and the fresh sawdust, the criminal action appears to have been committed by an experienced treefaller within the last few days.

Julia Butterfly was devastated to learn of the injury to Luna, "Luna is the greatest teacher and best friend I have ever had. I gave two years of my life to ensure that she could live and die naturally.  But two years is nothing compared to the thousand years she has lived, providing shelter, moisture and oxygen to forest inhabitants. It kills me that the last 3% of the ancient redwoods are being desecrated. I feel this vicious attack on Luna as surely as if the chainsaw was going through me. Words cannot express the deep sorrow that I am experiencing but I am as committed as ever to do everything in my power to protect Luna and the remaining ancient forests."

Circle of Life Foundation and Sanctuary Forest are researching what can be done to stabilize the critically injured tree. There is a criminal investigation at the crime site for clues as to who may have committed this spiteful and malevolent action against this permanently protected tree.

The forests surrounding Luna are sacrifice zones that were not protected under the Headwaters Forest Agreement. Other sacrifice zones include the old-growth Douglas fir forests on Rainbow Ridge in the Mattole River watershed. Police convoys are actively trying to stop forest activists from defending these forested steep slopes that are slated to be clearcut during this rainy season.

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