Wilderness Hero Wednesday: Julia Butterfly Hill. In the category of sometimes-one-person-can-change-the-world, Julia Butterfly Hill brought worldwide attention to the last of the unprotected coastal Redwoods by climbing up a 300 foot tree one cold December day in 1997 and not coming back down for two years. The tree and the whole three thousand acre forest of pristine Redwood-Salmon-and-creek habitat surrounding it was supposed to be leveled, gutted and burned. Make no mistake here - Julia Butterfly Hill didn't do this alone. She had tons of amazing folks on the ground bringing her food and doing all kinds of support for her, but she's the one who lived in that tree for two years. And as the weeks turned into months, people started paying attention, and then suddenly all the newspaper reporters were climbing up there and hanging from limbs to interview her, and then she had the world's attention and starting telling her story: about how the junk bond king, Charles Hurwitz, was gutting the once venerable Pacific Lumber Company and his attempt to quickly liquidate all its "assets", ahem, namely, the big trees to pay off his big debt; and how his wreckless and desperate attempt to log-it-all-right-now was also gutting the future of communities that depended on those jobs; suddenly, everyone was talking about Julia Butterfly Hill and her story... That forest of fifteen-hundred-year-old trees, that rarest of rare things, an in-tact, old growth watershed, is there today because of her - one person did all of that. Now that's what I call occupy.
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