Open main menu

Luna (tree)

  (Redirected from Luna (Redwood Tree))

Coordinates: 40°26′18″N 124°3′10″W / 40.43833°N 124.05278°W / 40.43833; -124.05278

Luna is the American name given in October 1997 to a 1,000-year-old, 200-foot-tall[1] coast redwood tree located near the community of Stafford in Humboldt County, California which was occupied for 738 days by forest activist Julia Butterfly Hill and saved by an agreement between Hill and the Pacific Lumber Company. The tree was vandalized about a year after the agreement but was repaired and survived.


Despite some news reports to the contrary, Luna is not located in the Headwaters Forest, a preserved old growth forest, but on a windswept ridge overlooking the community of Stafford,[2] south of Scotia.[3] Due to its proximity to the small community of Stafford, this tree has also been referred to as the "Stafford Giant." On New Year's Eve 1996, a landslide in Stafford caused by clearcut logging by Pacific Lumber Company (Maxxam) on steep slopes above the community resulted in most of the community buried up to 17 feet (5.2 m) in mud and tree debris; eight homes were completely destroyed.[4][5]


The 1,000-year-old[1] lightning-struck tree[6] was named by a group of Earth First! members, who built a small platform from salvaged wood to serve as a tree-sit platform.[7] As the moon was rising at the time, they chose the name Luna, the Latin word for moon, to commemorate the event.[8]

For 738 days, from December 10, 1997 to December 18, 1999, forest activist Julia Butterfly Hill lived on the platform in the tree, 180 feet (55 m) above the ground.[7] Hill occupied Luna in order to save it and the surrounding grove from being clear-cut by the Pacific Lumber Company (owned by Maxxam Inc and Houston millionaire Charles Hurwitz).[5][1] The Pacific Lumber company and Hill reached an agreement to save the tree and a 200 feet (61 m) buffer zone around it for $50,000 after which Hill left the tree.[1] Later she wrote a book about her experiences in the giant redwood.[7] Some of her predictions came true, as Maxxam failed in bankruptcy after cutting a 100-year timber reserve in 20 years, leaving employees and suppliers in the lurch.[8][9]

In November 2000, an unknown vandal used a chainsaw to cut halfway through the tree.[10] In 2001, Eureka civil engineer Steve Salzman headed Luna's "medical team" which designed and built a bracing system to help the tree withstand the extreme windstorms with peak winds between 60 and 100 miles per hour.[11] They were assisted by Humboldt State University professor Steven Sillett.[11]

In early 2002, naturalist Paul Donahue noted that Luna had survived the cut.[12] Luna is currently under the stewardship of Sanctuary Forest, a Nonprofit Organization.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e Martin, Glen (28 November 2000). "Vandals Slash Giant Redwood / Tree-sitter Julia Butterfly Hill's former home chain-sawed". San Francisco Chronicle. The Hearst Corporation. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  2. ^ Wilson, Nicholas (November 29, 2000). "Julia Butterfly's "Luna" Redwood Slashed". Albion Monitor. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  3. ^ "Julia Hill and Her Tree sit in Luna". The Redwood Forest: Exploring the Eel River Valley. 2013. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  4. ^ "Stafford Slide". Living on Earth. Public Radio International. March 16, 2001. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  5. ^ a b NBC Dateline (February 14, 1999). Interview with Julia Butterfly Hill (video). National Broadcasting Company.
  6. ^ Curtius, Mary (October 22, 1998). "Tree-Sitter Takes Protest to New Heights in Old Growth: Activist lives in redwood owned by lumber company in dispute over logging Humboldt County forest". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  7. ^ a b c Hill, Julia Butterfly (2000). The Legacy of Luna: the story of a tree, a woman and her struggle to save the Redwoods. HarperSanFrancisco. p. 23. ISBN 0-06-251658-2.
  8. ^ a b Martin, Glen (1998-12-08). "A Year in the Sky". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 25, 2013. They don't care about their employees, and they don't care about their forests. When they're finished, there'll be no jobs, no trees - just eroded earth. We don't have a problem with sustained-yield logging. But this isn't sustained-yield, and the loggers will ultimately suffer with the rest of us."
  9. ^ Cobb, David (June 12, 1008). "Maxxam's Sordid History with Pacific Lumber". Eureka Times-Standard. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  10. ^ Martin, Glen (December 19, 2000). "Steel Collar Fashioned for Slashed Redwood / Experts design system to respect Hill's wishes of avoiding any invasive measures". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  11. ^ a b Donahue, Paul (Winter 2001). "The Cabling of Luna". The Maine Woods. Forest Ecology Network. Retrieved 18 January 2013. The gravel road up to Luna took us through PL (Pacific Lumber) clearcuts of all conditions - impossibly steep, naked, eroded hillsides where not a single plant had grown since our last visit in June 1999, clearcuts with scrubby orange vegetation killed by herbicide spray, and other clearcuts still black and smoking from the Napalm dropped to burn off the slash. From high on the ridge above Luna we had a clear view of the blight of PL's patchwork clearcuts covering the landscape. Most bizarre of all, the whole time we were working to save a single tree we could hear the roar of a large twin-bladed Chinook helicopter coursing over the steep slopes across the Eel River from us, hauling out huge tree trunks in a PL helicopter logging operation.
  12. ^ Donahue, Paul (Spring 2002). "Luna - 17 Months Since Being Cut, and Still Doing Well". Retrieved November 25, 2013.

External linksEdit