At U Of Oregon, Environmentalists Launch Tree Sit-In

Apr 16, 2019

If you visit the University of Oregon this week, you may spot a tree dweller 70 feet off the ground, protesting climate change.

U of O student and environmental activist Mia Robichaud ("Robi") smiles from her perch about 70 feet above the campus. A friend says she made it up to the platform around 3:00am Tuesday morning.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

Off University and 13th Avenue, a lone activist calls for environmental justice from a high platform.

Courtney Kaltenbach of Cascadia Forest Defenders, and Extinction Rebellion, explains.

Courtney Kaltenbach (left) and Simon Rosenthal (right), deliver remarks against global warming, clearcutting, and other issues. Behind them, Mia Robichaud occupies a tree that other activists will take turns at sitting in over the next few days.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

“That’s our friend, Robi, she has been here since 3 o’clock in the morning.  And she plans to be there as long as she needs to be.”

The groups also oppose a logging project in the Thurston Hills, which is embroiled in a lawsuit.

“Clearcutting is dangerous because it provides a lot of area for shrub-land, and that shrub-land is very easily combustible," says activist Simon Rosenthal. 

"Unlike the natural, big old forests which are very fire resistant. So it just makes it way easier for fires to start, as well as spread.”

There is pushback. A group called Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities calls the Thurston Hills dispute a “manufactured controversy,” while President Trump continues to dismiss scientific concerns on climate change.

Copyright 2019, KLCC.