THE LEGACY OF LUNA by Julia Butterfly Hill


The Story of a Tree, A Woman, and the Struggle to Save the Redwoods
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A charged first-person account by an ardent environmental activist whose long-term occupation of a giant redwood tree

focused public attention on the cutting of old-growth redwood forests in northern California.

Hill discovered her mission in life the first time she entered a redwood forest. In short order she connected with Earth First!

protesters engaged in tree-sitting (a tactic used to halt lumbering operations). After a brief initial tree-sit in Luna, a 1,000-year-old

redwood, she began the more extended sit-ins detailed here. Her treetop adventures include lightning, horrific storms, winds and

cold weather, harassment by lumber company helicopters, and a siege by lumber company security guards intent on starving her

out. While learning how to survive on a tiny platform perched some 180 feet about the ground, Hill also learned about the forest

activist movement and became adept at using the media (via her cell phone) to the movement's best advantage. She also

recognized early on that connecting with the opposition on a human level would help, and her account of how she got Pacific

Lumber security guards to see her as a likable individual rather than some anonymous tree-hugger is instructive. Hill's tone,

however, is unabashedly self-righteous throughout. She sees Pacific Lumber as a good company gone bad after being taken over

by the evil Charles Hurwitz of MAXXAM, and she faults the US and California state governments for complicity in the

company’s clear-cutting operations. Over time she develops a certain rapport with John Campbell, Pacific Lumber's president,

reaching a tentative agreement that would protect Luna and its surrounding grove, but Hill ends her story with the deal still up

in the air and herself still up in the tree.

It is not necessary to be an environmental activist to find this a compelling portrait of a young woman of remarkable fortitude

and dedication. (40 b&w photographs, not seen)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-06-251658-2
Page count: 256pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2000


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