April 3rd Update: The Warbler and fellow tree-sitters have been forcibly taken down by CHP officers in cherry pickers and climbing gear. The officers aimed guns loaded with “less than lethal” “bean bag rounds” at the tree-sitting highway construction blockaders and shot one of them multiple times. See more below and at the Save Little Lake Valley website.
Rally for the Valley: Saturday, April 6th
The following is reposted from: Save Little Lake Valley website
Also see their Facebook for current updates.
Saturday, April 6th, 2:00-6:00pm
Willits’ Recreation Grove Park
@ E. Commercial St & S. Lenore Ave.
Come one, come all to an afternoon of music, speakers, and activities in honor of Little Lake Valley’s brave defenders—the tree sitters—and all those who have been working towards halting construction of the Bypass. Let’s move forward together into a new phase of our campaign to protect the valley’s ecology and economy from Big Orange’s unnecessary destruction.
The event will begin with a ceremony honoring the five tree sitters who were forcibly extracted by a CHP SWAT team on April 2nd: an opportunity for the greater community to demonstrate their appreciation. The War
Please spread the word, and bring the whole family. Stand with those who have risen up for Little Lake Valley!
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or for more information, or stop by the new Save Our Little Lake Valley office space at 23 S. Main Street.
Bike Ride for Little Lake Valley
Saturday will also see a Little Lake Valley Support Ride via bicycle on Highway 101 from Redwood Valley to Rec Grove Park. Bikers will assemble at 10 a.m. on West Road’s North Bound Ramp. They will affix STOP CALTRANS BYPASS signs to their backs and their bicycles.
APRIL 2nd MEDIA COVERAGE ROUND UP
Here is a partial list (with links) of yesterday’s media coverage of yesterday’s events. There were many more papers, blogs, and websites picking up on the story. The Associated Press also picked up on the story.
- Willits News, Linda Williams: Updated at 5pm. Tree-sitters blocking Willits bypass route pulled from trees
- KQED Bay Area, Laird Harrison: Willits Tree Sitters Removed and Arrested in Highway 101 Bypass Protest
- Press Democrat, Mary Callahan and Melody Karpinski: Willits tree sitters forcibly removed from protest spots.
- San Francisco Chronicle, Ellen Huett: Willits road protestors’ trees cut down
- San Francisco Bay Guardian, Tim Redmond: Tree-sitter shot, 70 feet up, by rubber bullet
- KPFA: Flashpoints (minutes 0-24)
- San Jose Mercury News, John Marshal: 7 tree-sitters arrested in highway project protest
- CBS SF Bay Area: 7 tree-sitters protesting Willits bypass arrested
- KIEM Channel 3, Kelly May: 3 “TREE-SITTERS”EXTRACTED, TWO PROTESTORS ARRESTED AT WILLITS BYPASS SITE
- North Coast Journal, Heidi Walters: Climbers Bring Down Willits Warbler
Breaking News April 2, 9:30 am: The Warbler was been extracted from her tree-sit around 7:00am this morning and another extraction may be under way! This was apparently done from a cherry picker/bucket truck. The struggle is not over yet, there are at least 3 more tree-sits and the discovery of a Whitebreasted Nuthatch nest by a tree-sitter has put a halt to some of Caltrans destruction.
What’s going on?
The California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) is attempting to construct a four-lane superhighway through Little Lake Valley, otherwise known as Willits.
This project would destroy some of the Valley’s last remaining wetlands, draining 86 acres — the largest wetlands fill permit in Northern California in 50 years. It is in the process of destroying oak savannahs and oak forests throughout the valley and on surrounding hillsides, and generating a massive quantity of CO2 emissions. It would severely damage the local economy, while doing remarkably little to prevent traffic congestion.
Action Camp Kicks Off
Defenders of Little Lake Valley are excited to announce the establishment of an action camp. This mobilization will begin on Saturday, March 30th and remain ongoing until we have stopped the CalTrans superhighway. We are calling on everyone interested in standing up against massive waste, destruction, and greed to travel to our fair valley and help us protect what we hold sacred.
In recent days, CalTrans has been on a rampage. Its contractors have laid waste to large areas of vegetation, installed more than three miles of construction fencing, and dumped gravel to reinforce their haul road. Owing to the strength of our opposition, CalTrans has called on an overwhelming California Highway Patrol officers, including 24-hour surveillance, to be able to carry forward its destruction.
Think of it! The California Highway Patrol’s operation in Willits is likely its biggest mobilization in the state, in a town with a municipal population of roughly 5,000 people.
But the CHP cannot maintain this sort of mobilization for much longer, nor are we going away. We have only come together closer so we can fight harder. We have delayed CalTrans’ construction start by roughly two months already. Meanwhile, a separate group has a federal Clean Water Act lawsuit pending, which will be heard in court in May. Early next week, we are also we filing a California Environmental Quality Act Lawsuit, which would stop this project in its tracks.
We can win this! But we need your help.
Action Camp Logistics
To register for the action camp or for more details, please contact:
For updates and further information regarding Little Lake Valley:
Action Camp start date: Saturday, March 30th
Come prepared! Bring food, water, bedding, warm clothing, rain gear, art supplies, acoustic instruments, songs, and volunteer energy. Please no weapons, drugs, alcohol, pets, or fires. Explain any special needs you may have at pre-registration.
We will be mobilizing creative action towards halting the construction of the Willits Bypass. Your ideas are needed! No special prior experience is required to participate. There are many simple yet important ways to contribute, such as sign and banner making and legal observation.
As an action camp participant, you will learn about the imperiled wetlands, oak woodlands, and migratory bird nesting areas along highway 101 through ongoing hikes, tours, and campfires.
Statement From The Warbler
“I have been tree sitting for 55 days, the past three of which have been taken over by CHP and CalTrans. Right now, CHP officers deployed from all over the state are here to occupy Little Lake Valley and prevent supporters from bringing in supplies. They are also covering up the crimes being committed by Caltrans RIGHT NOW. There is a legal term for that: ‘aiding and abetting.’
No public presence has been allowed in some of the areas being destroyed, so I don’t know the extent of the damage. There are two other tree sitters, besides myself. CHP is not interested in protecting us. If they were, they would not be arresting our protectors and trying to destroy our home. We need to be able to monitor what is going on.
So we need you to come and help. This is not just about Little Lake Valley, this is about the future of this fragile matrix of life we are a part of that. And we have a responsibility to protect it. This is about solidarity. And the struggle that is going on everywhere. If this is not stopped here and now, the destruction will continue.”
Please join us in Little Lake Valley! We’ve got no time to waste.