ORIGINAL POST, 4:52 pm Tuesday, Sept. 15: Activists have climbed into a group of giant sequoias slated to be cut down by the developer of an Eastmoreland property.
The lot at Southeast 36th Avenue and Martins Street was fenced off today. Itâs covered in âNo Trespassingâ signs and empty, save for three giant sequoias and about 14 people.
The trees are at the center of a fight between neighborhood residents and developer Vic Remmers, who says he plans to cut them down to build an Everett Custom Home. Local author Arthur Bradford wrote about the trees last month for WW.
David Walters of Portland was the first into the trees. He climbed up at about 2 p.m. today.
By 4 pm, he was joined by a second climberâthe two had gotten about 25 feet off the ground.
"We're going to higher, though," Walters said.
They are not the only Portland tree-climbing protesters this week One woman climbed into a fir tree Monday morning, then came back down.
James Fischer-Smith, a junior at Reed College and one of the activists on the ground, says that Remmers' pledge to plant new trees won't cut it, and that the age of the sequoias makes them irreplaceable.
"Where are you going to find 150-year-old trees to put in the ground?" Fischer-Smith asked.
Christopher Kuttruff, also of Portland, said that saving the trees is part of a larger effort to preserve Portland's natural resources.
"The way we're expanding to make more room for people in Portland is not sustainable," he said.
As for how long the activists will stay, they say that depends on what the developer chooses to do, and whether it involves the police. The aim so far, they say, is to stay overnight.
"We're playing a few things by ear over here," Walters said. "My birthday's on the 20th, let me know if we get there."