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Treesitter Dies Defending Ramsey Gulch Ecosystem

A forest activist who fell while treesitting has died from injuries sustained on Tuesday, October 8, 2002.
Robin (last name unknown), called in the woods by the name Naya, had just arrived in Santa Cruz from Arcata, CA where he may have been involved with direct action in the Mattole area of Humboldt county. He was eager to go to the forest and defend against logging that would harm Steelhead Trout at the southern end of the coastal redwood forests. He was found Tuesday night by employees of Redwood Empire at the base of "Esparanza," the tree he had been sitting in for about 12 hours. He was taken by helicopter to Valley Medical Center in San Jose where he died earlier today. He would have been 22 years old on Thursday, 10 October. While he enjoyed rock-climbing, this was Naya's first treesit.

The location of the treesit, the Ramsey 2 Timber Harvest Plan in southern Santa Cruz county near Corallitos, is opposed by many local environmentalists, federal, state and county agencies. Santa Cruz Earth First! has been activiely defending Ramsey Gulch and nearby Gamecock Canyon for almost 7 years. The treesits in Ramsey 2 THP were established almost 2 months ago in the area where logging is going on.

Santa Cruz Earth First! activists met quietly tonight to talk over the situation in Ramsey Gulch and morn the loss of a fine, young forest defender. A public Memorial Gathering will be held on October 18 or 19, 2002 at a location to be announced.

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Tragedy in the making

Dennis, This is a true tragedy that has been in the making for quite some time. I do not want to detract from the true horror of this tragedy, but this was preventable tragedy by the leaders of Santa Cruz EF! It trivializes defense and calls judgement into question when people are allowed to bring babies and puppies into defense situations; the photographs on your website illustrate a lack of consciousness toward safety.

Fact of the matter is that the rope skills necessary to stay alive in the canopy are trivial, but gravity is absolute and does not play Solomon.

There has to be defined and marked accountability in this tragedy if it is not to happen again. What is the position of EF! leadership ???


You base your entire view of the safety of S.C. Earth First! tree-sitters off of photos you saw on the website? That's pretty pathetic. This isn't the Army -- there isn't the element of hierarchical accountability in Earth First!. If someone wants to tree sit, they may; provisions are made for their safety and well-being -- it is as simple as that.

Stay tuned and don't leap to judgement and finger pointing.


There is accountability - the tree sitter was accountable for his own actions as a sitter, preumably he made a critical error while up there, and gravity held him accountable for it.

It's very unfortunate, yes. Presumably Dragonfly made an error in judgement in allowing this climber to go up, and will certainly raise the bar henceforth. However, I can not see expecting him or other SCEF leadership to shoulder the blame.

Naya screwed up. Naya paid for it. Shit happens. He knew the risk he was taking, or should have known.

Unless of course there was foul play. Which wouldn't surprise me, but until there's a shred of evidence.. no.


latest news

His death has an aftershock, I'd like to report without any air of casualness to the indicident or lack of repsect for Robin: the loggers climbed up the tree yesterday and removed the tree sit in Esperanza, and it's probably going to be cut down soon, considering it's monetary value is placed at some $40,000 dollars. A tragedy for all. . ...

Fallen Friend of the Forest

I am so saddened to hear of the young life cut short by what appears to be an accident. Robin, who died while defending "Esperanza" a tree marked for cutting by a logging industry which only prizes giant trees for their profitability. An Earth First!er, he had been putting his body on the line to defend trees from destruction on steep slopes in critical watershed areas. He and all Earthfirst!ers know that treesits are inherently dangerous. If only Robin could have saved Esperanza by sitting in a board meeting instead of on a platform 50 feet off the ground.

If only....

When we act to defend what we know to be precious and irreplacable, a casual act which is of no consequence to our personal lives barely counts. It is only when we put ourselves at some level of risk, do our actions start to mean something. Robin did this. I didn't know him, but he must have deeply cared for the big trees, and was willing to face physical discomfort, risk of arrest, serious injury, or, sadly even death.

I certainly hope that Roger Burch of Redwood Empire will spare "Esperanza" in Robin's memory.

Long Live Earth First!

We are remembering you all in our hearts up here, you beautiful defenders of the forest!

The loss of a comrade hurts the heart, and focuses the mind. Suffering is part of the great circle of life and our own poor lives are what we can humbly offer.

Mourn as we need to, work as we must. Long Live Earth First!


Forest activists all over the west coast are hearing about this tragedy and are expressing sorrow.I would like to put out some love and support to all the Ramsey Gulch family.Alot of us risked our freedom and lives to defend Ramsey,when all the meetings and hearings are over,the only way to have any hope at all is DIRECT ACTION.Sometimes it works,sometimes it doesn't but the important thing is people try.The stakes in the tree-sitting actions are high,it's life and death,lives of trees and humans.It is a serious thing,and sometimes accidents happen.But I feel it is better to have loved the trees and lost,than to have not loved the trees at all.This accident is no ones fault,it just happened,people choose to be in the trees of their own free will. We will honor Naya by continuing to work to save mother nature's creations.

response to Mr. Rhodes

Mr. Rhodes,
I was involved in SCEF! for years and have participated in several local and regional actions. I have been involved in EF! at an organizational level within a number of groups and acknowledge the clear hierarchy; a leadership that has lost control of defense and has allowed this situation to control the untimely deaths of two activists this year - one here and one in Oregon. These are tragedies that wring tears from all of us; the tears themselves are preventable.

I make reference to the website because it is a resource you can draw from; far easier to the audience of this website than the watershed forests themselves.

If I may quote you: "don't leap to judgement [sic] and finger pointing"

from portland

Hi, I'm writing in from Portland Oregon. I was part of the Eagle Creek Campaign before duing and after Horehound fell out of the Truth treesit and died this last spring.

Something I've learned from Horehound's death was that there are certain groundrules for tree sits, basically that people have got to be trained both medically and in at least medium level rigging, there should always be enabled comm devices and there should never be less than two people in a tree sit. And if those requirements can't be met you'd best switch to other tactics.

That kid lay dying for over twenty four hours until he was discovered by loggers. That ain't right. And I'm only airing it on a public forum because a lesson has got to be learned here, by everyone. Rigging training, Medical training. No less than two people. Or no tree sit. Any one of those conditions would've saved his life. Or at least not have left him dying all alone.

Our blessings and support and all the love we can manifest from the north. Please learn from this.



Stupid shit!


Wow, what a fucking moron. Too bad a bid hunter didn't take him for a dodo and blast his dumb ass out of the tree - it would have made for a more amusing story.

Did he his every branch on the way down? Did he make any girlie noises as he fell? We need more details to make us fully appreciate his stupidity!





I think that there should be a law against people sitting in trees. If people are going to die while doing this, it should be ILLEGAL!

It is NOT the trees fault that this person died!

It was HIS fault for getting drunk or stoned and then going up a tree to "save it" from the bad lumberjack-man.

Also, if the trees were all cut down, it would make the forest a LOT safer for these environmentalists!

i just want to say........ friggin idiot! next time strap yourself in before you fall asleep. its fools like you that give us tree-hugging, liberal, enviro-wackos a bad name!!!! god damn !

Stupid Hurts

Get a Life!
Get a Job!

spotted owl

I think a spotted owl pushed him! Call the FBI

Evil insensitive fucks.

Fucking assholes. Laughing at the death of such a young man is fucking wrong.

This is a tragedy. Grow up you evil fucks. Even if you disagree with a cause, you do no one favors when you gloat over the tragic death of another.

Rest in peace Robin. Your name will be wispered in awe for generations to come.

hero worship

"Rest in peace Robin. Your name will be wispered in awe for generations to come."

Over falling out of a tree for an unknown reason? Is your movement that desperate for heroes?

Just because he died, doesn't mean he even suspected it was coming, or thought it was a real possibility. How do you know he was some courageous eco-defender bravely defying death, and not just a dumb kid who thought he was immortal until he made a dumb mistake?

Americans love to prop the dead up on pedastals, for some weird reason.



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