A man with the environmental activist group Earth First! has died after a fall of more than 50 feet from a redwood tree in the Ramsey Gulch area about 20 miles south of San Jose, raising concerns about the dangers of tree-sits, often used to stop logging operations.
The man, whose identity hasn't been released but went by the forest name Naya, had only been in the tree about 12 hours on Tuesday evening when he fell, according to Dennis Davie of the Santa Cruz contingent of Earth First!
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Monday October 14, 2002 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 2 inches; 100 words Type of Material: Correction
Activist's death -- A news brief in Friday's California section erroneously reported that a tree sitter died in 1998 in Humboldt County when a logger felled the tree he was living in. In fact, he died during a logging protest when he was struck by a tree felled by loggers.
"Santa Cruz Earth First! is deeply saddened by this tragic event. We never like to lose an activist," said Davie. "This was a young man in his first tree-sit."
Naya had just come to the area to join the protest Monday night and had climbed into the tree Tuesday morning, Davie said. On Tuesday night, for an unknown reason, he fell out of the tree and was taken by helicopter to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
The county coroner's office had not determined the cause of death Thursday.
The man isn't the first to be injured in a tree-sit protest. In April, 22-year-old Beth O'Brien of Portland died after falling from a tree in Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon. In September 1998, David "Gypsy" Chain became the first California Earth First! activist to be killed during a tree-sit protest when the Humboldt County tree he was living in was felled by a logger.