Tree sitter crosses the line, breaks the law |

Tree sitter crosses the line, breaks the law

When environmental protestors began sitting in National Forest trees to block federal logging, they exercised an American tradition of civil disobedience tied to tax dollars.

With congressionally approved funding involved, they had a right to draw themselves abreast of Patrick Henry and cry foul. View any large clear-cut from Modesto to Seattle and you will understand the impetus.

But a local environmentalist currently sitting in a tree to protest timber cutting on a tract privately owned by Sierra Pacific Industries has crossed a basic line. The tax dollar connection has been stripped from the argument. This is not civil disobedience, it is simply trespassing and should be dealt with accordingly.

The argument may be the Sierra County tract is close to the Pacific Crest Trail and old growth in the area should be spared for the view of taxpaying hikers whether they live in Nevada City or inner Detroit. But that argument dies when private land is involved, private land zoned and planned for by county and state governments not beholden to federal law and policies.

It is noble to protect the environment. It is not noble to break the law.

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