Two people were taken out of a large, ancient ash tree and arrested in Willits last week. A crew of 50 CHP cops using giant "cherry-picker" crane trucks brought two sitters out of the tree, and arrested a third person there documenting the police action as a journalist, but resistance to the Caltrans Bypass continues.
The four-month long tree-sit was in the last remaining grove of trees sitting in the path of Caltrans over-built highway construction of a bypass around the town of Willits in Mendocino County, California. The tree also sits at the edge of wetlands that Caltrans is draining and filling with 55,000 "wick drains" sunk into the soil and massive amounts of fill. Activists and local residents have been calling on the Army Corps of Engineers, who oversee projects involving wetlands, to enforce existing laws and to pursue Caltrans permit violations already documented.
There is a large rally and action planned for Oct. 12 in the area--details will be posted very soon.
There have been over 50 arrests for civil disobedience actions to stop the massive, expensive and unnecessary project, as well as court battles and pressure on elected officials and Gov. Jerry Brown. Opponents of the boondoggle plan are awaiting the outcome of a federal court lawsuit challenging the plan filed in May of 2012.