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Earth First! Earth Warriors
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Earth First! Warriors Dennis Davies at Elfland UCSC.
"...Since Christ's time, God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanche, and a thousand straining, leveling tempests and floods; but he cannot save them from fools." John Muir founder of the Sierra Club.

By Dennis Fritzinger
Earth First! Journal Nov-Dec 2000 Samhain.
A is for Abbey, the curmudgeonly fellow.
B is for beer; sometimes colored yellow.
C is for caltraps, to flatten a tire.
D is for dams, that will one day expire.
E is for Earth First! that stout-hearted crew.
F is fence cutting (you know what to do).
G is Green Fire, of Leopold fame.
H is for Hayduke, that fabulous name.
I is incendiary, like burning 'dozers.
J if for jail time, and other enclosures.
K is for kill, what they'll do if they catch you.
L is for lover of nature, you wrench, you.
M is for monkey wrench, made in America.
N is for nightwork, with your girlfriend, Erika.
O is for oil, in wilderness drilled.
P is for Prince William Sound, where it's spilled.
Q if for quest for the wild and free.
R is for river; a great place to be.
S is for spike, you do when you must.
T is three people, the most you can trust.
U is unseen, as you slip thru the woods.
V if for victory getting the goods.
W is for wilderness, also for wild.
X is the mark you put down, and just smiled.
Y is for you, the puzzle's missing piece.
Z is for zeal, that can only increase.

GrayWhale Ranch Destruction of the lungs of the earth; the Trees.

Ella Seneres Staff writer.  Cabrillo Voice February 9 1994

Dawn lights the forest in cool gray hues, while birds chirp morning rituals, woodland creatures rustle amidst twisted oak trees; cascading moss, then humans join the ambiance with screaming chain saws; ripping through the sanctity of nature. Is this the Brazilian Rain Forests? No, its Santa Cruz's own backyard version of destruction with Gray Whale Ranch threatened by a multi-million dollar proposal for 73 luxurious home, swimming pools and tennis courts. The chain saws accompany the heavy thud of falling trees and trembling ground. I dodge barb wire, the KEEP OUT- private property sign. Eyes and ears vigilant for humans; running on backfire roads, veering away from open spaces, diving when approached into poison oak, seeking shelters from loggers and security guards, all the while following a faint gnawing sound, until I come upon a logger preoccupied with his saw. Bushes shield the site of destruction, sneak closer, belly crawling, still unable to capture the act on film, slithering closer, trees crashing around, hoping not to be crushed, I wonder about my sanity. I love her. I persevere. The logger stops cutting the huge Redwood; he's whistling close enough that any movement would alert him to my presence, but he's coming towards my have a nice day shirt; bombs falling upon running screaming civilians. I camouflage by pushing body and face into the remains of a tree partially eaten by termites on the ground. Rump sticking up like a ostrich- head down. The whistling gets louder. ESCAPE. Feeling trapped, overtaken by images of mayhem when the logger sees me alone, my adrenaline heightened as memories of Elf Land at UCSC, where a major TV network cameraman was traumatized.  Need a exit without arrest, rehearsing excuses, hopefully not going to have the shit kicked out of me, or worse. But the logger turned away. I retreat slipping past loggers congregating nearby; finally to Empire Grade where protesters solicit responses from traffic. Protesters were in the logging area. Crawling in netted nil so I flew in, puked all the way from Watsonville Airport to Empire Grade. And back. Rough ride. Puke, puke.

The Gray Whale Ranch saga began when Ron Yanke, bought land for $5 million in 1988. After a massive outcry in 1988-89, State Senator Henry Mello and Assemblyman Sam Farr’s created a group to find funds to buy the land in its natural state. The State Parks Commission strongly favored this, the state legislature budgeted $300,000. The Trust for Public Land made an offer. In May 1992, Yanke’s plans conflicts with the County Coastal Plan Amendments. The County Planning Department’s Environmental Impact Report reviewed Yanke's plan. Protecting Gray Whale Ranch will preserve the County Coastal Plan by having a long-term impact on the Santa Cruz North Coast construction and logging restrictions. A California Parks and Wildlife initiative is on the June 1994 ballot. If passed, it will save north coast lands. For 6 years a myriad of Yanke’s Timber Harvest Plans (THP) were either withdrawn, turned down by the California State Board of Forestry on appeal, or overruled by the courts. Then two THP’s, one for Peasly Gulch and one for Majors Creek were given the green light for bulldozing. Lawsuits embroiled Santa Cruz County, Save the Gray Whale Parklands and the Sierra Club in halting logging by challenging the validity of the THP’s. A Court of Appeals stay order was lifted after Yanke's attorney submitted 1 letter. Meanwhile, loggers destroy land, as a futile, docile Environmental Impact Report for the targeted site is being prepared. A vigil for the wild was held, where Celia Scott, a lawyer and representative of Save the Gray Whale Parklands said, “What troubles me is we did not have our day in court. It is not fair. We are dedicated in making sure this is the last time logging on this ranch occurs. Too many trees are going down everywhere. It's a crazy system that allows the environment to be altered by logging and wildlife to be impacted, while an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is being done.” To secure the wild, nature lovers, hikers, bicyclists, photographers and 3,000 others signed a petition to preserve flora and fauna. Eight mushrooms species grow exclusively there; endangered species; the Santa Cruz Kangaroo Rat, Santa Cruz Cypress, mountain lions, Golden Eagles and Cave Gulch known all over California where rare species take residence; the Townsend’s Big Eared Bat; bats eat 500 insects an hour and are decimated globally at an alarming rate. The Red Legged Frog joins the expanding list of Federal Endangered Species. Jacob Bear said “We have this environmental atrocity and desecration in our own back yard. If we want to halt the destruction, we have to take action, if we care.”

Save Gray Whale PO Box 604, Santa Cruz, CA 95061