Timber wars ephemera wanted

As I described in my previous post, Scott Brown, co-owner of Eureka Books in Old Town Eureka, is looking to preserve artifacts and ephemera from the forest protest movement.

If you have action flyers, meeting announcements, photographs, diaries, meeting minutes, banners, stickers or whatever, he’d like to talk to you about it. These are the kinds of objects that we rarely think to keep at the time, but which provide texture and depth and personal touches to written histories. I brought my old Portaledge, the one I used in the first tree-sit in 1985 up there a few weeks ago (see post below). As I go through more boxes, I’ll be saving the flyers and things I know I still have stashed away. The timing is perfect for me, since I’m trying to lighten the material load in my life.

The Headwaters Forest struggle is such an important part of Northern California history that it deserves a museum of its own to document and preserve it. Anchoring the narrative of that struggle could be a timeline of all the actions ever done. At this point, it would have to be compiled from jail records and old newspaper clippings, since most of the activists who lived and breathed the campaign are scattered to the wind. There were so many years of protests, so many arrests, such a wealth of struggle, comradeship, defeat, suffering, joy, adventure and, in a few cases, birth and death went through those blockades, basecamps, meetings, all-night treks through the woods, jail cells and confrontations with cops and loggers.

I’m wondering if anyone has any old lockboxes around? Back when the “Stable Slopes” above Redway were threatened by Maxxam logging, we buried at least two “sleeping dragons”—steel lock boxes anchored in cement—in that road, should we ever have to blockade and lock ourselves down. It would be amusing to go dig one of them up for Scott’s collection.

Another great Headwaters project would be to interview participants on all sides—protesters, cops, loggers, reporters, residents in the region—and compile the best stories from that time.

A small factoid for those visiting the Headwaters Forest Preserve: notice the tubular steel gate, usually locked open, at the entrance to the parking lot. It has a steel plate welded across the face of it. This was done in response to Earth First!ers locking the gate shut with their arms in steel lockboxes. Dozens of people were arrested at that gate over the years. (And, after they welded the plate, we would place cups of quick-dry cement over the padlocks up under the steel shroud. Heh heh heh.) If there ever is a Headwaters protest museum, that gate should be moved to the parking lot. Or, maybe a monument should be affixed to it so visitors on their nature walks know that those trees are only there for them to enjoy because of others’ sacrifices. We have monuments to the fallen in every other war, why not the timber war?

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Go through your old boxes, contact far-flung Headwaters comrades from basecamp, write down your favorite stories and contact Scott at info {at} eurekabooksellers {dot} com or call (707) 444-9593 or stop in at 426 Second Street, Eureka, CA 95501.

3 thoughts on “Timber wars ephemera wanted

    • Did you see my previous post? You might find that amusing. Several people have sent me emails, FB posts and tweets saying they were contacting you or sending you material. So, hope it goes well. I think it’s a great project. Will have some old flyers for you soon.

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