Julia Butterfly Hill to Speak as Part of UB "Ecofest"

By Donna Longenecker

Release Date: September 5, 2002 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Julia Butterfly Hill, the environmental activist who lived for more than two years in the canopy of a 1,000-year-old redwood tree in California, will give a free lecture at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3 in Slee Hall on the University at Buffalo North (Amherst) Campus.

Her talk will be sponsored by UB's Environmental Task Force, the UB Green Office, and WBFO-FM, 88.7, the National Public Radio affiliate operated by UB.

Hill's UB lecture will be part of a three-day campus "Ecofest" that will include an environmental-film night and environmental roundtable discussions on the challenges of creating an environmentally sustainable "green campus" and the global issue of population and the environment.

There will be an environmental information fair and refreshments from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the lobby of Slee Hall preceding Hill's lecture.

For 738 days, Hill lived in a tree, which she named Luna, in Northern California to protest the destruction of old and ancient growth forests by the Pacific Lumber Co. She endured freezing rain, frostbite and near constant wind to save the tree and protest logging. Early into her two-year "tree sit," living 180 feet off the ground, Hill learned to deal with threats from angry loggers and corporate lawyers while negotiating increasing world-wide media attention for her cause. The details of her sparse existence lived out on a six-by-eight foot weather-beaten platform are chronicled in her book, "The Legacy of Luna: The Story of a Tree, A Woman and the Struggle to Save the Redwoods."

Although Hill endured months of harassment from loggers, her resolve to remain in the tree grew out of a dedicated effort to educate herself about the complexities of the ecosystem she was trying to save. Many have hailed her as an eloquent and heroic spokesperson for inspiring enduring environmental action.

Her latest book, "One Makes a Difference: Inspiring Actions that Change Our World," is a resource guide that shows how to apply the environmental principles of "rethink, respect, reduce, reuse and recycle" to daily life.

The book is full of facts about the current state of natural resources worldwide, including what's left and how much has already been destroyed. The many highlighted factoids include:

o "Americans throw away enough office paper each year to create a wall twelve feet high reaching from Los Angeles to New York City."

o "Every ton of recycled paper saves almost 400 gallons of oil."

o An area of rain forest equal to the size of a football field destroyed every second of every day."

The book also includes empowering short stories of individuals who have indeed made a difference and cites specific examples of ways to embrace a more environmentally aware lifestyle.

Hill's work as an activist now has a global focus. In July she and seven other activists were jailed in Ecuador for protesting oil development by Occidental Petroleum, which plans to build a 300-mile pipeline through the Amazon Basin. The pipeline project is a joint venture with several other oil companies and reportedly cuts through a virgin Andean Cloud Forest, home to many endangered species.

Hill and other forest activists founded the Circle of Life Foundation to "activate people through education, inspiration and connection to live in a way that honors the diversity and interdependence of all life."

For more information, contact the University's UB Green Office at 716-829-3535 or http://wings.buffalo.edu/ubgreen .