Encyclopedia > Tree-spiking

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Tree-spiking is a form of industrial sabotage which originated in timber logging labor disputes in the Pacific Northwest of the United States in the late 1800s.

Tree-spiking was more recently described in Earth First! co-founder Dave Foreman[?]'s book "Ecodefense" as a way that environmental activists could thwart logging operations. It involves driving large metal nails or spikes deep into trees scheduled to be logged, then warning the logging company or public officials that the area's trees had been spiked. The theory is that companies would then not log because the spikes could damage sawmill equipment.

There has been far more rhetoric about tree-spiking than actual cases of it being done in recent decades. Timber company public relations spokespersons have seized on it as a divisive issue to turn timber workers and dependent communities against environmental activists, particularly Earth First!

Recognizing this fact, Earth First! leader Judi Bari in 1990 led activists in Northern California and Southern Oregon to renounce tree-spiking as a tactic on the eve of Redwood Summer, a 1990 campaign of non-violent protests against too-rapid corporate logging of the redwood forest.

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