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Striptease for the Trees

Westport & Albion, CA. Oct. 18, 2000. While Rush Limbaugh denounces her on his nationally syndicated show, bare-breasted poet/activist “La Tigresa” continues her “art attack” in defense of Northern California's remaining redwood rainforests. On Tuesday, October 17, La Tigresa performed her “naked, sacred” earth goddess poetry twice before the amazed eyes of timber crews engaged in unsustainable logging. She plans to continue her activities in Mendocino County today and through the week.

La Tigresa appeared in the middle of the road leading to the clearcut at DeHaven Creek in Westport California, temporarily turning back a crew of Hispanic loggers who listened in awe as she recited her poetry in the Spanish language, pleading with them to honor the Mother Earth.

The DeHaven Timber Harvest Plan (#293) was contested by 20 different neighbors but the California Department of Forestry approved it anyhow. The land was acquired in an allegedly fraudulent manner by Mr. Jonathan Cook who promised the previous owner, 82 year old retiree Al Gleason, that he would not clearcut the land. Mr. Cook, along with Hawthorne Timber Co., then filed for a THP, which clearcuts an 80 year old second growth forest on a an extremely steep slope above Dehaven Creek.

Hours later, in Albion, Ca., La Tigresa performed another art attack of Goddess-based, nude, Buddhist, guerrilla poetry at Kaisen Gulch for the startled security guard of The Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC). Kaisen Gulch is the site of an ongoing Tree-sit where environmentalists and local residents have opposed the logging practices of The MRC, owned by the Fisher family of San Francisco who also own the GAP/Old Navy/Banana Republic clothing stores.

MRC began to build a road into the redwood forest on Monday morning and so far, five forest defenders have been arrested trying to stop the bulldozers and the tree falling A new tree sit was set up in the path of the road in the early morning, before La Tigresa arrived for her guerrilla poetry reading.

“Northern California is a country under siege” she said, “there's a forest feeding frenzy being fueled by corporate greed!” referring to the increasing numbers of Timber Harvest Plans being “rubber stamped” by CDF. In addition to Kaisen and DeHaven, plans have been approved in Redway, site of an ongoing blockade, and the Mattole Watershed (Pacific Lumber/MAXXAM), and along the Skunk Train route (Hawthorne Timber), near Montgomery Woods, and Table Mountain (MRC/GAP).

La Tigresa promises to continue her bare-breasted poetry recitals — with her “Goddess Squadess” — appearing wherever the forest is being denuded. She has received national media attention, including being mentioned on Jay Leno and Rush Limbaugh.

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