Redwood Summer

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Organized in 1990, Redwood Summer was a movement of environmental activism aimed at protecting old-growth redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) trees from logging by northern California timber companies. The first official protest associated with Redwood Summer took place in June 1990 at the Louisiana Pacific export dock in Samoa California. Beginning that same month logging companies organized "Right to Work Rallies" in support of the timber extraction industry. Redwood Summer is a part of the larger Timber Wars of the 1990s. "Timber Wars" is also the title of a book by Judi Bari documenting the protests over the decade.

A 1990 California Voter Initiative, Proposition 130 ("Forests Forever") was placed on the November 6, 1990 ballot. The Redwood Summer organizers sought to disrupt logging until forest lands gained extra protection under Proposition 130.

On May 24, 1990, Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney were driving through Oakland, California when a pipe bomb exploded directly under Bari's driver side seat. They were on a tour to recruit college students for Redwood Summer.[1] A film advocating the theory that the FBI placed the bomb, titled "Who Bombed Judi Bari?" (not to be confused with the 1991 Stephen Talbot documentary of the same name) was released in 2012.[2][3][4]

Although the history of Earth First! had continually been controversial, Bari attempted to make Redwood Summer an act of nonviolent civil disobedience, rather than a flat-out confrontation. Protesters were asked to keep the demonstration free of items that may possible compromise this goal, such as alcohol, drugs, and weapons.[5] Regardless of this intention Bari, and Redwood Summer, faced limited support from other environmental organizations. The Sierra Club refused to participate in the movement reportedly citing insurance and liability concerns.[6] Gail Lucas, who represented The Sierra Club in the matter, denounced Redwood Summer saying it could “generate strong antagonism”.[5] Bari did not feel that Lucas “represent[ed] the people who wrote the Forests Forever initiative, organized the Redwood Summer protests, or filed the grassroots lawsuits.” [7] The Environmental protection Information Center (EPIC) of Garberville, CA did not criticize the Redwood Summer movement or Earth First!, but needed to maintain “clean hands” should they be involved in a litigation with Maxxam, parent corporation of Pacific Lumber Company.[8] In general, Redwood Summer lived up to its commitment of nonviolence, causing inconvenience to timber workers and slowing logging in demonstration areas.[9] Despite its stated cooperative intentions the demonstrations tended to be confrontational, fueling animosity from timber workers, and sparked numerous counter protests.[6] Proposition 130 was defeated after an opposition campaign that highlighted Earth First! and Redwood Summer. Over the next decade EPIC filled numerous lawsuits against timber companies in the area.[8]


  1. ^ "Brief History of the Judi Bari Bombing Case". The Judi Bari Website. Retrieved 16 January 2010.
  2. ^ "Judi Bari Revisited: New Film Exposes FBI Coverup of 1990 Car Bombing of California Environmentalist". Democracy Now!. March 27, 2012.
  3. ^ Sheri Linden (December 6, 2012). "Review: 'Who Bombed Judi Bari?' wants to know". Los Angeles Times.
  4. ^ Dean Kuipers (April 2, 2012). "Judge orders testing of evidence in Judi Bari bombing". Los Angeles Times.
  5. ^ a b Talbot, Stephen (December 1990). "Who Set the Bomb". Mother Jones.
  6. ^ a b Dunlap, Riley (2014). American Environmentalism the US Environmental Movement, 1970-1990. Taylor & Francis.
  7. ^ Bari, Judi (March 1991). "The Sierra Club Surrender". Anderson Valley Advertiser.
  8. ^ a b Bevington, Douglas (2009). American Environmentalism: Grassroots Activism from the Spotted Owl to the Polar Bear. Island Press.
  9. ^ Forster, David (September 11, 1990). "Summer' free of violence despite frayed tempers". The Times Standard.