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Legacy Of Luna [Paperback]

Julia Hill
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 22 2001

On December 18, 1999, Julia Butterfly Hill's feet touched the ground for the first time in over two years, as she descended from "Luna," a thousandyear-old redwood in Humboldt County, California.

Hill had climbed 180 feet up into the tree high on a mountain on December 10, 1997, for what she thought would be a two- to three-week-long "tree-sit." The action was intended to stop Pacific Lumber, a division of the Maxxam Corporation, from the environmentally destructive process of clear-cutting the ancient redwood and the trees around it. The area immediately next to Luna had already been stripped and, because, as many believed, nothing was left to hold the soil to the mountain, a huge part of the hill had slid into the town of Stafford, wiping out many homes.

Over the course of what turned into an historic civil action, Hill endured El Nino storms, helicopter harassment, a ten-day siege by company security guards, and the tremendous sorrow brought about by an old-growth forest's destruction. This story--written while she lived on a tiny platform eighteen stories off the ground--is one that only she can tell.

Twenty-five-year-old Julia Butterfly Hill never planned to become what some have called her--the Rosa Parks of the environmental movement. Shenever expected to be honored as one of Good Housekeeping's "Most Admired Women of 1998" and George magazine's "20 Most Interesting Women in Politics," to be featured in People magazine's "25 Most Intriguing People of the Year" issue, or to receive hundreds of letters weekly from young people around the world. Indeed, when she first climbed into Luna, she had no way of knowing the harrowing weather conditions and the attacks on her and her cause. She had no idea of the loneliness she would face or that her feet wouldn't touch ground for more than two years. She couldn't predict the pain of being an eyewitness to the attempted destruction of one of the last ancient redwood forests in the world, nor could she anticipate the immeasurable strength she would gain or the life lessons she would learn from Luna. Although her brave vigil and indomitable spirit have made her a heroine in the eyes of many, Julia's story is a simple, heartening tale of love, conviction, and the profound courage she has summoned to fight for our earth's legacy.

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From Amazon

A young woman named Julia Butterfly Hill climbed a 200-foot redwood in December 1997. She didn't come down for 738 days. The tree, dubbed Luna, grows in the coastal hills of Northern California, on land owned by the Maxxam Corporation. In 1985 Maxxam acquired the previous landlord, Pacific Lumber, then proceeded to "liquidate its assets" to pay off the debt--in other words, clear-cut the old-growth redwood forest. Environmentalists charged the company with harvesting timber at a nonsustainable level. Earth First! in particular devised tree sit-ins to protest the logging. When Hill arrived on the scene after traveling cross-country on a whim, loggers were preparing to clear-cut the hillside where Luna had been growing for 1,000 years. The Legacy of Luna, part diary, part treatise, and part New Age spiritual journey, is the story of Julia Butterfly Hill's two-year arboreal odyssey.

The daughter of an itinerant preacher, Hill writes of her chance meeting with California logging protesters, the blur of events leading to her ascent of the redwood, and the daily privations of living in the tallest treehouse on earth. She weathers everything from El Niño rainstorms to shock-jock media storms. More frightening are her interactions with the loggers below, who escalate the game of chicken by cutting dangerously close to Luna (eventually succeeding at killing another activist with such tactics). "'You'd better get ready for a bad hair day!'" one logger shouts up, grimly anticipating the illegal helicopter hazing she would soon get. Celebrity environmentalists like Joan Baez and Woody Harrelson stop by, too. The notoriety has, on balance, been good to Hill and her cause. George magazine named her one of the "Ten Most Fascinating People in Politics," Good Housekeeping readers nominated her one of the "Most Admired Women" in 1998, and she was featured in People's "Most Intriguing People of the Year" issue. As a result, more Americans know about controversial forestry practices; it remains to be seen, however, whether public outrage is enough to save California's unprotected and ever-shrinking groves of redwoods. While an agreement allowed Hill to descend from her aerie and Luna to escape the saw, most of the surrounding old-growth forest in the region has been felled or will fall shortly. Still, Hill is optimistic: "Luna is only one tree. We will save her, but we will lose others. The more we stand up and demand change, though, the more things will improve." --Langdon Cook --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In December 1997, Hill (who calls herself Julia Butterfly), 23, climbed 180 feet up a redwood tree she dubbed Luna to protest the logging of northern California's ancient redwood forests. She came down two years and eight days later, after negotiating a largely symbolic deal with Pacific Lumber to preserve Luna and surrounding trees. During her "tree-sit," she lived on a makeshift platform, enduring torrential storms, harassment from loggers, doubt and loneliness. Treeborne, she communicated by cell phone, drew major media attention and received visitors like Joan Baez, Bonnie Raitt and Woody Harrelson. Now a hero of the environmental movement, Hill relives her ordeal in a dramatic first-person narrative revealing just how much she saw her protest as a spiritual quest. She prays to the Universal Spirit and preaches unconditional love of all creation. Talking and praying to Luna, she hears the tree's voice speak to her, teaching her to let go, to go with the flow. Her purple-prose epiphanies, mushy New Age ruminations and anthropomorphizing of the tree blunt her story's impact, and her gosh-oh-gee professed reluctance to become a public figure smacks of disingenuousness. Even so, her firsthand expos? of destructive forest practices (only 3% of America's majestic ancient redwood forests remain) is extremely powerful, and her book, a remarkable inspirational document, records a courageous act of civil disobedience that places her squarely in the tradition of Thoreau. Illus. 15-city TV satellite tour; author tour. (Apr.) FYI: Hill has been named one of George magazine's 10 Most Fascinating People in Politics. All of her proceeds from this book will go to the nonprofit Circle of Life Foundation.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Fierce winds ripped huge branches off the thousand-year-old redwood, sending them crashing to the ground two hundred feet below. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am the editor of this book March 23 2000
By A Customer
It is critical to point out that Legacy of Luna is printed on paper made from 30% post-consumer recycled fibers and 70% Forestry Stewardship Council-certified paper using soy based ink. There is no more responsible paper available. It's quite insane to suggest that Julia would devote her life to saving trees only to have them sacrificed for her book. Instead, this book is a model of the sustainability available to all of us. Furthermore, it is instructive to know that she is not receiving penny from the profits of this book -- they are all going to the Circle of Life Foundation whose work is to promote sustainabiliy, restoration and preservation of life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great book! May 28 2004
By A Customer
This is a great book and I enjoyed reading every page. Very inspirational and moving. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Autobiography Feb. 22 2004
This novel is a fabulous autobiography of Julia Hill, and her experience living in a redwood tree for two whole years. At first I thought it would be dull- how could I read a story about a woman living in a tree? I was quickly hooked to this book though. What makes it really fascinating is that Julia wasn't your typical environmentalist. In fact, until she sat in the tree, she wasn't an environmentalist at all (she was a business major-gasp!). This book also points out that the traditional trees vs. jobs problem is a bit of a myth and the real culprits are the big executives who believe in killing all trees rather than practicing sustainable forestry. This novel is both inspiring and eye opening.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo! Nov. 28 2003
I remember Julia Butterfly Hill making her stand and remember being so proud of her (and impressed with her bravery). This is a good book recounting what she went through and some of her thoughts over that period. So much of her love for this planet comes through and that was what really spoke to me throughout since I feel the same. I think its hard to write that kind of passion into words - but her actions speak so much more loudly than words. Wonderful work!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The "Silent Spring" of our time Nov. 3 2003
Julia Butterfly Hill is the Rachel Carson of our time. I loved this book ... There are very few people who "walk the walk." Julia truly shows us how to make a difference with this book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Keeps your attention Aug. 6 2003
This book definitely keeps your attention for the simple fact that it is so strange. I really admire this woman for living in a tree for two years for a good cause. It seems like a great adventure to write about. The book was well written, and I even am a member of the Sierra Club, but this girl is different.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Finding Balance June 18 2003
This is an amazing story. I think if you are of one extreme political view or the other in regards to the redwoods, or environmentalism, you will be softened somewhat after reading Julia's odyssey. It is largely written from a place of neutrality (the heart), and does not "preach", nor is it angry in tone. I am a Northern Californian myself, and after experiencing personally the enormous anger/hate that goes on between BOTH sides of the spectrum, i.e. the logging industry, and the environmentalists, her book was very refreshing. It was as if, by climbing the tree, and remaining in it for so long, Julia stood on the fulcrum of both extremes.
I remember one part of the book where, after a confrontation with one of the loggers, she lowered down a photograph of herself dressed in a formal gown. Seeing her as someone he could identify with, and not just as a tree-hugging-hippy out-to-ruin-his-life-by-taking his livelihood away, shifted him.
It may be that I believe Julia is a saint, simply because I'm a tree fanatic. But I feel she has really helped shift a lot of the stagnatic energy on both sides of the tree agenda. She has a wonderful heart, and I believe most of you will be able to identify with her, just as that logger did.
The only reason I did not give this book 4 stars, is that there are parts of the writing which seem repeated or slow. But definately, read this book... it is a very unique story!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational and Educational Sept. 8 2002
The amazing story of a young woman who spent two years of her life living in a tree, in order to help save the old growth forests near my home town in Humboldt County, CA.
Before I read this book, I had thought of her ordeal as more of a publicity stunt than anything else. After reading of the hardships she endured, and the tone of her personal convictions though, it became quite clear that this was no "stunt".
Whether you agree with her stance on the environment or not, you have to respect her conviction for her personal beliefs. This story sheds some light on how our youth are using passive activism to help save our planet.
The book is remnicient of Thoreau's Walden in many ways. While it certainly is not be on the literary level of Walden, it definitely is a refreshing change from the many books of today's "me" generation.
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