From Appalachians Against Pipelines:
Up on the mountain ridge — on the West Virginia side of Peters Mountain, at the original tree sit site — the past couple days have brought some changes.
First, one of the two tree sits here has been taken down by Mountain Valley Pipeline security. No one was harmed or arrested in its removal.
Just a couple hundred feet away, the second sit is occupied & holding strong! The sitter in that tree writes, “I feel together with everyone working to resist this pipeline. While the other tree sit here on Hellbender is no more, I’m continually inspired by its courageous stand for over 50 days. I am not intimidated by the now 24-hour surveillance of both MVP’s security and the Forest Service, whose tents you can see on the ridge above me. I remain. Stay strong.”
A few miles down the mountain, the record-breaking monopod also remains standing. Today is Day 28.
In addition to this (and perhaps in response), MVP filed for a variance request that would allow them to cut trees in the Jefferson National Forest after their March 31st deadline — specifically, they asked for permission to cut the trees protected by the Peters Mountain Stand. FERC granted that request almost immediately. We don’t know if or when they plan to come cut the trees left standing on the easement, protected now by one remaining tree sit. But we’ll be here. Come join us.
In spite of these recent developments, we are continually inspired and encouraged by the support we’ve received from near and far. Local supporter Nancy Hadden sent us this beautiful note yesterday: “The tree sitters are doing more than just climbing onto a high platform in protest of corporate greed, stolen property rights, and environmental injustice. They are helping all of us to find our own strength, our own voice. Because of them, I check myself each day; I ask how much I am willing to sacrifice for what I know to be true and just. For every day they are there, I become more involved, more courageous. They are helping the people find their power.”
WE’RE STILL HERE. We are not intimidated. The fire of resistance has caught — all eyes remain on Peters Mountain, Bent Mountain, and the newly erected tree sits at Little Teel Crossing. Come support us and join the fight against this dangerous pipeline!
Images from Hellbender Autonomous Zone aka Peters Mountain: a tree sitter with MVP and USFS tents visible in the background; the spring rain forms water droplets; chickweed pops up from the damp Appalachian earth