Feb 27th, 2013
Posted on February 26: Local resident Alex Lotorto has freeclimbed an old Eastern Hemlock, Pennsylvania’s state tree, to stop felling for the Tennessee Pipeline Loop 323, 30 feet from the latest stump and 150 feet up the ridge from Cummins Hill Road.
Alex when asked for statement said, “Before she passed, my mother sold homes on top of Cummins Hill. These homes were valued for their scenic views and proximity to recreation in the forest and this right of way will scar the land that makes this mountain attractive, just like the Columbia Pipeline already has. Her job as a realtor put food on the table for me and my family. I am sitting in this tree to defend the livelihoods of the people in this community. Today, I’m 50 feet closer to her and give thanks for all that she sacrificed for me.”
Alex’s daring escape on February 27: “Alex snuck down the eastern hemlock last night while two police cars with lights flashing and two workers searched the icy slopes of Cummins Hill Rd with flashlights. Gifford Pinchot remains roosting in the tree sit about a half mile up the mountain from yesterday’s action. Both tree sitters are safe and without injury, except Alex is really bummed about the sleet and having to come down to eliminate the high risks during the storm without the right gear.
However, we rightly assumed that TGP wouldn’t return to the mountain this morning with chainsaws, especially because Alex had been calling the Wilkes Barre office of OSHA all day to report workers falling down without cleats on their feet, which should be provided by TGP. The residents of Cummins Hill Rd, the value of their homes, and their woodland neighbors are all spared another day of clearcutting.
If you’d like to come and support future actions, please call 570-269-9589″