Join EPIC on Friday, November 4, 2017 to celebrate 40 years of EPIC and our work to protect and restore wild California. It will be a fun-filled evening of dinner and dancing, with Joanne Rand, Alice DeMicele, and headlined by Casey Neill and the Norway Rats, so bring your dancing shoes! Dinner will be expertly crafted, courtesy of Sue’s Organics, and we will also have the usual silent auction full of enticing items, including tickets to Disneyland!
Celebrating 40 years of cutting-edge, innovative, and historically-effective advocacy for the protection and restoration of California’s forests and wild places in one night will not be easy, but this year’s recipient of the Richard Gienger Sempervirens Lifetime Achievement Award is a big part of getting us there. This year, as we celebrate 40 years of EPIC and our amazing community, we are honored to posthumously award the Sempervirens Award to the late Judi Bari for her lifetime of environmental and labor movement activism and organizing on the redwood coast. Judi Bari’s daughters will be present to accept the award in honor of their mother.
Judi Bari was far more than simply an environmentalist; she was an avid advocate for workers, and the rights of working people. In addition to being a prominent member of Earth First!, Judi was also a member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). She spent a tremendous amount of time and energy not only working to slow the destruction of the last of the old-growth redwoods, but also to organize and cooperate with timber and mill workers, many of whom knew and understood the consequences of the destruction of the forest would also mean an end to their jobs and way of life.
Judi, along with Daryl Cherney, was a major impetus behind the 1990 season of non-violent civil disobedience up and down the redwood coast of Northern California known as Redwood Summer, aimed at slowing the destruction of the last remaining old-growth redwood forest utilizing direct action, while groups like EPIC and others used the courts and political venues to forward redwood conservation. Famously, while on a road tour to promote Redwood Summer in 1989, a pipe-bomb exploded in the backseat of the car being driven by Judi and Daryl while the two were preparing for a show in Oakland, CA.
The wounds suffered by Judi Bari as a consequence of the pipe-bomb and complications therefrom would eventually claim Judi’s life in 1997. On March 1, 1999, the Headwaters Forest Agreement, which most activists pejoratively referred to as, “The Deal,” was consummated between the MAXXAM Corporation-controlled Pacific Lumber Company, the U.S. Government and the State of California, transferring 7,500-acres of what is today the Headwaters Forest Reserve into public ownership. The Deal effectively marked the end of the so-called “Timber Wars” that marred our forests and divided our communities for nearly two decades.
Although Judi did not survive to see the creation of the Headwaters
Forest Reserve, she lives on in Headwaters today. On June 19, 2015, a plaque and dedication with the planting of 200 trees took place in Headwaters at a location now known as “Visionaries Grove,” a place dedicated to the hard work, sacrifice, and visionary inspiration of all who fought to protect Headwaters Forest. Today, the Headwaters Forest Reserve stands as a critical refuge for threatened and endangered fish and wildlife, and also as a critical landscape where restoration from the decades of destructive MAXXAM/Pacific Lumber logging is being driven forward. Headwaters also stands as a testament to Judi Bari and her tireless spirit.
EPIC is honored to award Judi Bari with the 2017 Richard Gienger Sempervirens Lifetime Achievement Award, and is honored to celebrate Judi and her enduring legacy and spirit on this, our 40th anniversary. As we look back, we also keep our eyes ever-forward as we continue to push for better and more responsible forestry practices on private lands.Far from being too old, EPIC is just getting warmed up! Please come join us and help us celebrate our past, present, and future!