Oaks vs. Bulldozers: Killing Trees in Arcadia, By The Numbers
Here's a by-the-numbers breakdown of the final scene at the skirmish zone at the intersection of Elkins and Highland Oaks Avenues in Arcadia.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works chopped down a pristine grove of very old oak trees there recently to make way for sediment they will be dredging up from the Santa Anita Dam.
Here are the stats:
Number of cops: 12.
Number of cop cars: 7
Number of people in trees: 4
Number of trees with people in them: 2
Longest amount of time veteran tree-sitter John Quigley has spent protesting in a tree: 71 days
Number of oaks and sycamores that were cut down in Arcadia on Wednesday January 11, 2011, by Los Angeles County Department of Public Works employees between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.: 250
Number of concerned Arcadia residents who showed up later that same night to hold a "candlelight vigil" for the fallen trees: 23
Number of celebrity environmentalists who showed up: 1, actress Daryl Hannah.
all photos by Gendy Alimurung
Time the people in the trees are believed to have originally snuck into the trees: 4 a.m.
Age range of murdered trees: 100 to 200 yearsMaximum lifespan of a native California oak tree: upwards of 300 years
Number of ambulances that arrived to check on the medical condition of the people in the trees: at least two.
Cost of the short-range walkie-talkie radios the protestors wanted to buy at the last minute to communicate with the tree-sitters when the tree-sitters' cell phone batteries went dead: $60 plus tax
Number of acres that were razed: 11
Number of John Deere bulldozer-type machines used to rip up the trees: 2
Volume of mucky sediment that needs a place to go: 500,000 cubic yards
Volume of sediment storage space opened up by newly razed area: 700,000 cubic yards
Years since the Santa Anita Dam was dredged: 18
Percentage of drinking water the dam provides to the Sierra Madre community: 100%
Number of trucks that would have driven through the neighborhood if the county had spared the trees and agreed to transport sediment elsewhere, to cities like, say, Inglewood, which already has massive gravel pits in need of filling: hundreds
Distance from Arcadia to Inglewood: 10 miles, by freeway
Number of tree-sitters who were finally arrested and booked on suspicion of delaying a peace officer and trespassing: 4 (two men, two women)
Time the county's sediment removal project has been in the works: 3 years
Time it felt like to people who don't live in Arcadia and who found out about it on the evening news: 3 hours
Number of displaced raccoons that appeared in a resident's yard unexpectedly during daylight hours: 1
Number of hours resident Camron Stone--the leader of the arboreal activists, and an engineer who came up with many other good alternatives to bulldozing the trees--has slept since the other night: 0
Camron Stone, center, played in the grove as a kid.
Want to see what the grove looked like before the county razed it?
Check out Kevin Brechner's video. He was given a permit to film a few days before the bulldozers arrived.