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EPIC Honors Judi Bari with Sempervirens Award

Judi Bari Headwaters Rally San Francisco 1995. ©2016 Greg King

EPIC is honored to present the 2017 Sempervirens Lifetime Achievement Award to Judi Bari at the Fall Celebration, held November 3 at the Mateel Community Center. EPIC will present the award to her daughters, Jessica and Lisa, in recognition of Judi Bari’s renowned environmental, labor and social justice leadership.

You are cordially invited to celebrate 40 years of innovative forest advocacy and wildlife protection at EPIC’s Fall Celebration on Friday, November 3rd at the Mateel Community Center in Redway, CA. We are very pleased to present performances by musical activists and longtime EPIC friends Casey Neill and the Norway Rats, Alice DiMicele and Joanne Rand. Dinner will be expertly crafted courtesy of Sue’s Organics, and will feature our annual silent auction, which is sure to be full of enticing items. Celebrating 40 years of cutting edge forest advocacy in one night will not be easy, but we hope to take you on a trip down memory lane to the roots of the North Coast environmental movement as we honor of all the supporters, volunteers, and activists who helped make it possible!

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), and spent tremendous time and energy working not only to slow the destruction of the last standing old-growth redwoods, but also to organize and cooperate with timber and mill workers. Through her work, Judi expanded the movement, bringing greater understanding of how the destruction of the forest would also impact timber workers future employment and way of life. Bari’s efforts to humanize both environmentalists and timber workers benefitted the movement, and created a more holistic understanding of the complexities of the Redwood Summer.

Judi, along with Daryl Cherney, was the major impetus behind the 1990 season of non-violent civil disobedience along the redwood coast of Northern California. Drawing inspiration from the iconic “Freedom Summer,” our “Redwood Summer” sought to slow the destruction of the last remaining old-growth redwood forest utilizing peaceful direct action—all 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 1990, 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 pejoratively referred to as, “The Deal,” was consummated between MAXXAM Corporation, who 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, effectively marking 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 in spirit through the Headwaters Forest Preserve. On June 19, 2015, a plaque and dedication with the planting of 200 trees took place in Headwaters at “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 refugia for threatened and endangered fish and wildlife, and also as a critical landscape where restoration from the decades of destructive MAXXXAM/Pacific Lumber logging is being driven forward. Headwaters also stands as testament to Judi Bari and her tireless spirit.

EPIC is honored to award Judi Bari with the 2017 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 and public 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!

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