Most of Berkeley oak grove felled as protesters remain

Two of the 42 trees slated to be removed to make way for a new sports training center at the University of California, Berkeley campus remained standing Sunday night as tensions continued between the university and protesters of the project, a campus spokesman said.

One of the two remaining trees — both of which are redwoods — is expected to be transplanted to a different part of the campus, and the other tree is still occupied by four protesters of the project, according to UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof.

Protesters have been living there since December 2006, after the university announced its plan to tear down the grove to build the new training center adjacent to Memorial Stadium.

The university reached an agreement with the tree-sitters in July after protesters managed to run an aerial supply line from the grove across Piedmont Avenue to another tree on campus, which university police determined was a safety hazard.

The terms of the agreement called for the tree-sitters to unite in a single tree and lower human waste they had been stockpiling and sometimes throwing at police, and called for protesters on the ground to not disrupt barricades surrounding the grove and not force food supplies into the enclosed area.

In return, the university agreed to allow protesters to supply one bag of food daily to the tree-sitters and let one of two protesters who
climbed into the trees July 22 to come down without facing arrest or a citation.

The agreement is scheduled to end 9 a.m. Monday.

This evening, an attempt to discuss the fate of the last tree with the protesters and tree-sitters ended unsuccessfully, Mogulof said.

The university is weighing several options for its next step but has not announced what they might be, according to Mogulof.

With just two trees left to be removed, Mogulof said the area “looks like a clear site that's ready for the next phase of construction to
start.”

Construction of the sports center is expected to take two and a half years, Mogulof said.

Some of the trees chopped down this weekend have been chipped. The chips will be used for mulching on campus, according to Mogulof.

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