Julia Hill or known as Julia “Butterfly” Hill is an American environmental activist. She was born on February 18, 1974, is famous for its action as a watcher of Redwood trees up to hundreds of days in California. She lives on a 180-foot-tall California redwood tree that is 1500 years old for 738 days.
This beautiful woman began to live in the tree from December 10, 1997, to December 18, 1999. She gives a name “Luna” to the tree that she lived in and stayed in to save Luna from the cutting down of the Redwood tree.
Since childhood, Julia was already accustomed to blending with nature. Her father, Dale, was a traveling minister who used to take her family from town to town. Dale and his family even lived in a campsite located at an altitude of 32 feet (9.8 meters) when Julia was 10 years old.
When Julia was 7 years old, one day Dale and his family went up and suddenly there was a butterfly that landed on Julia’s finger. During the climbing journey, the butterfly is still perched on her finger, from which Julia finds a “Butterfly” nickname and she decides to use the call throughout her life.
Her heart’s call to truly love the environment began when Julia was 22 years old. At that time she had a severe accident and almost died. The car she was driving was hit from behind by a drunk driver and the collision resulted in severe injuries to Julia.
The steering wheel of the car penetrated the skull bones until she had difficulty speaking and walking normally for almost a year.
When Julia’s condition recovered, from that moment she realized that there was something unbalanced in her life. She has always been obsessed with just career and material.
The accident made her realize that she had to do everything she could to make a positive impact on the future. The steering wheel in her head indirectly steered herself to a new life.
After the accident, Julia wanders to California and plans to change life completely. In 1997, Julia was fascinated by the beauty and aura of the towering Redwood forest, and then joined a group of “tree-sitter” in northern California to protest cutting down of the Redwood trees by the Pacific Lumber Company.
Initially, members of the group took turns in and out of the Redwood forest for several days to prevent logging, but the organization wanted someone to stay in the tree for a week. Since no one wanted to volunteer, Julia offered herself. She decided to stay on the 180-foot-tall Redwood tree that she named “Luna”.
During her stay at Luna, She has experienced many things. She has to face extreme weather, fight the disease, unpleasant actions from helicopters, a siege by Pacific Lumber security guards and strong winds in the El Nino winter and many other obstacles.
It is not easy to survive on that tree. Julia used a tiny stove to heat the food and stayed in her sleeping bag all day to keep her warm.
Her courage and persistence against the Pacific Lumber attracted the attention of the international media and made her an eco-celebrity. She uses a solar cell phone to communicate with reporters who want to interview her. Julia also often appeared on cable tv shows as an “in-tree” correspondent.
In 1999, Pacific Lumber began to get tired of the negative publicity caused by Julia Hill’s action. Finally, the company approved a resolution to protects a 200-foot neutral area around Luna and other old Redwood trees.
Not only that, Pacific Lumber also provides a recovery fund of us $ 50,000 which is then donated to Humboldt State University in California for forestry research. After the settlement, then Julia came down from Luna.
After hundreds of days that Julia Hill stayed in Luna, she again set her foot on the ground and lived a normal life. Julia’s extremes action makes her known as a hero and environmental protector.
Courage, commitment, and the delivery of hope and love for the environment have inspired millions of people around the world. Some musicians even wrote songs about it as a form of their appreciation of the action. Hopefully, Julia Hill action can also inspire us all to protect our environment.