Pushing Limits

Jean Stewart: Coalition to Defend East Bay Forests

Jean Stewart, marching with "Animals Against Extinction," in the Oakland Climate March.  Feb. 2015
Jean Stewart, marching with “Animals Against
Extinction,” in the Oakland Climate March. Feb. 2015

On Tuesday, environmentalists will stand in front of the Berkeley office of the Sierra Club at 2530 San Pablo Ave and burn their membership cards. Today we spend the half hour with one of the organizers of that action — disability rights and environmental activist, Jean Stewart.  Jean is part of a disability organization, CUIDO which is deeply involved in the fight against a $4.65 million dollar FEMA Plan for the de-forestation of the Berkeley and Oakland hills.  The Sierra Club card burning is part of that work.

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has approved a plan to cut between two thousand and 450 thousand trees in the East Bay hills of coastal California.  Two thousand or 450 thousand? The difference in those numbers reflects the gap between the two sides of this issue, a harsh fight* with grassroots activists and environmentalists on both sides.

Jean Stewart speaks about the herbicides that caused her disability, her anguish at the ongoing planetary destruction and how it comes home in this local struggle.

The affected parks are Anthony Chabot, Claremont Canyon, the Huckleberry Preserve, Lake Chabot, Leona Canyon, Miller/Knox Shoreline, Redwood Park, the Sibley Preserve, Sobrante Ridge, Tilden Park, and Wildcat Canyon.

For more information and to contact the organizers, click here.

Produced and hosted by Adrienne Lauby.  Audio editing by Sheela Gunn-Cushman.

*Pushing Limits spoke with organizers who favor the FEMA plan but, so far, they’ve been unable to find someone with a disability to bring that side of the controversy to you. Our website has links to the opposing point of view.

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