Environmental activist resolves to leave tree in Santa Clarita
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — John Quigley has a New Year’s resolution that’s different than most — he wants to move out of a tree.
Of course, it will take assurances that the 400-year-old oak will be saved or that a new tenant will take his place in the tree that developers want to move to make way for a road widening project.
“I don’t have any complaints but obviously being up here this long, it has a physical toll,” Quigley said Wednesday. “I need to get exercise. I’ve lost some weight.”
Quigley, 42, has been hanging out in the tree since Nov. 1. He fears moving the oak will kill it.
Quigley’s effort has garnered widespread attention and the support of nearby residents and actress Rene Russo, who has visited the site.
Now he is looking forward to spending time with his family, particularly his 82-year-old father, and getting back to his job as an educator.
He plans to leave the tree sometime this month and said other environmentalists will take his place in the branches.
“The tree will always have 24-hour protection,” he said.
Quigley plans to return periodically to sit in the tree. He and supporters also intend to appeal to state and federal officials to help save it.
“We are prepared to go as long as it takes,” he said.