Thursday, 4:30 PM
Tyngsboro woman goes up tree to stage protest
By Raja Mishra, Globe staff and Yuxing Zheng, Globe correspondent
TYNGSBORO - Melisa DeMauro spent her second day living in a 150-year old Tyngsboro white pine tree to prevent it from being chopped down for firewood.
The tree is on the property of the 28-year-old woman's neighbor, Michael Kouloukos, who has said the tree is decaying and needs to come down. But DeMauro, who runs a Tyngsboro organic farm, said she was determined to stay.
"I feel one with the tree now," she said in an interview from her perch about 25 feet above the ground.
Her spontaneous protest recalls Julia "Butterfly" Hill's famous protest against a California lumber company, when she lived two years continuously in a redwood.
However, DeMauro has not spent the night there, stopping her residency Wednesday at about 6 p.m., then resuming today at 7 a.m. On Wednesday, the crew called in to cut the tree down began sawing away, but she called their bluff and they stopped. DeMauro said she will continue to stay in the tree as long as the tree-cutting crews are in the neighborhood.
She said she was getting surviving all day eating pine needles ("They're tasty!"), with a friend joining her in the tree today.
"I never thought in this lifetime I'd know what it feels like to be in a tree that's getting cut down," she said, explaining that she has grown close to the aged pine.