Out on a Limb
updated 04/06/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 04/06/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Tree-sitting is a favored tactic of Earth First!ers, who have fought for a dozen years to save Headwaters, one of the world's last unprotected redwood forests. But Hill holds their record for most time aloft. She subsists on rainwater and veggies cooked on a propane stove, and speaks by cell phone to friends and a growing number of fans. Which does not include Pacific Lumber's Mary Bullwinkel. "She's being made into a hero, but what about the legal rights of property owners?" asks Bullwinkel. Nevertheless, Pacific Lumber plans no action against Hill—and Hill, a Jonesboro, Ark., preacher's daughter, has no plans to descend. Aside from the elements, her greatest problem is loneliness. Fellow activists visit for brief stretches, but her most loyal companion is a mouse. "I feed him," she says. "But selectively, because I don't want him eating all the good stuff."