Tree-Sitter Extracted From Vail Expansion Area


Vail, CO, July 23–Another chapter in the book of Vail protests is closed. Tree-sitter, Jennifer Kuehnle (AKA “Moonshadow”), was extracted from her 80-foot high sit-in last night, nearly sixteen hours after she perched herself there. She was taken to Clear Creek County Jail last night and transported to U.S. Marshal Jail in Denver this morning.

Kuehnle was charged with violating a closure installed for public safety. She was arraigned this morning (July 23) where she was set on $5,000 bond. Her trial date is scheduled for August 17, in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Loggers, employed by Vail Resorts, moved into the area surrounding Kuehnle at approximately 4:00pm yesterday (July 22) and began to cut down several 80-foot high trees around her stand.

“I believe they are trying to endanger my life, or instill so much fear in me that I come down,” called down Kuehnle. “But they’ve met their match! I’m here for the duration.”

Despite Kuehnle’s determination to thwart the expansion, U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officers in a cherry picker brought her down and placed her under arrest.

“Her safety was our main concern,” stated Betty Schmitt of the White River National Forest. “We had to continue with the work in Category III, but her safety was still important to us.”

It was the U.S. Forest Service’s duty to get Kuehnle out of the closed area, but Vail gladly lent a helpful hand.

“We Vail Associates operated the cherry picker under the supervision of the Forest Service,” said Paul Witt of Vail Mountain. “From what I understand, it Kuehnle’s extraction went well. There were no injuries to the protester or to the law enforcement officers.”

Colorado Wild and The Coalition to Stop Vail Expansion have scheduled a rally in Vail on Saturday, July 24, as well as a hike on the Two Elk trail to the edge of the Category III area.