Fugitive environmental activist Tre Arrow was extradited from Canada Feb. 29 to stand trial in Oregon on conspiracy and arson charges after nearly four years in a Canadian prison. The 14-count indictment charges him with taking part in the destruction of several concrete-mixing trucks at Ross Island Sand and Gravel Co. in Portland in April 2001 and sabotaging logging trucks at Schoppert Logging Co. in Eagle Creek near Mount Hood in June 2001.
Arrow, 34, formerly Michael James Scarpitti, was indicted by a federal grand jury in April 2004 following his arrest in Victoria, BC, on local charges of shoplifting, assault and obstructing a police officer after a security guard caught him trying to steal a pair of bolt cutters. Arrow pleaded guilty to the Canadian charges but fought extradition by seeking asylum, claiming he faced political persecution in the US.
Arrow, who legally changed his name from Scarpitti, says trees told him to make the change. He earned fame among activists when he scaled the offices of the US Forest Service in Portland in the summer of 2000 to protest logging on Mount Hood, perching on a ledge for 11 days. He often walked barefoot to show his concern for the Earth, and adhered to a strict raw-food diet. He also ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate, winning nearly 16,000 votes. He was injured in October 2001, suffering a broken pelvis when he fell from a tree after a two-day standoff with police and loggers in the Tillamook State Forest.
Three other defendants in the case—Jacob Sherman, Jeremy Rosenbloom, and Angela Cesario—pleaded guilty to arson charges and served their 41-month federal prison terms. (AP, Feb. 29)