First Recipient of the David “Gypsy” Chain Memorial Scholarship Is Freshman at HSU

Press release from The David “Gypsy” Chain Memorial Scholarship Committee:

Anne Rants

Anne Rants

Meet Anne Rants, Humboldt State University freshman and the first recipient of the David “Gypsy” Chain Memorial Scholarship, Thursday, February 20, at the HSU Library “Fishbowl” (Library Room 209), 4:30 to 5:30. Refreshments will be served.

The scholarship was established in memory of 24-year-old forest defender David “Gypsy” Chain, who was killed in 1998 during a forest defense action to save old growth redwood forest about to be logged by Pacific Lumber Company. Friends, family, and supporters have remembered Gypsy with contributions to the scholarship fund since 2018.

The next scholarship will be awarded to a Humboldt area high school senior who will attend HSU or College of the Redwoods, or to a first-year (continuing) student at HSU or CR, who is dedicated to protecting our region’s forests or natural environment through scholarship, community organizing, or other activities. The scholarship is administered by the Humboldt Area Foundation with advice from a volunteer committee.

Read about the scholarship and Gypsy’s legacy at

Students interested in the scholarship may apply online through Humboldt Area Foundation’s scholarship website

Applications and supporting material must be submitted by March 16, 2020. For help with the application procedure contact Elena Keltz (, 707-267-9920) or Craig Woods (,

Community members may donate to the scholarship fund at wfn=David+Nathan+%22Gypsy%22+Chain+Memorial+Scholarship+Fund or by mail to Humboldt Area Foundation David Nathan “Gypsy” Chain Memorial Scholarship Fund, 363 Indianola Rd, Bayside, CA 95524.

Letter from Anne Rants
about herself and the David Gypsy Chain Memorial Scholarship
October 2019

My name is Anne Marie Rants and I am a descendant of the Karuk, Shasta, and Aleutian tribes. I am in my first year at Humboldt State University and I am majoring in Child Development. I am extremely passionate about how information can be transferred to future generations including traditional ecological knowledge. In places I have visited, Native Americans are seen of people of the past. I want children to grow up being proud to be Native American and to be taught in the best culturally fit ways as possible. I believe new groups of children will guide in this direction, just as I am now.

Being an educator is not the only thing that I am passionate about. I believe in taking action, and working to make changes in not only my own community, but to other communities as well. During summers, I worked alongside my mother, a local fisheries biologist, creating safe habitats for fish. I also have participated in cultural burning and written an article in a newsletter on why that is important for our forests. Oftentimes people talk about respect as it applies to people, not taking into account that the land needs to be respected as well. The University of Washington Salmon Ecological Field Course that I attended this summer, where I conducted a speech on why watershed issues are so important to indigenous communities really made me realize the value of watersheds to everyone, and education is my next step in protecting and respecting my own home.

I have had these and many opportunities presented to me in my adolescent years, including an exchange in which I went to Chile and spoke about Indigenous water rights. Talking about issues close to home, and my family gives me so much purpose through times that are full of struggle. It means so much to me to be the recipient of the Gypsy Chain Memorial Scholarship because by the end of my senior year I became frustrated on how I was going to pay for college. It means so much to my family and I that I am able to focus on my academic career and have financial support, as well as the huge moral support that the Gypsy Chain Memorial Scholarship gives.

I feel thankful and honored that there are people out there that want to memorialize Gypsy and his passion as a forest protector. I think that people so often do not realize the role of an activist. The whole first word in activist is “ACT.” We often talk about issues like climate change and forest protection but do not take action, because we do not know where to start on issues that seem hopeless. Listening to indigenous environmental views and taking action NEEDS to happen. So I would like to thank Gypsy, and all the people who made this scholarship possible, for giving me aid as well as hope.



  • I spoke to the Board of Supervisors about this right after David was killed. At first some supervisors were chuckling and not taking the whole situation seriously. I am pleased to see that there is a scholarship in David Gypsy Chains honor. Congratulations Anne Rants. We must keep David’s memory alive.

  • David “Gypsy” Chain Was not killed defending old growth redwood. He got killed by being stupid out at an active logging site playing hide and go seek with falling 2nd growth timber. If people don’t like Logging change the laws, don’t poke your head around the tree in an active logging site, it’s a dangerous occupation.

    • Youre so mistaken. The only reason any trees are left in headwaters forest, for example, are because activists occupied the forest until the legalities could be dealt with in court and most cuts were stopped this way. That’s how often the company maxxam broke the law. They’d just cut trees and pay the fine on the off chance cdf actually fined them. At that point there are no other choices besides civil disobedience.
      If you think cutting all that old growth had no direct effect, talk to folks whove lived up greenwood heights/kneeland. When the old growth that lined the road were all cut down the fog stopped coming up the valley. That means within 20 years the climate changed in direct response to those forests being gone.

      There was no cat and mouse when Gypsy was killed. The logger had just finished talking to the entire group and hitting on the young women, asking for their phone #’s.
      He knew exactly where they were at in the forest when he aimed that tree. AE Aemons was a known meth user but was never drug tested after he killed gypsy. Only drug test was on gypsys corpse.

      At that time a county supervisor was married to the DA, who took no meetings with public citizens unless in good ole boy club. The sheriff’s were nothing more than maxxams henchmen, the investigation was beyond shabby.

      Read the book ‘A good forest for dying’ by patrick beach, every side of the situation were interviewed for the book.
      Watch the documentaries ‘Treesit the art of resistance’ and ‘fire in the eyes’ by the headwaters action video collective (HAVC)

      Gypsys mom Cindy saw the divide in our communities; one of the parts of her settlement was that loggers and earth firsters get together and talk. We had a few of those gatherings and it was amazing! I saw a huge 6’5″ logger dude kneel down in front of gypsys mom with tears in his eyes and say how sorry he was. We talked home gardening and canning and animal husbandry with the wives. Many of us realized we all share the common ground of loving our families, loving working the land&the outdoors and loving being more independent self sufficient people.
      We were finally humanized to one another.
      The lies we had all been told about each other just showed that we were all pawns in a sick money making game by rich boys who’ve never gotten their hands in the dirt and who survive off of our backs and our division.
      A man who had been in management at PL during maxxam whom i randomly befriended said to me one day ” wow now i see why they never let us talk to you guys, i think you and i could have worked it all out in an afternoon over coffee”.
      Yep that’s why they blew up judi bari!

      • Don’t get the 70s mixed up with the nearly 2k. That is blindly ignorant to compare these socially misguided individuals to people that actually made a difference. Many of the Gypsys of the world are people with undiagnosed mental problems looking for an avenue to channel their psychosis…. The same as the Rainbow Ridge “protectors” of today. They know not what they speak of!

      • I wonder if I knew you then! Thanks for sharing. So many people worked in so many ways in honor of so much! Let’s keep it going.

  • Congratulations, Anne. Please don’t let this comment section distract you from your success or your persuits. There are some people who would rather tear you down than celebrate your accomplishments. Or just tear anything down. Anyway, congratulations!

  • I blame the organizers of the action Gypsy was a part of. They knew the risks and put the kid in there anyway. His death helped thier brand. They are worse than Wallstreet.

    • Maxxam was a trash company that liquidated our precious natural resources as fast as possible and declared bankruptcy leaving local businesses to eat their debt and their employees on welfare. Pushing back against them was a heroic act. Your pity is extremely misplaced.

  • Oh Please…he was where he shouldn’t have been, put himself in danger and got killed when a tree fell. That is a stupid ignorant person, not a hero. SMH

  • Well then he should have moved! He put himself in danger. The logger told him he was going to drop it. My life is too precious to even take a chance like that. The logger was doing his job. These protestors have no care or thought for the loggers. They spike trees, they leave disgusting messes behind. I have zero respect for them.

    • That’s called a terrorist threat, assault and murder when a citizen does it, but when you’re employed by an LLC, I guess you get to just kill anyone in your way.

    • My hope for humanity is bolstered by you, Anne.
      May your wildest dreams for the next generations come true!
      “The voice of silence is complicity”.

  • Congrats!! and Wow! Many missing the point entirely. This is about someone who died doing what they thought would make a difference. And about sharing the legacy of caring to someone just starting out to make a difference in their community. Can’t see the forest for the trees 🌲. Love in action

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