20th Anniversary Memorial Fundraiser for David “Gypsy” Chain at the Historic Eagle House on September 16th

This is a press release from the event organizers:

Forest activists, community members, musicians and artists will gather at the Historic Eagle House in Old Town, Eureka on Sunday, September 16 for a 20th Anniversary Memorial for David “Gypsy” Chain.  The event is a fundraiser for a scholarship in memory of the young man who lost his life on Sept. 17, 1998 while trying to prevent illegal logging near Grizzly Creek in the Van Duzen River watershed.  Administered by the Humboldt Area Foundation, the  annual scholarship will benefit local high school seniors or students at Humboldt State University or College of the Redwoods who have demonstrated commitment to issues of forest ecology through volunteer and/or academic projects.

The line-up for the September 16th gala includes activists Julia Butterfly Hill, Darryl Cherny, Tim Metz, Greg King and others.  Theatre artists David Simpson and Jane Lapiner will entertain, along with storyteller Paul Woodland.  Musical performers include Berel Alexander and Kira Weiss, Francine Allen, Joanne Rand and Rob Diggins.  Poet Jerry Martien and author Joan Dunning will offer reflections.

Now part of the Inn at 2nd and C, the newly-remodelled ballroom will display fine art and craft for a silent auction with works by Dona Blakely, Cat McAdams, Christina Anastasia, Alan Samuel, Joan Dunning, Patricia Sennott, Kathy O’Leary, Betsy Roberts, Sara Starr, Iris Schenke, Laci Dane, Peggy Loudon and more.

Rabbi Naomi Steinberg, one of the event organizers, explains the vision: ”We’re offering this event as an occasion for reflection, to think about what we’ve learned since the painful controversies over the forest in the 1990s.  How have we grown as individuals and as a community?  And for those of us who knew Gypsy or knew of him, how did his death influence the course of our lives?  Also, we hope that every year the announcements of the scholarship availability and recipients will continue to educate the public about an important era in Humboldt County history, and help keep us focused on preservation and restoration of our magnificent redwood ecosystem.”

Members of David “Gypsy” Chain’s family and friends will travel from Texas to take part.

The event will also feature memorial tributes to Freeman House, author of the award winning Totem Slamon.

Local supporting organizations include EPIC, Trees Foundation, Friends of the Van Duzen River, Northcoast Environmental Center, Salmonid Restoration Federation, Humboldt Baykeeper and Sanctuary Forest.

Tickets are $25 per person, students are free of charge.  Refreshments will be served and guests can enjoy a no-host bar in the vintage lounge.  Doors open at 7 pm for art viewing, with artists’ talks at 7:30 and the main program at 8:00 pm.



  • the logging was legal and approved by cdf. just because you want to believe it was illegal don’t make it illegal.

    • Legal is one rubric. Moral is another. Furthermore, killing People who vex you is neither.

    • Maybe you werent here....

      Actually Pacific Lumber under MAXXAM did many many illegal cuts and pushed the boundaries of every THP to get every penny they could off our hillsides before they ran back to texas and destroyed the company, just like they did to the Steelworkers from washington who traveled to scotia to warn the employees of what was to come from their personal experience.

      PL was fined over and over for their infractions&just paid them, chump change to a man like Hurwitz.
      This is one of the main reasons folks took to the woods to block logging, it happened over and over that they were cutting illegally&folks stopped the workers long enough for the court papers to be written and given to judge who then put a legal stop to it.
      Because it was illegal.
      Its the rampant style of huge corps, go in and break the rules and just pay the fines. It doesnt put trees back on the hillsides or take the silt out of the river.
      CDF fines and penalties are lame, enforcement is awful.

      Not all rules are good.
      Its legal to hire out of state workers to do helicopter logging here without training or using anyone local while giving huge xmas bonuses to these non-local employees, but is it right?
      I dont think so but maxxam did it anyway.
      They successfully divided our community and thats all it took. Its not the workers fault,&if we could have fought maxxam together we may still have a logging industry.
      In case you dont know this was back in the days of bush jr and hostile takeovers, so hurwitz gets his buddies to buy stock in this little timber compamy (who knows very little about such things), & then you get them to sell you their stock (illegal) so that all of a sudden overnite little family owned PL is now controlled by some rich a-hole from texas.
      Still wanna say the law is always right even when someone can get away with that????
      When that first happened there were pics of ole hurwitz through a gun scope all over, even scotia. But they made the HCSO their private police force and spread horrible rumors about activists wanting to kill loggers kuds by starving them and the whole nine yards of BS. Enough fear and folks start believing anything. Divided we fell.

  • It was not illegal logging. Totally misleading! He was trepassing illegally. Its terrible that he died but he should not of been there.

  • Yes, maybe he shouldn’t have been there but they dropped a tree on him.

    • Yes, maybe he shouldn’t have been there. But he was. He died for something he believed in. Maybe instead of paper banners that can be driven thru, spike strips would’ve been a better choice down by the mill last week?

      • Well, if we condemn their violence, we’d best live to another standard.

        To the assertiins of ‘legal,’ It’s been alot of years, but there wasn’t anything legal about maxxam practices.

        All the ins and outs of those years has blurred, but they were crazy. And while we are on it. 10ish years later the company legally stole all the employees’ retirement in their bankruptcy schpeel. Mendocino redwood company only bought their assets. That was ‘legal.’

        It appears we haven’t learned sh!t Rabi.

  • Poor A.E Ammons. He showed up to work, and was doing his job as a feller, his life was not the same after the accident.

    • The man lost his temper and killed a boy. I reckon that has a way of messing you up. Even if it weren’t intentional. And DA Farmer refused to release pictures of the scene. We’d all know if it were intentional based on how that last tree lay. Cuz them Boyz can lay em like toothpicks in a box.

      • I would like to say; skill is one thing, like Tiger Woods golfing, but how in the hell could a logger fall a GIANT tree on an activist’s head intentionally?? W O R D.

    • “Just doing my job” is a really shitty excuse for cold-blooded murder. REALLY shitty.

    • Had they actually tested his blood instead of just gypsys, more than likely woulda found meth.
      Read some of the interviews with his co-worker.

      He aimed the tree, he had just been hitting on one of the cute activist girls out there, he watched them walk away.

      Civil disobedience often means people putting their lives on the line. Read some history on it.

      I watched a big tall logger getdown on his knee in front if gypsys mom with tears in his eyes and say how sorry he was for her loss and that things should have never come to this. She stood up and gave him a huge hug. It still brings tears to my eyes. It was awful for lots of people not just activists.
      The biggest thing his mom wanted to come out of all this was for both “sides” to sit down and talk and try to heal the division. To not call her son or any of these non-violent activists a terrorist. To see that we all love our families, we’re really not that different.

  • I don’t remember anything about the log show being illegal.

  • Hard to believe it’s been 20 years. I remember it clearly.
    RIP David Chain

    That was when Estelle had an honest job, reporting the news on KMUD, before she went over to the dark side.

  • tired of the crap

    This is pretty ludicrous… AE Warned that kid numerous numerous numerous times. The kid was brainwashed to believe that he was not in a dangerous spot.

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