Julia Hill, Butterfly: Five Months At 180 Ft.

An ecowarrior who calls herself Butterfly has set a tree-squatting record

High over the winding Eel River, wooded hills stretch to the Pacific Ocean. The mist rolls in, blanketing the valley below. On the forest floor, a tiny white butterfly alights on a fiddlehead fern. And from the canopy of a giant redwood, a voice crackles over the walkie-talkie. "I'm running out of power," it says, with a note of urgency. "Can you send up another cell-phone battery?"

It's a setting Thoreau might envy, but a setup that would appall him. For Julia Hill, the 24-year-old ecowarrior who goes by the nom de guerre Butterfly and now holds the U.S. record for...

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