Mayor helps neighbors, developer strike deal to temporarily save giant Sequoias in SE Portland – KPTV – FOX 12

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Mayor Charlie Hales stepped in to help strike a deal between a developer trying to cut down a group of giant Sequoias in southeast Portland and the protesters attempting to block their removal.

Police roped off the area around Southeast 36th Avenue and Martins Street Thursday morning as they cleared out the group of protesters camping out under the trees.

One protester, however, was situated high in the branches of one of the Sequoias and refused to come down.

Neighbors are trying to prevent developer Vic Remmers from cutting down the three giant Sequoias to make way for new housing. Neighbors said they’ve tried for months to work out a deal with Remmers that would save the trees.

On Thursday, Mayor Charlie Hales’ office said a “tentative structure of a deal” was set up to keep the trees in place, at least for now.

Specific details of the deal have not been released, but neighbors say they need to raise another $200,000 to buy the land from Remmers, who owns Everett Custom Homes. This money is in addition to the $500,000 they’ve already raised.

Several neighbors say they are staying at their protest site to ensure the trees are not cut down before they can raise the funds.

Matt Stone, the co-creator of ‘South Park,’ will be donating to the effort.

Stone has worked with Arthur Bradford, a neighbor who has worked to save the trees.

Bradford, who lives next to the giant Sequoias, could not help but get emotional talking about the deal.

“I will tell you something that is absolutely for certain,” he said. “If there was not a young man sitting in that tree, if there were not dedicated people that stood under those trees and were willing to get arrested for them, these trees would be cut down. Right now, they would be gone.”

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