Protester living in tree to be relocated for road project

A 42-year-old educator has spent the past month living in the branches of an aged oak tree standing in the path of a California road project.

John Quigley is the focal point of a movement to keep the 400-year-old, 70-foot-tall tree where it is. Activists have named the tree “Old Glory.”

As a result of the protests, authorities in charge of building the four-lane highway in Santa Clarita agreed to relocate the tree a half-mile away instead of cutting it down. But members of the Santa Clarita Organization of Planning for the Environment say that would kill the tree and are working on suggestions for routing the road around “Old Glory.”

“We can maintain a presence in the tree as long as it takes,” Quigley told the Associated Press. “Right now we are holding firm that the relocation is not acceptable because we believe it will kill the tree.”

Moving “Old Glory” would take five months and cost about $250,000. Hundreds of supporters gathered around the tree last week after a radio station held a live broadcast from the site. Quigley said others will replace him if he decides to descend.