UPDATE: 2nd Tree-Sitter Leaves Post, Ending W.Va. Protest

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

UPDATE @ 4:23pm
PETTRY BOTTOM, W.Va. (AP) - The tree-sitting protest designed to halt blasting at a Massey Energy mountaintop removal mine site is over.

State Police confirmed Monday afternoon that Laura Steepleton, the remaining activist with Climate Ground Zero, had descended from her 80-foot platform. She was immediately taken into custody.

Earlier in the day, partner Nick Stocks also came down from his post in a poplar near the Edwight mine in Raleigh County.

Stocks was charged with trespassing, obstructing and littering, and Steepleton will likely face the same set of charges when she's returned to the station in Whitesville.

The two stayed in the trees for six and a half days, enduring flashing lights, air horns, loud bangs and, over the weekend, the brandishing of a chain saw.

PETTRY BOTTOM, W.Va. (AP) - An activist is coming down after spending six days 80 feet up a poplar tree to protest Massey Energy's mountaintop removal mining practices.

Nick Stocks decided to leave his treetop platform near the Edwight mine in Raleigh County on Monday morning.

Climate Ground Zero says Stocks will surrender to State Police, who will likely charge him with trespassing.

Fellow tree-sitter Laura Steepleton says she's staying put. Today will be her seventh day harnessed to a tree.

Stocks did not immediately say why he was climbing down. But Climate Ground Zero spokesman Charles Suggs says sleep deprivation has endangered the protesters.

The two have endured flashing lights, air horns, loud bangs and - over the weekend - the brandishing of a chain saw.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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