Living in a Redwood Tree Notes | Grade 12 English Unit 9 Notes | Ecology and Environment Notes

NEB Grade XII Compulsory English Note Unit 9 |  Ecology and Environment Notes | Notes of Class 12 Compulsory English | Working with words | Comprehension | Critical thinking | Writing | Grammar | Living in a Redwood Tree Exercise | Class 12 English Notes

 Unit 9    Ecology and Environment


Living in a Redwood Tree

Before you read
a. What would you like to do to contribute to the protection of the environment in
    your area? How much time can you spend in doing so?
b. Do you know what Julia Butterfly Hill did to save the redwood forest in

Read the following text about Julia Butterfly Hill’s sacrifice to save the redwood
trees and do the given tasks.

Imagine living in a 200-ft-tall redwood tree for more than two years. Twenty years
ago, Julia Butterfly Hill did just that, to draw attention to the continued clearcutting of
California’s remaining redwood forests.
Hill did not set foot on the earth for 738 days. Instead, she learned to climb up and
down the 1000-year-old redwood tree for exercise. She found she felt safer to climb
barefoot, without climbing gear. Her feet developed muscles she hadn’t known they
She was cold and wet for much of that two years. There was no heat, no electricity. No
artificial light. She had a sleeping bag, a solar-powered cell phone for media interviews,
and a single-burner propane stove to cook and heat water. She had few necessities, and
no luxuries.
Hill lived on two platforms, built from wood scraps and covered with tarps to
theoretically keep the rain out. One measured 6 ft. by 8 ft. The smaller one, 4 ft. by 8
ft., was mostly used for storage.
She had occasional visitors – fellow tree-sitters staying over or bringing supplies, and
other visitors including a couple of celebrities, as well as spiders, birds, and mice.
A pair of resident flying squirrels specialized in keeping her awake at night by noisily
investigating all her supplies.
Why, you might wonder, would anyone stay in a tree so long?
Hill had survived a bad car accident in Arkansas in 1996. It took a year of therapy
for her short-term memory and motor skills to return. She said the experience was a
wake-up call. Until then, her main focus had been work. “It became clear to me that
our value as people is not in our stock portfolios and bank accounts, but in the legacies
we leave behind.”
When she recovered, she resolved to travel and visit spiritual sites around the world.
But first her neighbors invited her to join them on a driving trip to the West Coast. A
stranger they met in passing told them they had to see the redwoods in California.
On arriving in the redwood forest, Hill says, “Gripped by the spirit of the forest, I
dropped to my knees and began to sob… Surrounded by these huge, ancient giants, I
felt the film covering my senses from the imbalance of our fast-paced, technologically
dependent society melt away.
“I could feel my whole being bursting forth into new life in this majestic cathedral. I
sat and cried for a long time. Finally, the tears turned into joy and the joy turned into
mirth, and I sat and laughed at the beauty of it all.”
Even though Hill had just begun her travels, she felt called to try to protect the remaining
majestic redwoods. Less than three per cent of the original forests were still standing,
yet the logging continued.
At first Hill was unsure whether to trust this new calling. So she prayed to the Universal
Spirit for guidance: “If I’m truly meant to come back and fight for these forests out
here, please help me know what I’m meant to do, and use me as a vessel.” Soon, she
found herself feeling at peace with the plan to stay, and received a sign she saw as the
Universe’s approval.
Hill learned the logging was detrimental to people, as well as the forest. A hillside
near Stafford, CA, had already been clear-cut. Just months before Hill arrived, a huge
20-ft-high mudslide carried trees, stumps and debris from that hillside down into the
town, leaving seven families without homes. Despite evidence that clearcutting had
destabilized the hillside and caused the mudslide, the Department of Forestry granted
permission to continue logging on the very next slope.
That slope was where the tree which became known as Luna stood. The redwood was
marked for destruction with a slash of blue paint. A group of activists had established a
tree-sit, but were having trouble finding people to stay in it. The weather was getting colder.
Base camp was being dismantled in preparation to end the protest for the winter. “I need
somebody to commit for a long period of time,” the organizer told Hill. “At least five days.”
Hill did two five or six-day stints in the tree. But knowing Luna could be cut down as
soon as the tree-sitters left, she wanted to do more. By staying longer, Hill felt, she could
continue to draw attention to the plight of the redwood forests, and keep pressure on the
logging company to change its plans and allow Luna and the surrounding grove to live.
Although the other activists were divided on whether or not to support her, five people
promised to keep Hill supplied with food and necessities. She went up the tree on
December 10, 1997. No one imagined how long Hill would end up staying in Luna,
nor the trials she might have to endure.
Early on, the logging company resolved to starve her out or drive her away. They
hired 24-hour security guards to harass her and to ensure her support team couldn’t
deliver her supplies. She was menaced with a helicopter at a dangerously close range.
A neighboring tree was felled, hitting Luna’s outer branches and nearly causing Hill
to fall. She was verbally abused, threatened with violence, rape and death, kept awake
with floodlights, and bugles and air horns were blown through the night.
She began to hate the loggers, and even to hate herself, because she was part of the
same human race that had so little respect for Nature. But knowing that hatred was part
of the same violence she was trying to work against, Hill spent time praying for help.
One day after praying, she felt filled with love. She realized what she was feeling was
the love of the Earth, the love of Creation: “Every day we, as a species, do so much to
destroy Creation’s ability to give us life. But that Creation continues to do everything
in its power to give us life anyway. And that’s true love,” she realized.
If Creation could do that for us, Hill decided, then she had to find within herself
unconditional love even for the loggers. She began to talk to them as fellow humans,
responding to abuse with songs or conversational questions.
A few weeks later it was New Year’s Eve, a time for resolutions. “Resolution is about
resolve,” she thought. “My resolution… was to take a stand like the redwood tree, and
not back down. Even after they’ve been chopped into the ground, redwoods don’t give
up,” she said. “Instead they try to sprout new life.”
The months ahead held great challenges for Hill. The logging company wasn’t her
only problem. One of her scariest times was a 16-hour, 70-mph windstorm, one of
the worst Northern California storms in decades. The wind shredded the tarps that
surrounded her, and even ripped huge branches off the tree. “Sleet and hail sliced
through the tattered pieces of what used to be my roof and walls,” she wrote.
“Every new gust flipped the platform up into the air, threatening to hurl me over the
edge. I was scared. I take that back. I was terrified. As a child, I experienced a tornado.
But that was a walk in the park on a sunny Sunday afternoon compared to this.”
Clutching the branch that came through the middle of the platform, and so terrified
she was afraid she might lose her mind, Hill prayed to Luna for help. “In that moment,
I heard the voice of Luna speak to me. ‘Julia, think of the trees in the storm… They
allow themselves to bend and be blown with the wind. They understand the power of
letting go,” the voice told her.
That night, Hill felt she let go of her very self. When the storm departed, she no longer
feared death. She felt she had undergone a transformation, like the nickname she’d had
since childhood – Butterfly.

Many more experiences unfolded during those two years. Her feet once turned black
with painful frostbite. When lightning struck nearby during an electrical storm, her
hair stood straight up. Nearby helicopter logging made her ears ring for weeks. Then
for six days, the leftover stumps and debris were set on fire on the entire slope. Her
eyes swelled almost completely shut, and her throat and lungs burned from the thick
smoke that surrounded her.
Thankfully, Hill also had many wonderful experiences. Despite the scorn often heaped
on environmentalists, Good Housekeeping Magazine nominated Hill one of the most
admired women in America. Striking steelworkers told her she had inspired them.
Fifth and sixth-grade students from a school in Wisconsin corresponded with her, and
even took action on her advice to reuse paper in order to protect forests. Hundreds of
people wrote to thank her for bringing a spotlight to the issue of deforestation. She also
had the ongoing support of her committed team, who hiked in for two hours each way,
three times a week, to keep her supplied with food and necessities, sometimes having
to outwit security guards in order to deliver them.
Finally, an agreement was reached with the logging company, and on December 18,
1999, Hill climbed down to once again walk on the earth.
With their willingness to sacrifice comfort and safety in order to bring the world’s
attention to the last stands of California’s majestic redwood forests, Hill and her
fellow activists left an important legacy. They were successful in saving Luna and
some surrounding trees. Through their efforts, thousands more people learned about
deforestation and its many ill effects.
As role models, Hill and her team showed us how we too could resolve to help Mother
Nature, and follow through with long-term, committed action. Twenty years later, this
is still an inspiring book, well worth reading.
– Grace Wyatt

Working with words

A. The words/phrases in the box are from the text. Check their meanings in a
dictionary and use these words to complete the given sentences.

redwood,     propane,    occasional,     wake-up call,     logging,     trimental,     stint,
resolution,     transformation,    debris
a. …………… is one of the main reasons behind the rapid deforestation in the world.
b. That’s one example of how the pandemic should be a ……………
c. …………… is a gas used as a fuel for cooking and heating.
d. Emergency teams are still clearing the …………… from the plane crash.
e. What a ……………! You look great.
f. My father made a New Year …………… to give up smoking.
g. He has worked in the Army for two years. He hates that two-year
h. Emissions from the factory are widely suspected of having a/an ……………effect on health.
i. My father is an …………… smoker. He doesn’t smoke often.
j. …………… is a very tall type of tree that grows especially in California and Oregan.

B. The words redwood, barefoot, single-burner, short-term, fast-paced, mudslide,
windstorm and childhood from the above text are made of two words and
they yield a new meaning. Compound words can be written in three ways:
open compounds (spelled as two words, e.g., ice cream), closed compounds
(joined to form a single word, e.g., doorknob), or hyphenated compounds
(two words joined by a hyphen, e.g., long-term). Choose one word from
each box to make sensible compound words.

rattle, sun, touch, moon, day, fire, 
water, basket, pass, wash, weather,
grand, cross

down, port, light, snake, cloth, mother,
walk, flower, dream, man, ball, works,
C. Match the following words/phrases related to the ecology with their meanings.
Words/Phrases Meanings

a. sustainability         i. the height on a mountain above which the climate is too cold for trees to grow
b. tree line                  ii. to keep in existence; maintain. To supply with necessities or nourishment
c. precipitation           iii. an agreement between countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. It                                         was established in Japan in 1997 but didn’t become international law until2004
d. tropical zone             iv. water that returns to the earth as rain, hail, sleet, or snow
e. Kyoto Protocol         v. items that are discarded
f. pollutants                 vi. the soils, sediments, and rock layers of the Earth’s crust, both continental and                                         beneath the ocean floors
g. geosphere                 vii. substances that destroy the purity of air, water, or land
h. deciduous                 viii. an organism that has a short life cycle
i. ephemeral                 ix. a plant that sheds all or nearly all its leaves each year
j. trash                         x. the region between latitudes 23.5 degrees S and 23.5
                                        degrees N

D. Pronounce the following pairs of words and notice the differences.

men: main         gem: game         sell: sale         dell: dale
pen: pain         bell: bail             well: wale        knell: nail
met: mate         hell: hail             shed: shade         fell: fail
fed: fade         bed: bade             bet: bait             pet: pate
set: sate             get: gate             let: late                 cell: sail


A. Choose the best answer.
a. The author of the text above has the opinion that Julia Hill ……..
    i. did a wonderful job
    ii. made her pastime in a tree for two years more
    iii. chose redwood forest to learn environmental skills
b. The sentence ‘Julia had occasional visitors’ indicates she had …….
    i. a host of visitors around the tree
    ii. a few visitors now and then
    iii. no visitors at all
c. The logging company managed 24 hour security service around the tree to…..
    i. protect Hill from the wild animals
    ii. discourage her from her campaign
    iii. provide her with supplies
d. Ms. Hill began to respond the loggers with songs and conventional conversations because she……
    i. was sorry for them
    ii. had unconditional love for all nature’s creations
    iii. wanted to influence them
e. Julia Hill climbed down the tree after 738 days when her demands were……..
    i. fulfilled
    ii. partially fulfilled
    iii. about to be fulfilled.

B. Answer the following questions.

a. Who was Julia Butterfly Hill? How did Hill’s campaign gain popularity?
b. What made Hill start her mega campaign to save redwood trees?
c. What kinds of amenities were there to support Hill’s life in the tree?
d. Did Hill’s value of life change after her car accident? How?
e. Deforestation causes natural calamities. What evidence do you have in the
    text to prove this?
f. How did the logging company try to discourage Hill in the early days of
    her sit-in?
g. How were the vagaries of nature unwelcoming to Hill?
h. What is the purpose of the author to write a review on Hill’s book? Do you

    think the author stands for ecological sustainability? Give reasons.
Critical thinking

Suppose you are Julia Butterfly Hill. After staying one year in the tree, the government
offered you five million dollars and requested you to drop the strike. Write in about
200 words responding them that the money is a mean thing for you in comparison with
the woods.


A. Write a review of a book/film which you have read/watched recently.
B. Your school is going to organize a speech competition on coming Friday. The
subject of the speech is “Let’s save the trees and protect our environment.”
Draft a speech using the following prompts
Natural world – plants, elements and animals – billions of living beings and
billions of trees- environment – entire air, soil, trees, water- co-existence of allgood
environment- human being – greedy/selfish/consumerist- thinking him
owner- other things property- urbanization- industrialization- road constructioncanal/
dam construction- airport construction- loss of trees- control greed/
appetite- good environment- quality life- bad environment- bad life.


Reported speech
A. Study the following expressions.
Interviewer: Julia, can you share your experiences of living on the branches of a tree
for two years?
Julia: It was wonderful! I can’t express that in words.
Somebody reported the above expressions in the following way.
The interviewer asked Julia to share her experiences of living on the branches of a tree
for two years.
Julia replied that it had been wonderful. She could not express that in words.

B. Someone says something to you which contradicts to what they told you
earlier. Match the beginnings of the conversations with the correct endings.

a. I’m going to Pokhara on holiday        . i. You said she’d had a boy.
b. He’s a lawyer.                                        ii. You admitted you cheated in all your exams.
c. She’s had a baby girl                            . iii. You told me he was a teacher.
d. I haven’t seen Binesh for ages.               iv. You told me she was fluent in both.
e. I love these new boots.                            v. You said you hated them.
f. I only cheated in one exam.                      vi. You said you were going on business.
g. She doesn’t speak Hindi or Chinese.        vii. You told me his office was in Biratnagar.
h. He works in Kathmandu.                         viii. You told me you’d seen himprevious week.
C. Change the following sentences into indirect speech.
a. The principal said, “You can phone from my office, Rita.”
b. “You must not neglect your duty,” said the teacher to the student.
c. The student said, “Sir, please, grant me a leave for two days.”
d. I said to her, “Go to school or you will be fined.”
e. The headmaster said, “Don’t make any noise, boys.”
f. “Work hard if you want to rise in life,” said the old man.
g. He said, “Goodbye, my friends!”
h. She said to me, “Have a pleasant journey ahead.”
i. “Don’t give me the book, please,” Sharmila said.
j. “Where have you been these days?” she spoke on the telephone.
k. The teacher said, “Have you submitted your assignments, students?”
D. These are the exact words Dinesh said to you yesterday.
“I’ve just got engaged! We’re getting married next month. We’re going to Pokhara for
our honeymoon. It’s all going to be very expensive. Luckily, my friend is a photographer
so he’ll take the photos for us. We’ll be having the reception in my parents’ back
garden. My mum is baking the cake for us and my sister’s band is playing free for us.
I hope you’ll come to the wedding.”
Now, you’re telling your friend what Dinesh told you. Complete the text.
He said he (1)…………just got engaged. He told me that he (2) ………… next month.
He told me (3) ………… to Pokhara for their honeymoon. He mentioned that it (4)
………… very expensive. He said that his friend (5) ………… and he (6) …………
the photos for them. He mentioned that they (7) ………… the reception in his parents’
garden. He admitted that (8) ………… . He said his sister’s band (9) ………… . He
said he (10) ………… I’d come to the wedding.


A. Look at the pictures and answer the questions.
a. Who do you see in the picture?
b. What are they holding in their hands?
c. What do you think is the purpose of their procession?

B. Listen to the interview of Julia Butterfly Hill and write True or False after
each of the following sentences.

a. Julia Hill was a teenager when she started her campaign.
b. Only three percent of the trees survived at that time.
c. Hill had done a lot of social works before.
d. Hill gives speech with the help of the scripts.
e. Hill says she stayed in the tree willingly.
f. Hill says she is an introvert person herself.
g. Hill can be accessed in her website.
C. Listen to the audio again and answer the following questions.
a. What is the name of the interviewer?
b. Who does the interviewer give thanks to?
c. Why, according to the interviewer, did Julia Hill sit in the tree?
d. What made Hill think that she can live in the tree?
e. According to Hill, what stories do human beings like to hear?
f. What does Hill want the people to see in mirrors?


A.     Rabina was introduced to Jack by Peter. Now, read what Rabina says about
        her meeting with Jack.

Peter introduced me to Jack who said he was pleased to meet me. I replied that it was
my pleasure and that I hoped Jack was enjoying his stay in Seattle. He said he thought
Seattle was a beautiful city, but that it rained too much. He said that he had been
staying at the Bay View Hotel for three weeks and that it hadn’t stopped raining since
he had arrived. Of course, he said, this wouldn’t have surprised him if it hadn’t been
July! Peter replied that he should have brought warmer clothes. He, then, continued by
saying that he was going to fly to Hawaii the following week, and he that he couldn’t
wait to enjoy some sunny weather. Both Jack and I commented that Peter was a lucky
person indeed.
Now, work in groups of three and act out the actual conversation that Rabina,
Jack and Peter had.

B.     Ask your partner the following questions. Make notes of his/her answer.
        When you finish, find a new partner and report what you have learned
        about your first partner.

a. What is your favorite sport and how long have you been playing/doing it?
b. What are your plans for your next vacation?
c. How long have you known your best friend? Can you give me a description of him/her?
d. What kind of music do you like? Have you always listened to that kind of music?
e. What did you use to do when you were younger that you don’t do anymore?
f. Do you have any predictions about the future?
g. Can you tell me what you do on a typical Saturday afternoon?
h. What were you doing yesterday at this time?
i. Which two promises will you make concerning learning English?

Project work

Visit a community forest and collect information about the area, kinds of trees, wild
animals, water resources, etc. Write a short report about the community forest. Also
discuss its impacts on human life and environment

All Units Notes

1Critical ThinkingKnow Thyself
3SportsEuro 2020
5EducationA Story of My Childhood
6Money and EconomyQR Code
7HumourWhy do We Laugh Inappropriately?
8Human CultureLand of Plenty
9Ecology and EnvironmentLiving in a Redwood Tree
10Career OpportunitiesPresenting Yourself
11HobbiesOn Walking
12Animal WorldThe Medusa and the Snail
13HistoryAfter the World Trade Centre
14Human RightsI am Sorry”- The Hardest Three Words to Say
15Leisure and EntertainmentA Journey Back in Time
16FantasyThe Romance of a Busy Broker
17War and PeaceTrain to Pakistan

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