Meet Julia ‘Butterfly’ Hill, an environmental activist known for her remarkable act of civil disobedience in California’s Redwood Forest. At the age of 23, she embarked on a tree sit, living atop a 1,000-year-old redwood tree named “Luna” for an astonishing 738 days, enduring harsh conditions on two cramped platforms. Hill’s protest was a response to the Pacific Lumber Company’s plans for clear-cutting, which posed a significant threat to the iconic forest’s trees and ecosystem.
Hill’s childhood and upbringing shaped her passion for environmental causes. With her father being a traveling preacher, she constantly moved around the United States, leading to feelings of social isolation and a sense of not belonging. At the age of 7, she earned the nickname “Butterfly” when a butterfly landed on her finger during a hiking trip, and the name stuck with her ever since. Her early years of homeschooling further contributed to her unique perspective on life, and she channeled her rebellious nature into advocating for important causes.
A life-changing car accident in her early 20s prompted Hill to reevaluate her purpose, and she decided to dedicate her life to environmental activism. Following her recovery, she found herself drawn to California’s redwood trees, leading her to embark on her historic tree sit in an effort to protect Luna and raise awareness about the importance of preserving these ancient forests.
Hill’s determination and resilience during her tree sit were met with intimidation tactics from the lumber company, but she persisted. Finally, after gaining significant media attention and support, an agreement was reached with the Pacific Lumber Company, ensuring the preservation of Luna and its surrounding area. Since then, Hill has continued her activism, founded an organization called Circle of Life to promote environmental consciousness, and remains a vocal advocate for protecting nature.
Despite her continued commitment to environmental causes, Hill now leads a more private life. She expressed the need for a transition beyond her public persona, but her mission to protect nature remains steadfast. Through her Instagram page, she shares messages about the importance of safeguarding the environment and continues to inspire others to join the cause. Julia ‘Butterfly’ Hill’s extraordinary dedication to saving forests and protecting the planet serves as a shining example of how one person’s actions can make a significant impact on the world.