Tree-sitters at the Minnehaha Free State near Minneapolis/St. Paul, where activists are occupying land to block a reroute of Highway 55, were forced to the ground after a nearly fatal 10 day showdown with police last fall. The tree-sitters were in trees slated for destruction by the highway project. Highway 55 is a major commuter highway; the contested reroute would shave 3 minutes off the trip from downtown to the Mall of the Americas and is largely opposed by taxpayers.
Reroute construction has already claimed over 300 trees in a 10-block area of Minnehaha Park, the first state park in the U.S., including 13 trees cut by the Minnesota Department of Transportation in self-proclaimed retaliation against 13 McAllister University students who locked themselves in the MnDOT office.
Additioanl areas slated for destruction include Coldwater Spring, the last clean spring in the entire Minneapolis/St. Paul area; a Mendota Dakota burial ground and ceremonial site; and four 250 year old Bur oaks planted in the four directions at the burial site.