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Hundreds of old trees cut down in Arcadia

Four environmental activists perched themselves in trees for hours on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011, in an effort to save the old trees from being cut down in Arcadia, Calif.

January 13, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Hundreds of old oak and sycamore trees have been cut down in Arcadia. All that's left are the stumps and other debris that will take several weeks to clear away.On Wednesday, environmental activists tried to stop Los Angeles County Department of Public Works bulldozers.

The protesters perched themselves in the trees for hours but were eventually talked down.

Four activists were booked on charges of trespassing.

One of the tree sitters spoke to Eyewitness News by phone from a tree during the bulldozing.

"They're just knocking over trees. One just dropped 10 feet below us. They definitely need to back off because they're seriously going to endanger us with these cranes," said John Quigley, who camped out for 71 days in an oak tree in Santa Clarita in 2003.

County officials said they needed to clear the grove of trees to ensure the integrity of the nearby Santa Anita Dam, which provides most of the drinking water to Arcadia and Sierra Madre.