Opponents of Mountain Valley Pipeline protest injunction regarding tree sitters

A recently filed injunction could mean they will have to come down soon

ELLISTON, Va – It’s been more than two years since the tree sitters on Yellow Finch Lane in Montgomery County took post opposing the efforts to build the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

But a recently filed injunction could mean they will have to come down soon.

The proposed pipeline is set to cut through the land where the tree sitters are located.

According to Appalachians Against Pipelines, an injunction was filed in Montgomery County calling for the tree sitters to vacate by Monday.

A tree sitter against the Mountain Valley Pipeline on Yellow Finch Lane in Montgomery County. (Copyright 2020 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

“It is our planet it is our local heritage and preservation of the scenic beauty of southwest Virginia that’s at stake,” pipeline opponent Tom Adams said.

Throughout the day Monday, supporters praised their efforts to prevent the pipeline from being built.

“What people don’t realize is that these people would like to be doing other things in their lives other than this so their sacrifice was made in the interest of everybody and it’s been incredible and they are heroes in my mind,” Adams said.

Most opponents of the pipeline worry about the long-term impacts on the environment and the safety of those who live near the site.

“It’s dangerous to these communities that are losing water, that are losing land and their lives are being threatened but also its dangerous to the world, climate change is an unimaginable threat,” pipeline opponent Lauren Malhotra said.

Mountain Valley Pipeline provided 10 News with the following statement regarding the injunction:

“First and foremost is the safety of all those involved with the MVP project, whether they are supportive of or opposed to the project. While we respect the opinions of those who are opposed to MVP, and to natural gas pipelines in general, the actions taken by a few opponents have created unnecessary safety risks for everyone involved, including law enforcement, security personnel, project workers, and opponents themselves. We expect the opponents to adhere to the law and vacate their positions along the right-of-way, as outlined in the order. MVP’s priorities to protect cultural and historic resources, as well as preserve sensitive and environmental species remain paramount; however, it is also important that we work together to ensure everyone’s safety throughout the various phases of the construction process.”

About the Author:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.