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Environmentalists Strip Naked To Protest Cutting Eucalyptus Grove In Oakland Hills

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) -- Environmentalists took off all their clothes in a protest Saturday in the Oakland Hills.

They were protesting a plan to cut down of a grove of eucalyptus trees in the Oakland hills.

Activists say they exposed themselves to make themselves vulnerable, just like the thousands of trees.

"The first claim that it will make the hills less prone to fire is not true," said Jack Gescheidt, founder of The Tree Spirit Project. "Very simply you're turning living forest canopy that is actually fire resistant despite the species -- despite the claims of eucalyptus trees being so dangerous -- it will actually become dead wood on the ground, which will burn."

There are more than 450,000 eucalyptus trees in the hills.

A federal grant is paying for the removal of many of them.

Oakland lawmakers insist the clearing is necessary to avoid a repeat of the 1991 firestorm.

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