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Dozens visit famous oak tree Sunday in Stevenson Ranch

Posted: March 13, 2016 6:55 p.m.
Updated: March 13, 2016 6:55 p.m.
Activist John Quigley leads a talk about his time in "Old Glory" oak tree during an event Sunday at Stevenson Ranch. Signal photo by Jon Smith. Activist John Quigley leads a talk about his time in "Old Glory" oak tree during an event Sunday at Stevenson Ranch. Signal photo by Jon Smith.
Activist John Quigley leads a talk about his time in "Old Glory" oak tree during an event Sunday at Stevenson Ranch. Signal photo by Jon Smith.
Julia Butterfly Hill, left, and John Quigley put their faces to "Old Glory" oak tree Sunday in Stevenson Ranch. The tree sits in Pico Canyon Park, about a quarter-mile from its old location. Signal photo by Jon Smith. Julia Butterfly Hill, left, and John Quigley put their faces to "Old Glory" oak tree Sunday in Stevenson Ranch. The tree sits in Pico Canyon Park, about a quarter-mile from its old location. Signal photo by Jon Smith.
Julia Butterfly Hill, left, and John Quigley put their faces to "Old Glory" oak tree Sunday in Stevenson Ranch. The tree sits in Pico Canyon Park, about a quarter-mile from its old location. Signal photo by Jon Smith.
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More than 35 people gathered at a park in Stevenson Ranch Sunday to commemorate a 400-year-old oak tree that survived being moved from its old location 13 years ago.

Those who attended the event got the chance to meet John Quigley, the man who was instrumental in protecting the tree from developers. In January 2003, Quigley spent 72 days sitting in the tree — dubbed “Old Glory” which was located a quarter-mile from its new home at Pico Canyon Park.

The tree was intended to be cut down in order to widen Pico Canyon Road from two lanes to four. The tree was eventually moved to the park and somehow stayed alive.

For several hours, Quigley spoke to the crowd who showed up Sunday about his 72 days in the oak tree and trying to stop it from being cut, At one point during his speech, Quigley told the crowd he woke up one morning during sunrise and started crying.

“The one thing I said was that this tree would not become a stump,” Quigley told the crowd gathered Sunday. “That was my mantra.”

Quigley’s efforts made headlines all around the world, according to Lynne Plambeck, president of Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment, or SCOPE.

For several weeks, he was receiving fan mail addressed to “Tree 419,” the number the oak tree was assigned in a tree identification database, Plambeck said.

“It was all over,” she said.

Sunday’s group was also joined by Julia Butterfly Hill, who is known for sitting in a 180-foot-tall California Redwood tree for 738 days in the 1990s.

Those who attended Sunday also had a chance to mingle around the tree and enjoy some refreshments.

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