“I was known as ‘eco-girl,’” says Kelsey Juliana, recalling her K-8 years at the Village School in Eugene. “I ran down the hall, turning off lights, and went through the recycling bin to find usable stuff.” The daughter of Catia Juliana and Tim Ingalsbee, who spurred on the Warner Creek timber sale protest, she was two months old when her parents got married at the protest site in May of 1996. “I grew up around adults who made it their life’s work to protect these places,” she says. At age 14, with the help of her mom, Juliana became a co-plaintiff in a lawsuit to require the state to develop a strict carbon emissions reduction plan. The suit was dismissed in Lane County Circuit Court, but reinstated in 2014 by the Oregon Court of Appeals. It will go to trial in March. Juliana took part in a week-long Sierra Club grassroots training camp after her freshman year at South Eugene, then returned as a trainer the following two summers. She was one of nine young climate activists nationwide to write and narrate a short documentary film, and she often speaks in local schools, at film festivals and rallies. After graduation in June of 2014, she joined the Great March for Climate Action. “I walked from Nebraska to D.C.,” she says, “15 to 20 miles a day. We met a lot of mayors and a couple of governors.” Juliana heads back east this month to begin environmental studies at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina. Her short film and a long interview with Bill Moyers are easy to locate and view online.
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