Suzi Light

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Petition to Save Turtle Island Preserve 

Eustace Conway, 51, teaches others how to live off the land at his 1,000 acre preserve called Turtle Island in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.   Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love author, wrote this biography about Conway and his decision to live a rustic life.  Many adults and children have visited Turtle Island for a day or at camps to break rocks to make stone tools, bend bark to fashion baskets, and spin sticks to create fire.   

Last fall a large team of health, fire and building inspectors escorted by sheriff’s deputies showed up to conduct what he describes as a SWAT team like raid. (Wall Street Journal Article)

The primary focus of this action centers on the buildings and construction methods.   He built log cabins from trees he cut down from his own property.  One of the alleged code violations is that the lumber he used was not marked by a mill.  The American heritage buildings that Turtle Island keeps alive and teaches about are “unacceptable” in today’s modern world. 

There are so many Tumblrs posting pictures of cabins and a rustic lifestyle I cannot believe this petition only had 12,000 signatures.