David Nathan Chain participated in Earth First! tree-sitting actions dedicated to saving the old-growth forests of California. Like Julia Hill, his activism enraged corporate interests. It also enraged individual loggers. On September 17, 1998, during a protest, a logger felled a tree in the direction of the protesters. The tree hit and killed David Chain. Although many witnesses claim that the logger had aggressively threatened the protesters prior to cutting down the tree, to this date, he has not been arrested or charged with any crime.
Chain's mother, Cindy Allsbrooks, wrote this memorial to her son:
David Nathan Chain was born in Pasadena, Texas on June 17, 1974. In 1994, David moved to Austin, Texas, to live with his childhood friend Chris Martin, whom
David considered his brother.
It was in Austin where David heard about the Earth First! efforts and made a decision to go to
California on a strong conviction he could help.
He made that trip in 1997 and was gone for approximately three months. David came back to Austin with
the intent to save his money and go back. He worked a couple of jobs to save money, and his friends
helped him by giving him a place to live while in Austin. He went back to California in early September of
this year and was there only a short time before his death.
I feel David's conviction had to do with the beauty he saw on his first trip to California and his desire
to preserve the environment. This is what he believed was right. David was always a tender-hearted little
boy and young man. He would help anyone. He saw the world as a much bigger place than most of us
David's father is David Allen Chain. David's stepfather is Ron Allsbrooks. David has two sisters,
Sarah Joy Chain and Bridgett Leigh Campbell, whose three children, Jonathan Thomas, Haleigh Elizabeth,
and Mathew David, David loved so very much. There are so many people who will miss David and forever hold his memory in their hearts.
In a letter responding to Chain's death, activist Joe Keating of Portland, Oregon, wrote:
"David Chain is a hero. He joins the ranks of Martin Luther King, Gandhi, and Judi
Bari. Let his memory inspire us to victory. Let our howls reverberate in every forest
in this land to honor our fallen brother."