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Activist, tree climber Arrow plans run for mayors job

Convicted arsonist joins 19 other candidates for the open post

Environmental activist and convicted arsonist Tre Arrow wants to be Portland's next mayor.

Arrow, 37, whose real name is Michael Scarpitti, filed Wednesday a prospective petition with the city auditor's office to run for the mayor's post in the May primary election. Arrow can gather 100 valid signatures from Portland's register voters to get his name on the ballot.

He's one of 20 candidates seeking the position that will be vacant after Mayor Sam Adams said last fall that he would not seek re-election.

Arrow is best known for his protest in July 2000 when he spent 11 days on a ledge at the entrance to the U.S. Forest Service building in downtown Portland trying to block plans to log the forest near Eagle Creek. The Forest Service eventually backed off the logging plan.

Arrow ran for Congress as a Pacific Green Party candidate in 2000. During that same time, he was accused of setting an arson fire in several Ross Island Sand and Gravel Co. trucks as part of an environmental protest. He fled to Canada but was returned to the United States in February 2008 to face 14 counts of arson and conspiracy for acts by the Earth Liberation Front.

In June 2008, he pled guilty to two acts of arson and was sentenced to 78 months in federal prison. A year later, he was released to a halfway house to serve his sentence.

In early January, Arrow was climbed about 50 feet up a tree in a yard near Southeast 44th Avenue and Stark Street. The stunt attracted Portland firefighters, who sent a ladder truck to the tree to see if he needed help getting down. Arrow told firefighters he wanted to stay in the tree and get media attention for a message about nature.

The owner of the property gave permission for Arrow to be in the tree. Firefighters left after determining he wasn't in any danger.