Eager to join "Dirt First" after witnessing their pro-vegetarianism demonstration atop the local Krusty Burger franchise, Lisa attempts to prove her worth by camping out in a giant redwood destined for logging. Meanwhile, Bart joins the workforce in order to buy a new game console advertised on television.
In desperate need to get money after seeing a commercial for a new video game console, Bart is forced to get a job as a menu boy for a Thai restaurant named You Thai Now. However, the menus he delivers soon litter Springfield, upsetting Lisa over the number of trees cut down to make them.
Later, the family go to Krusty Burger, only to find a group of people dressed in cow suits protesting on the roof. Lisa meets Jesse Grass, the hunky and non-violent teenage leader of a radical environmentalist protest group named Dirt First, who claims to be a level five vegan (he refuses to eat anything that casts a shadow). She visits him in jail and soon develops a crush on him. Lisa later joins Dirt First, and after learning that Springfield's oldest redwood tree is about to be cut down by the Rich Texan, the group asks for someone to take a stand to protect it, meaning they must stay in said tree until the logging is called off. After many people turn down the offer, Lisa volunteers to camp in the tree to keep the loggers at bay although she is also doing it to impress Jesse. By the time the construction crew arrives, Lisa has already set up camp. Knowing it would be a crime to kill a child, The Rich Texan tells the construction crew to back down and says she'll come down eventually. Lisa stays in the tree and for a while, she does fine as she has enough food, water, and lots of supplies. However the weather becomes stormy and while Lisa does try to stay put, she ends up missing her family, she leaves the tree for a night, and returns in the morning to find the tree has fallen. Lisa is heartbroken by this but learns that the tree wasn't cut down, it was struck by lightning.
Not knowing her fate, everyone in Springfield thinks Lisa died in the storm and offers condolences to the family, which Homer and Bart briefly take advantage of. Even Jesse feels bad, he cuts off his favorite dreadlock and puts it on her memorial. The Rich Texan also plans to turn the forest into a sanctuary in memory of Lisa, but later he changes his mind and offers to build an amusement park, "Lisa Land" which Lisa is angry about.
Fortunately, Lisa comes to the site, and protests the park. The log being used as the sign for Lisa Land is cut loose by Jesse and heads for Springfield's business district, destroying the Rich Texan's company and eventually heads out on a cross-country journey out to the sea. Although Jesse lands himself in jail again, he has apparently not prevented his crusade for the environment.
This episode was very well praised as they liked Lisa actually having a crush with someone and having her take a stand for the environment. 3 out of 4 reviews on IMDB have called it a memorable episode.