1.31.2007

Salmon Forever, HWC, EPIC and more

Salmon Forever
http://www.treesfoundation.org/publications/article_print_friendly-40
by Ken Miller of Salmon Forever
November 1, 2000

Measuring stream velocity with an orange peel and measuring tape
Photo: Clark Fenton

Salmon Forever was founded in 1996 to encourage enlightened, constructive public debate on issues related to forests, watersheds, and the beneficial uses of water. To fulfill this mission, we work with the scientific community, the public, and regulatory agencies. We also conduct scientific research using relatively low-tech methods accessible to community volunteers. A key part of our work is monitoring turbidity and suspended sediment. We also examine revegetation rates on logged-over lands, the extent of canopy cover, and the “batting average” of certified engineering geologists who provide consultation about timber harvesting–associated landslide risks. We are interested in the mechanisms by which impacts occur and methodologies for cumulative impact analysis.

Until their population crash twenty-five years ago, salmon were the mainstay of a $100 million fishing industry in California. Dr. Peter Moyle, renowned fisheries professor at UC-–Davis, calls watershed deterioration the principal cause of the coastal salmonid decline, with logging and road-building as major factors. Because approximately 50 percent of coho habitat is privately owned, and 100 percent runs through private property, salmon must pass through severely impacted areas before reaching presumably more protected, often public, stretches. Such impacts can destroy entire runs. By protecting private property from the effects of irresponsible management of watershed lands, we simultaneously promote biologically viable creeks, the integrity of objective science, and the potential recovery of native salmonid populations.

According to a 1996 National Research Council report on Pacific Northwest salmonids called “Upstream: Salmon and Society in the Pacific NW,” genetic diversity underlies the success of the species; healthy habitat sustains local variations. The report poignantly notes: “One important reason to protect local populations is that they are locally adapted to the streams that support them. In other words, evolution has made a local breeding population better able to survive and reproduce in its home stream than in other streams. Re-establishing new populations through introductions once the local populations have been lost has proved to be extremely difficult”.

This is where we come in—those of us invested in an ecological future that not only sustains us economically but also nourishes us spiritually. This is the vision of Salmon Forever.

Why turbidity?
The North Coast Water Quality Control Board uses “turbidity levels” as thresholds: the Basin Plan will not permit turbidity levels in streams to rise (due to sediment entry) more than 20 percent over naturally occurring background levels. Quantities of sediment that settle out and cause nuisance, such as aggradation causing flooding, are also prohibited. The Pacific Lumber (PL) Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) recognizes turbidity “as the single-most sensitive measure of the effects of land use on streams.”

Young salmonids are exquisitely sensitive to turbidity, which obscures their vision and hence decreases their ability to feed. They are also sensitive to suspended sediments, which cause injury in direct proportion to sediment levels and duration of exposure. Fine sediments smother the egg nests of salmonids and fill the interstices in which the young hide. Since smolt size is correlated with ocean survival of salmonids, if sediment-choked water results in smaller fish migrating to the ocean, the number of healthy adults returning to spawn likely will be reduced.

State agencies have identified increased flooding resulting from accelerated logging by PL as a major problem for Freshwater and Elk watersheds. In Freshwater last year, more than 4.5 million kilograms of suspended sediment went down the mainstem of Freshwater Creek past Salmon Forever’s sampling station equivalent to more than 220 truckloads of dry sediment. Each of the 6–7 square miles of logged watershed above the station probably contributed about 600–700 tons. Each of the three biggest storms moved more than a million kilograms past the sampling stations.

By monitoring watersheds with comparable geology, such as the Little South Fork Elk River in Headwaters Forest and Humboldt Redwoods State Park lands, we hope to be able to answer the question: how much sediment is natural? We are monitoring six watersheds in the Trinity, Eel, Van Duzen, and Humboldt Bay drainages. The information not only shows the impacts of ground-disturbing activities that have taken place but also provides an early warning system about upstream landslides, failing culverts, or other sediment sources posing threats to water quality, channel form, and in-stream habitat.

Samples are taken regularly during storms and measured in a portable turbidity monitor, and the filtered sediment is weighed in our Sunnybrae sediment lab. By measuring channel cross-sections, a 3-D picture of the channel can be used to calculate volumes. Correlations among turbidity, suspended sediment, and water discharge (volume or cubic meters/feet per second) characterize the turbidity “signature” of a stream. Comparing these signatures among similar watersheds undergoing different intensities of land use helps to reveal the effects of upstream management activities.

Since monitoring requires multiple samples taken 24-hours, seven days a week during rainstorms, the only economically feasible strategy might be local volunteers invested in the health of their creeks. (A side effect is watershed residents’ enthusiasm for turbidity monitoring as they learn the dynamics of their streams.) Alternative automatic sampling is available for remote sites and for more comprehensive data-gathering.

Salmon Forever has recruited and trained more than fifty volunteers in fifteen watersheds and analyzed more than 2,800 samples in our Sunny Brae Sediment Lab. The U.S. Forest Service Redwood Sciences Lab has provided technical assistance to analyze this data. We are developing a web site for this information. Public agencies contemplating large-scale monitoring programs are evaluating the protocols we have developed. The protocols are also undergoing final review by the U.S. EPA, and, when approved, qualify us to certify monitors under EPA standards.

Salmon Forever has joined with the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) to develop the THP Watch Program. This program provides citizens with access to our data and research library for their comments on timber harvest plans submitted to CDF. Our input has modified many THPs and helps establish a useful administrative record should THPs be litigated.

We made a video with Howard Russell which presents some of the scientific evidence for the logging-related flooding in Freshwater, and residents’ experiences. Our PL HCP/Sustained Yield Plan Watch program is integrated with community participation in watershed analysis, which will be coming to all of the watersheds in which PL has some ownership. In conjunction with esteemed Steelhead publisher Emelia Berol, we plan to publish a quarterly interview featuring local scientists’ work relevant to salmon and watershed issues.
Salmon Forever has worked closely with local groups to emphasize the vulnerability of the North Fork Mattole River to sediment impacts, where more than 3,000 acres of virgin old-growth Douglas fir are proposed to be clearcut—1,000 within the next ten years. (The Mattole, which means “clear water” to the Mattole Indians, is known as “the other Headwaters” by local residents and is treasured for its beauty and wild native salmon.) We also serve as a scientific consultant to Voices of Humboldt County, a monthly publication of the Humboldt Watershed Council. The publication’s name comes from a video Salmon Forever and Humboldt Watershed Council co-produced in 1997.

Salmon Forever helps those who want to better understand the mechanisms by which impacts occur so that they can protect their home watersheds more effectively. We invite you to join our efforts. If we can help with your monitoring, watershed analysis, or THP comment needs, let us know. 

This article can be found online at www.treesfoundation.org/publications/article-40

Branching Out is produced by Trees Foundation. For more information contact:
Salmon Forever
P.O. Box 3014
McKinleyville, CA 95519
Phone: (707) 839-7444 Fax: (707) 839-7447

***
Check out the cross-pollinization of these supposedly separate groups:
Salmon Forever
Home / Publications / Branching Out / Fall 2000 / Salmon Forever. by Ken Miller of Salmon Forever November 1, 2000. Measuring stream velocity with an orange ...
www.treesfoundation.org/publications/article-40 - 27k - Cached - Similar pages (Trees Foundation, that's Earth First)

Groups Demand Water Board Curtail Excessive Logging: Independent ...
Michael Shellenberger, Salmon Forever, 510-525-9900 Ken Miller, Humboldt Watershed Council, 707-839-7444 Jesse Noell, Salmon Forever, 707-443-7433 ...
www.wildcalifornia.org/pressreleases/number-29 - 10k - Cached - Similar pages (wildcalifornia, that's EPIC)

Deep-Water, Industrial Port Development vs. Sustainable Future
Dr. Ken Miller President, Salmon Forever /s/ Tim McKay Executive Director, Northcoast Environmental Center /s/ Ruth Jameson Eureka Homeowners Committee ...
www.wildcalifornia.org/pages/page-168 - 28k - Cached - Similar pages

Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters - The Bay Area Coalition for ...
It's hard to believe, but the Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters is 10 years old! ... Senator Barbara Boxer's office with one of BACH's founders, Ken Miller ...
www.treesfoundation.org/affiliates/update-77 - 15k - Cached - Similar pages

Eye - Alleged Knifepoint robber set for trial.

What is the effect of losing your experienced prosecutors?

Interesting story in the Arcata Eye... your first chance to see Gallegos' new hire, Allan Dollison at work.

Alleged Knifepoint robber set for trial.
Kevin Hoover
Nov. 7, 2006

The case of James Phillip Geth of Eureka, arrested on multiple felony charges last month, is somewhat untidily proceeding to trial under the stewardship of the county's newest deputy district attorney.

Police say Geth, 22, went on a robbery spree the morning of Wednesday, October 18, beginning at a McKinleyville convenience store and ending up chest-deep in a north Arcata marsh.

Deputy DA Allan Dollison detailed the charges at a preliminary hearing last week before Judge Reinholtsen. The judge threw out some of the charges, but agreed to several and set an arraignment for Thursday, Nov. 16 at 2 p.m.

During the prelim, Dollison questioned Arcata Police officers about the eventful October morning. They related the following:

Sometime after 4 a.m., Geth allegedly held up a minimart in McKinleyville at knifepoint. Video surveillance tapes from the store, which were stolen, but later discovered in the car Geth was apparently using, show a similarly dressed individual performing the stickup.

Three hours later, police say, Geth held up the Gas 4 Less mini-mart at Alliance Road and Spear Avenue, then proceeded down Alliance Road to the Union 76 mini-mart.

There, the robber, wearing a big hat and with his face obscured, is seen on video surveillance tapes pointing a knife at the clerk and a customer. The two were forced into a back room at knifepoint, but the clerk fought the robber off with a stool. The suspect then fled in a car with the store's cash drawer just as APD Sgt. Bart Silvers responded to the scene.

A vehicle pursuit ensued, with APD officers breaking off the chase due to unsafe high speed. A short time later, the vehicle was spotted by a passing California Highway Patrol officer on West End Road and clocked at 87 mph in the 25 mph zone.

The suspect's vehicle ran off the road near West End Road at Aldergrove Road. Police checked the area for the suspect, and found Geth in a tussle in Ericson Court with Sacred Ground employee Scott Birk. Geth then ran off toward Aldergrove Pond with APD Sgt. Dave Brown in pursuit.

Brown followed Geth 75 yards into the marsh, wading at times chest-deep through muck, with the suspect refusing to halt. Eventually, another officer subdued Geth with a Taser and he was taken into custody.

Geth had recently been released form jail and was on probation for a drug conviction.

Nonetheless, Reinholtzen walked through the charges and found that Dollison hadn't adequately linked Geth with the McKinleyville robbery and threw out those charges. He also dismissed an evading arrest charge, since Dollison hadn't established that Police used required flashers or siren in the car chase.

Robbery charges for the two Arcata holdups, plus one count of false imprisonment were accepted by the judge.

Dollison, who has served mostly as a defense attorney rather than as a prosecutor during his career, said he would re-file the dismissed charges.

Geth's relatives listened somberly through the morning and afternoon hearings. During a break, his father, also named James Geth, offered the following statement:

We, his family, are working desperately to keep our child and loved one out of the criminal justice system. What we're trying to get him is qualified psychological hlep for his childhood trauma that few people seem to want to address."

He described his son, known as Jamie, as industrious but troubled. Young Geth, A Eurekan, held three jobs, the father said, and was a popular DJ known as "JP Jesus."

An expanded version of this story will be available at arcataeye.com.
I'll post the link as soon as it is available. Apologies to Kevin if there are any typos in this story, I transcribed it from the paper.

Follow-up:
James Geth pleads

More on Dollison:

State Bar Association Allan Lee Dollison
Like Gallegos, he did not go to an accredited Law School - Western State Univ was not an accredited Law School at the time Dollison attended. It has recently become accredited.

Like Stoen and Schwartz, this guy likes to run for office:
Senatorial candidate suspended in 2000
Smart Voter - Philosophy
Smart Voter, March 2, 2004 Election - Our Environment
He also ran for the California Assembly in 1994.

Discussion at watchpaul:
Tim Stoen, Jeffrey "yougofree.com" Schwartz, and now this...
What're we talkin' about here? Moral Turpitude

Eye - Robber James Geth pleads, is sentenced

Another plea bargain...

Robber James Geth pleads, is sentenced -- Jan. 30, 2007
Kevin L. Hoover Eye Editor

ARCATA – James Phillip Geth of Eureka pleaded guilty last Friday to two counts of robbery and assault with a deadly weapon in connection with a McKinleyville-to-Arcata crime spree that took place the morning of last Oct. 18. 

A  busy morning
Geth, 22, had allegedly robbed a McKinleyville mini-mart at knifepoint around 4 a.m. that morning. About three hours later, he held up the Gas4Less mini-mart at Alliance Road and Spear Avenue in Arcata, and moments later did the same thing at the Union 76 mini-mart on Alliance Road.

There, a video security camera captured images of Geth ordering the clerk and a patron into the back room at knifepoint. The clerk then fought Geth off with a stool, and the robber fled with the store’s cash drawer just as Arcata Police officers arrived.

A high-speed chase ensued, with APD breaking off pursuit for safety reasons. But a California Highway Patrol officer spotted Geth on West End Road, going 87 mph in a 25 mph zone. Geth abandoned his car near Aldergrove Road and, after a brief scuffle with an employee at a business there, fled through Ericson Court into marshy Aldergrove Pond.

APD Sgt. Dave Brown pursued Geth on foot 75 yards into  chest-deep muck. Brown said Geth refused to halt and repeatedly feigned reaching for a weapon inside his shirt. 

Brown said that if he had not heard previous police radio exchanges about the robberies involving a knife only, he may have shot Geth. Instead, he made the instant decision that Geth was likely not in possession of a firearm, and refrained from shooting. Geth was eventually tased by another officer and taken into custody.

The McKinleyville mini-mart's security videotapes and the Union 76’s cash drawer were subsequently found in the vehicle Geth had abandoned on West End Road.

Charges and pleas
Geth was on felony probation for drug offenses at the time of the robbery spree. Arcata Police recommended numerous felony charges against him for robbery, burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, probation violation, resisting and evading arrest with reckless driving.

However, in a subsequent plea arrangement, newly hired Deputy District Attorney Allan Dollison recommended only one robbery and one evading count against Geth. 

Arcata Police were aghast at the downsizing of the Geth case. Noting Geth’s disregard for public safety, his having terrorized citizens (security video shows him slashing at the clerk and a patron with the knife at the Alliance Road store) and placing an officer in a possible shooting situation, APD communicated its surprise and displeasure at the weakened charges to Dollison and DA Paul Gallegos.

At a preliminary hearing in early November, Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Dale Reinholtsen reproved Dollison for failing to subpoena the CHP officer involved and for not having the McKinleyville mini-mart clerk present.

Dollison, who has served mostly as a defense attorney, conferred with Gallegos and re-filed the evading and robbery charges. Geth ultimately pleaded guilty to one of the previously dropped robbery charges.

In ensuing months, the case was transferred to Deputy DA Andy Truitt, who did not immediately return calls Friday. Geth's father didn't return calls either, but last fall had characterized "Jamie" as an industrious but troubled youth.

Last week, Geth was sentenced to nine years in prison and two felony strikes against him.

“We are happy with the disposition,” said APD Captain Tom Chapman.
 
Subscribe to the Arcata Eye for the full story!

Follow-up:
Knifepoint Robber Set For Trial

More on Dollison:

State Bar Association Allan Lee Dollison
Like Gallegos, he did not go to an accredited Law School - Western State Univ was not an accredited Law School at the time Dollison attended. It has recently become accredited.

Like Stoen and Schwartz, this guy likes to run for office:
Senatorial candidate suspended in 2000
Smart Voter - Philosophy
Smart Voter, March 2, 2004 Election - Our Environment
He also ran for the California Assembly in 1994.

Discussion at watchpaul:
Tim Stoen, Jeffrey "yougofree.com" Schwartz, and now this...
What're we talkin' about here? Moral Turpitude

1.29.2007

Earth First Profile from activistcash.com

HOLY SMOKES!!!!

Earth First!
Earth First! Journal, PO Box 3023, Tucson, AZ 85702
Phone 520-620-6900 | Fax 4132540057 | Email collective@earthfirstjournal.org

"It could have killed someone," said San Diego fire captain Jeff Carle. Three workers sleeping at a construction site were able to escape after the terrorist Earth Liberation Front (ELF) set fire to an unfinished, 200-unit condominium development late one night in August, 2003.
A newspaper reported: "Flames leapt 200 feet into the air and could be seen for miles. Grapefruit-sized fireballs landed in courtyards and patios of adjacent buildings, and burning embers swirled in the night." Nearby residents were evacuated and returned home to find their window blinds had melted from the heat. A 500-gallon fuel tank exploded. Damages were estimated at $50 million.

One local resident described the event for San Diego's NBC affiliate: "Smoke was just coming straight at you. The flames were just all over. It was just terror." A construction worker remarked: "I'm out of work now. Thank you, arsonist."

A twelve-foot sign next to the arson site read: "If you build it -- we will burn it -- the E.L.F.'s are mad." The Earth Liberation Front, along with its sister group, the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), have taken responsibility for more than 600 crimes since 1996, totaling more than $100 million in damages.

The Earth Liberation Front sprung from -- and in many ways is still an arm of -- Earth First!.

Earth First! (EF!) is a "warrior society" that takes a "by any means necessary" approach to "defending mother earth." The group declines to participate in the democratic process, preferring instead to damage, disable, and destroy the property of its ever-growing list of enemies. EF! targets include, but are by no means limited to, loggers, ranchers, and farmers -- especially those who grow genetically modified crops. Earth First!ers' crimes include assault, arson, and untold acts of sabotage.

Before he quit in the late 1980s, the driving force behind EF! was a man named Dave Foreman. His book Ecodefense: A Field Guide To Monkeywrenching is a how-to for environmental saboteurs. It includes nine chapters of instructions on subjects ranging from tree spiking to destroying roads, from disabling equipment to making smoke bombs. Rodney Coronado, an Earth First! zealot who was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison following a string of arsons, calls the book "our bible."

A "Mainstream" Spin-off?

The legend of EF!'s founding involves five friends hanging out in the desert, drunk and high. They were inspired by Edward Abbey's book The Monkeywrench Gang, which chronicles a gang of environmental zealots who sabotage oil, mining, and farming interests. A different story, one that doesn't get told as often or as gleefully, was outlined by author Ron Arnold in Trashing the Economy:

Defectors from the environmental movement have told us that Earth First! founder Dave Foreman was approached by the Sierra Club and his employer, the Wilderness Society, in 1979 with an offer to fund a new extremist point group for the movement. It would serve the function of making their own demands look more reasonable … Defectors say that Foreman made the deal by himself in a comfortable Wilderness Society office, and accepted the offer on the condition that funding would be steady and adequate, and that his participation was a limited 10-year deal.

While this story is almost impossible to confirm, there is evidence for its veracity. Dave Foreman did quit EF! after about ten years. And comments from Foreman himself are revealing. Smithsonian magazine writes:

"We thought it would have been useful to have a group to take a tougher position than the Sierra Club and the Wilderness Society," Foreman remembers. "It could be sort of secretly controlled by the mainstream and trotted out at hearings to make the Sierra Club or Wilderness Society look moderate."

In his own book, Confessions of an Eco-Warrior, Foreman brags: "A major accomplishment of Earth First! … has been to expand the environmental spectrum to where the Sierra Club and other groups are perceived as moderates." Foreman made the same point to Audubon magazine in 1982: "When I call the Sierra Club 'namby pamby,' that is done consciously to negate what [Secretary of the Interior James] Watt says when he calls them extremists."

In the same Audubon article, long-time Sierra Club executive director and Foreman mentor David Brower argued: "The people that are easily named extreme make the people who were extreme seem suddenly reasonable." Brower told E magazine:

The Sierra Club made the Nature Conservancy look reasonable. I founded Friends of the Earth to make the Sierra Club look reasonable. Then I founded Earth Island Institute to make Friends of the Earth look reasonable. Earth First! now makes us look reasonable. We're still waiting for someone else to come along and make Earth First! look reasonable.

The Earth First! Journal

Every industry has its trade rags, and the leading magazine for the environmental fringe is the Earth First! Journal. Unsuspecting magazine browsers in mainstream bookstores might stumble across the Journal, which provides tactical information and motivation to saboteurs -- while singing the praises of Earth First!ers who destroy fishing boats, genetically modified crops, and logging equipment.

The Journal features articles by some of America's most violent eco-terrorists. One issue, for example, included an essay by convicted arsonist Jeffrey Luers about "Why I set a fire at [Eugene, Oregon's] Romania Chevrolet." The same issue included a treatise titled "The Non-violent Use of Gunpowder."

"By every means necessary we will bring this and every other empire down! Mutiny and sabotage in defense of Mother Earth!" screamed another recent article condemning the war in Iraq. Elsewhere in that same issue: "A snitch is no longer entitled to basic expectations of safety. As such, it is righteous to hurt them, burn down their house or do similarly naughty things to them."

In 2000, the 20th Anniversary issue of the Earth First! Journal bragged: "The simple idea of putting the earth first had drawn expanding crowds of hippies, anarchists, animal rights activists and all sorts of riffraff." The kind of people who "riff" alphabet songs like this one:
I is incendiary, like burning 'dozers
J is for jail time, and other enclosures
K is for kill, what they'll do if they catch you.

In 2002, the Earth First! Journal published a two-page spread called "Most-Wanted Eco-terrorists: the Biotechnology Industry." Claiming that "everyone at Monsanto is an eco-terrorist," it opened with a line that has become emblematic of green radicals everywhere: "The Earth is not dying, it is being killed by corporations such as the biotechnology industries, and the people who are killing it have names and addresses." The article then went on to list names and addresses.

"The Earth First! Journal Collective" wrote an open letter appearing in the Spring 2003 issue of the rag for Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC). One of the most violent groups of animal-rights zealots, SHAC has incubated the technique of harassing, threatening, and in some cases physically harming people who happen to work for a company they don't like. The open letter read:

SHAC's tactics and strategies need to be analyzed and implemented by the environmental movement. The results generated by SHAC's actions are awe-inspiring, and the environmental movement needs to start paying attention.

The letter went on to describe how Earth First!ers have begun harassing "an ecoterrorist in our eyes" whose job it is to remove tree sitters safely from their perch:

In recent months, activists haven't waited for Climber Eric to show up in the forest. They have visited his home, business and insurance company. At home, Climber Eric was not the same confident, controlled person that he is in the woods, where he is usually protected by his crew and local police. In fact, he was visibly distraught. For Climber Eric, this is just the beginning.
Several newspapers reported Rodney Coronado boasting that he "was no pacifist hippie, my actions speak louder than my words." What the papers didn't report was that those words were directed at "Climber Eric," and, according to his employer, Coronado continued: "I'm coming to your door. Hey, do you got any food in your house? Don't worry, I'll go to your house and ask your wife."

"Earth First! is a verb, not a noun."

EF! works very hard to convince the public that its activities are not governed by any formal institution. "Earth First! is not an organization, but a movement" is the constant refrain. "There are no members of Earth First!, only Earth First!ers."

There are practical as well as romantic reasons to downplay any organizational structure. According to the Earth First! Journal: "To avoid co-option, we feel it is necessary to avoid the corporate organizational structure so readily embraced by many environmental groups." Of course, most green groups engage in legal activities -- and therefore don't fear "co-option."

While there is no primary EF! office, there are numerous incorporated Earth First! organizations, each with its own specific function. These include Daily Planet Publishing (which publishes the Earth First! Journal), the Fund for Wild Nature (formerly the Earth First! Foundation), the Trees Foundation, and the Earth First! Direct Action Fund.

For the benefit of anyone who doubts that these are genuine, legal "organizations," consider that the website of the Fund for Wild Nature once read: "The Fund relies on invididual [sic] contributors like yourself, and your friends. We accept donations of cash, stock or other financial assets." Here is a tax-exempt foundation making a plea for corporate securities, on behalf of a group that claims to exist without any structure.

This non-organization, which preaches "no compromise in defense of mother earth," is very much aware of who pays the bills. The Washington Times reports that Atlanta media mogul Ted Turner, who has personally contributed to radical environmental groups, gets a free pass from EF! militants:

While a timber-cutting operation was under way on one of his [Turner's] ranches in 1998, members of the radical environmental group Earth First! instead protested timber cutting on a nearby ranch owned by Zachary Taylor, said private investigator Barry R. Clausen, who spent a year undercover at EarthFirst.
He asked a protester why the group did not include take on [sic] Mr. Turner, Mr. Clausen said, and was told: "We cannot. That's where our money comes from."

Mr. Clausen, author of "Burning Rage," an investigation of domestic terrorism, said environmental groups' nickname for Mr. Turner is "Daddy Greenbucks."

"Ted Turner has canned hunts where you can shoot a buffalo ... and drilling ... in New Mexico and clear-cutting trees and he never gets protested. And when you ask why, it's because he is one of the biggest contributors to extremist groups," Mr. Clausen said.

Interlocking, Interrelated Radicals

If you want to contribute money to EF! and get a tax break on your donation, send your check to the Fund for Wild Nature (FWN). Formerly named the Earth First! Foundation, FWN serves as a tax-exempt pass-through for money to reach Earth First!ers. It has funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to EF! organizations.

FWN has doled out money to the Earth First! Journal, Mendocino Earth First! and North Coast Earth First! (California), Elaho Earth First! (Canada), Wild Rockies Earth First!, Arizona Earth First!, and many others. More often, though, the Fund gives to EF! groups that don't have the words "Earth First!" in their names -- like the Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters (BACH). BACH's leader is Karen Pickett, whose arrest record hasn't prevented her from holding the purse strings for the Earth First! Direct Action Fund.

Another FWN beneficiary is the Cascadia Forest Alliance (CFA). According to Bear Deluxe magazine, "Former Earth First! members conceived the CFA as a fresh organization for combating Salvage Rider cutting in Oregon. Since then, hundreds of people -- including Portland's Tre Arrow, who gained local fame when he spent 11 days protesting the sale from a second story ledge at the Forest Service headquarters in Portland -- have occupied the tree-sits at Eagle Creek."

"Tre Arrow," whose real name is Michael Scarpitti, graces the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in October, 2002 for a string of arsons, including the torching of three cement trucks. The government has offered $25,000 for information leading to his arrest. Although Scarpitti is still on the loose, law enforcement officers spotted him in 2003 near Arcadia, California -- accompanied by none other than Rodney Coronado.

Coronado argues that EF! is part of one big happy family, along with the FBI's most feared domestic terrorist groups, the Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front: "Whether a member of a Headwaters nonviolent affinity group, Cascadia Forest Defenders or the Earth Liberation Front," Coronado wrote in a 2001 essay, "all Earth First!ers should recognize the positive value of each other's contributions and exploit the leverage they create against our common opponent."

FWN provided the initial support for EF! spin-offs like the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) and the Ruckus Society, both of which were started by Earth First! co-founder Mike Roselle. Indeed, FWN thinks of itself as the venture capitalist of radical environmental groups.

The Fund for Wild Nature is by no means Earth First!'s only source of revenue. For example, the Dogwood Alliance, which claims to believe in "peaceful" tactics, has funneled money to Katuah Earth First! and other groups that work with Earth First!.

Earth First! founders Dave Foreman, Bart Koehler, and Howie Wolke are now board members, officers and/or founders of other environmental organizations. Those include: the Alliance for the Wild Rockies (Wolke); the Ecology Center, Inc. (Wolke); the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance (Foreman); the Wilderness Society's Wilderness Support Center (Koehler); and the Wildlands Project, a.k.a. North American Wilderness Recovery, which recently merged with the Cenozoic Society (Foreman).

"Direct Action" on Your Dinner Plate

In 1999 FWN began to bankroll "direct action" against biotech crops (although Earth First!ers began targeting them as early as 1987). The now defunct Bioengineering Action Network (BAN) received FWN money. When it was functioning, BAN served as a press-outreach service for the FBI-certified domestic-terrorist Earth Liberation Front (ELF), another Earth First! spin-off. BAN's website featured a how-to guide for tearing out biotech crops (they call it "nighttime gardening") and instructed saboteurs on how to "research your target."

1999 was also the year that Al H. Jacobson, founder of the avowedly anti-biotech crops organic food line Garden of Eatin', gave FWN $54,500. Jacobson's Naturganic Foundation kicked in $200,000 to FWN for 2000. In those years, Jacobson was by far FWN's biggest donor.

Earth First! makes your dinner more expensive by practicing economic sabotage on cattle ranchers as well as farmers who raise genetically enhanced crops. The EF!-founded and FWN-funded Buffalo Field Campaign, for example, uses "direct action" to block government officials from keeping buffalo in and around Yellowstone Park from passing on the contagious disease brucellosis to nearby cattle. As of December 2002, at least 21 Buffalo Field Campaign activists have been arrested -- quite a rap sheet for a tax-exempt group.

But even EF! draws a line between the kind of illegal activities that can be funded with tax-exempt money, and those that are too violent for the Fund for Wild Nature to touch. Cash for these endeavors comes from the Earth First! Direct Action Fund. Bragging that "thousands of EF!ers have been arrested around the world," the EF! Direct Action Fund's website appeals for donations:

Direct action requires courage, commitment, training and the ability to focus on an urgent issue. Unfortunately, it also requires money. Since 1985, The Earth First! Direct Action Fund (DAF) has assisted in planning, coordinating, and funding activists on the front lines. These people are the backbone, indeed the heart and soul, of the Earth First! movement.

Earth First! co-founder Mike Roselle registered the Earth First! Action Fund as a California business in 1990, with the Action Fund's address listed as "C/O Rainforest Action Network," another Roselle creation. He lost control of the checkbook in settling his divorce from fellow Earth First!er Karen Pickett. But that hasn't stopped Rainforest Action Network from supporting Earth First! groups. On one occasion, RAN donated "$10,000 of general support to Luna Media in their work with North Coast Earth First!."

Yet another Roselle group, the Ecology Center in Montana, is also active in funding Earth First! activities. In the 1990s the Ecology Center poured more than $20,000 into Earth First!'s Cove Mallard anti-logging campaign in Idaho. The Ecology Center also supports the Buffalo Field Campaign, the Earth First! Journal, and the legal defenses of Rodney Coronado and something called the Buffalo Action Project, or BAP!

BAP! appears to be little more than a support system for a woman named Delyla Wilson. Wilson gained fame in 1997 after she dumped a five-gallon bucket of rotting bison innards on a panel of senior government officials who were discussing how best to manage Yellowstone Park's buffalo herd. Her victims included Dan Glickman, then President Clinton's Secretary of Agriculture, Marc Racicot, then Governor of Montana, and Montana Senators Max Baucus and Conrad Burns.

Another Fund for Wild Nature grantee is New West Research, a New Mexico anti-ranching group that produced the "Animal Damage Control Hall of Shame." A more appropriate name would have been the "New Mexico Hit List."

New West Research sued the federal government under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain the names and addresses of all New Mexicans who had petitioned the Wildlife Service to help control predators on their property. New West proceeded to post this information -- 25 pages in all -- on its website. At the top of this "Hall of Shame" was the familiar line: "The earth is not dying -- it is being killed. And the people killing it have names and addresses."

When criticized for inciting violence against ranchers and farmers, New West responded: "That's the same kind of whining we hear from pedophiles and crack dealers who don't want their identities known to the public."

The Earth First! Octopus

There are several hundred Earth First! organizations in America, and at least 50 in other nations. Most of them use the words "Earth First" in their title, but a cheat-sheet might be helpful for those Earth First! entities that go by other names. Bear in mind that many Earth First! organizations rapidly form around a cause, and then disappear. As a result, a complete list of Earth First! organizations is impossible to compile. However, when you see the following names, think Earth First!
Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project
Cascadia Forest Defenders
Coastwatch
Cold Mountain, Cold Rivers
Cove Mallard Coalition
Daily Planet Publishing, Inc.
Direct Action Fund
Earth Defense Education Project
End Corporate Dominance
Environmentally Sound Promotions
Friends of the Wolf
League of Wilderness Defenders
Redwood Action Team
Warrior Poets Society
Zero Xtract from Public Lands

The Earth First! Journal includes a section called "EF! Campaigns and Projects." The following organizations have graced that list in recent years:
Bioengineering Action Network
Cold Mountain, Cold Rivers Video Project
Earth Liberation Prisoners
EF! Action Update
North American ALF Press Office
ELF Press Office
Earth Liberation Front
North American Earth Liberation Support Network

The Earth First! Journal has listed the following groups as "contacts":
Arizona Wildlands Museum
Autonomous Zone
Biodiversity Liberation Front
Blue Mtns. Biodiversity Project
Boxcar Books and Community Center
The Brokedowns/Elgin Food Not Bombs
Cascadia Forest Alliance
Cascadia Forest Defenders
Church of Deep Ecology
Confluence/St. Louis IMC
Direct Action Network
Environmental Resource Center
Fairfax Action Team
Flagstaff Activist Network
Foghorn
Forest Ecosystems Action Group
Green Vigilance
Lawrence Grassroots Initiative
Liberated Zone Infoshop
Lost Cause Collective
Mass Direct Action
Mountain Eco-Collective
New Mexico Direct Action
Oceandream Media Foundation
Pink Planarians
Popular Power
Project Harmony
Rustic Revolt
Shuksan Direct Action
Slingshot
Solidarity Books
Stone Soup Collective
Tornado Alley Resistance
Unci Maka Uonihanpo (Honor Mother Earth)
Wild Wasatch Front
Wilderness Defense

The following EF!-named groups have been listed by the Earth First! Journal as contacts:
Alachua EF!
Allegheny EF!
Bay Area EF!
Big Bend EF!
Boundary Waters EF!
Buffalo Trace EF!
Croatan EF!
Dallas EF!
East Texas EF!
EF! Austin
French Broad EF!
Gainesville/Ichetucknee EF!
Houston EF!
Kalmiopsis EF!
Katúah EF!/River Faction
Katúah EF!/Tennessee Valley Faction
Katúah Foothills EF!
Kekionga EF!
Lake Erie EF!
Lake Worthless EF!
Loon Antics EF!
Love Canal EF!
Madison EF!
Maine EF!
OFF!
Olympia EF!/Cascadia Defense Network
Peninsular Ranges EF!
Phoenix EF!
Red Gate EF!
San Juan EF!
Santa Cruz EF!/EF! Radio
Seattle EF!
Shawnee EF!
Sonoma County EF!
Teewinot EF!
Tucson EF!
Two Rivers EF!
Uwharrie Earth First!
Wild Rockies EF!/Wild Rockies Review
Yellowstone EF!

Bomb-throwers have a funny way of making even the most radical spokespersons seem reasonable, and one of Earth First!'s main goals is to make green groups like the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth appear mainstream by comparison. Mission accomplished.

EF! also claims some success at its other practical goal: inflicting economic damage on the industries that it opposes. In Confessions of an Eco-Warrior, Earth First! co-founder Dave Foreman brags that "ecotage [economic sabotage] in the National Forests alone in the United States is costing industry and government $20-25 million annually." Putting companies out of business through sabotage, Earth First!ers believe, will ultimately protect the earth from human beings.

Which is really the point. Earth First!ers seek to destroy industrial civilization, if not humanity itself. Writing in the May 1987 issue of the Earth First! Journal under the pseudonym "Miss Ann Thropy," Earth First! theorist Christopher Manes suggested that "if radical environmentalists were to invent a disease to bring human population back to ecological sanity, it would probably be something like AIDS."

The author of an article in the November-December 2001 Earth First! Journal proclaimed that he was jealous of Osama bin Laden, and that the al Queda mastermind "is riding an unstoppable current of history." A speaker at Earth First!'s annual "Rendezvous" meeting once said that the "optimal human population" is zero.

Dave Foreman describes the philosophy that motivates Earth First! in Confessions of an Eco-Warrior:

"An individual human life has no more intrinsic value than does an individual Grizzly Bear life. Human suffering resulting from drought and famine in Ethiopia is tragic, yes, but the destruction there of other creatures and habitat is even more tragic."

"Ours is an ecological perspective that views Earth as a community and recognizes such apparent enemies as 'disease' (e.g., malaria) and 'pests' (e.g., mosquitoes) not as manifestations of evil to be overcome but rather as vital and necessary components of a complex and vibrant biosphere."

"An antipathy to 'progress' and 'technology.' We can accept the pejoratives of 'Luddite' and 'Neanderthal' with pride."
"There is no hope for reform of industrial empire."

"We humans have become a disease -- the Humanpox."

These are not just Foreman's own idiosyncratic views, but the first principles of the EF! movement. The National Chamber of Commerce quotes John Davis, then editor of the Earth First! Journal, summing it up: "Human beings, as a species, have no more value than slugs." And Earth First!ers reportedly sit around a camp fire, chanting, trancelike, for hours: "Billions are living that should be dead. Billions are living that should be dead. Billions are living that should be dead."
The Washington Post describes the Earth First! approach to earth worship:

In another clearing, a different group sat in a circle seeking other forms of magic. It was an exercise called a Council of All Beings, originated by Australian activist John Seed. At a Council of All Beings, you choose a nonhuman form of life and meditate upon that form -- mouse or tree or stem of grass -- until you seem to be that stem or mouse and then you tell the others in the circle about lawn mowers or traps and how it feels to be oppressed by humans.

The Council of All Beings reminded me of a form of religious worship that had taken place at the [Earth First!] Montana rendezvous I had also visited. There, the worshipers had evoked the presence of Gaia, a name for Earth as a being or a goddess, which is taken from the more scientific theory known as the Gaia hypothesis, in which Earth is described as an organism. The ceremony had been self-consciously pagan. "If you're going to talk about Christianity," a Montana worshiper had said, "please leave."

When I asked Dave Foreman, still in vest and camouflage hat, what the Council of All Beings and Gaia-worship role was in Earth First!, he grinned. "That's the woo-woo stuff," he said. "It's beyond me. But the diversity's good."

Earth First!ers, like their hero Dave Foreman, generally believe that "Mother Earth" is in some sense spiritual, and that monkey-wrenching is (in his words) "very much a sacrament."

Theodore "the Unabomber" Kaczynski is the radical environmental movement's biggest black eye. Conventional wisdom dictates that Kaczynski was merely an intellectual serial-killer, but his connection to Earth First! and the broader eco-terror movement is undeniable.

When FBI agents raided Kaczynski's Montana cabin in April 1996, they found copies of the Earth First! Journal, as well as an Earth First! affiliated publication called Live Wild or Die. This broadsheet, funded by Mike Roselle, included a now-famous "Eco-F*cker Hit List."

At the top of the Hit List was the California Forestry Association. In the middle was a prominent cartoon about the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Kaczynski sent dozens of mail bombs; three were fatal. He killed an employee of the California Forestry Association, and a Burson-Marsteller PR executive named Thomas Mosser. Kaczynski (mistakenly) believed that Burson-Marsteller was responsible for rehabilitating Exxon's public image after the 1989 Valdez oil spill.

The source of that mistake? An essay in the Earth First! Journal, which the FBI says was one of Kaczynski's "favorite" periodicals. A letter found in Kaczynski's cabin -- titled "Suggestion for Earth First!ers from FC" ["FC" was the Unabomber's pseudonym] -- read in part: "As for the Mosser bombing, our attention was called to Burston-Marsteller [sic] by an article that appeared in the Earth First! Litha." The reference to "Litha" is in keeping with the Journal's habit of naming its issues after (pagan) lunar-calendar months.

According to ABC News and other media outlets, the FBI also believes that Kaczynski attended an Earth First! gathering just one month before murdering Mosser.

Ted Kaczynski did little more than follow what Earth First! openly advocates. The September 1989 Journal included an article instructing:

While Eco defenders are quick to point out that life is sacred and is not a target of Eco-Defense, many doubt that multinational takeover artists who liquidate old growth forests to pay off junk bonds qualify as Life-forms. Such Robotoids, they aver, should be classed with damns, dozers and drillers. A "Hit List" is available upon discreet inquiry.
For Earth First!, this kind of advice is (sadly) not a one-time thing. A cartoon in the 20th Anniversary issue of the Journal noted: "Trees are for hanging. Kill a developer." And the Unabomber could easily have read Dave Foreman's words: "The blood of timber executives is my natural drink, and the wail of dying forest supervisors is music to my ears."

Less Than Lethal, but Still Illegal

Aside from the Unabomber's victims, we know of no one else who has died at the hands of Earth First!ers. But these zealots have come awfully close. The following is from an interview with Earth First! co-founder Mike Roselle in the April 1993 issue of Playboy:

When I asked Mike Roselle to tell me about his favorite action, or ecodefense, he didn't hesitate.

A band of desert saboteurs from Earth First! resolved in 1989 to put an end to the desert motorcycle race called the Barstow to Vegas, which ran through the East Mojave scenic area, a prospective national park and habitat of the desert tortoise, kangaroo rat and other creatures.

"The night before the race, we took a trailerload of railroad ties and four-by-eights down to the track," remembers Roselle, a former oil- field roughneck and one of the five men who cooked up the idea for Earth First! on a camping trip to Mexico's Sonora Desert in 1980. "See they had to go under Interstate Fifteen. There was this tunnel about six feet wide, eight feet high and one hundred fifty feet long that was made for water to go through. We built this cube to the size of the culvert, and at night we set it up in the middle of the tunnel."

I want you to picture this," snaps Rick Sieman, senior editor of Dirt Bike magazine and head of the Sahara Club, a race sponsor. "Here are top expert riders going a hundred and ten miles per hour down a sand wash at eleven o'clock, sun directly overhead, coalblack shadows, dust on their goggles, and they're going to dart through this shadow, assumedly, and go to the other side. If our people hadn't spotted that, they would have killed a half-dozen riders."

"Though illegal, this strategic monkeywrenching can be safe, easy, and fun," Foreman quips. Is this what he meant?

In 1987, a 23-year-old mill worker was severely injured when his saw blade shattered after hitting a redwood tree that had been "spiked" with a long steel nail, following the standard Earth First! recipe. In 1990, Earth First!er Lyn Georges Dessaux was convicted of assault after stabbing two men with a ski pole in a save-the-buffaloes protest. Earth First!ers have set fire to a livestock auction. They've also torched logging equipment.

Dave Foreman himself pled guilty in 1991 to conspiring to blow up electrical lines leading to an Arizona nuclear power plant (he wrote a check to pay for 50 grenades). While Foreman somehow got off with probation, his four co-conspirators landed in jail. And hundreds of other Earth First!ers have spent time behind bars.

ALF and ELF

"Earth First! has provided a vehicle for establishing a new generation of environmental leadership in this country," EF! activist Darryl Cherney told interviewer Lori Rizzo. "Many Earth First!ers have actually gone on to start new organizations with much stronger 'no compromise' positions."

The FBI considers the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and its sister group the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) to be America's most prolific and dangerous domestic terrorist organizations. And the ELF, it turns out, is just another Earth First! spin-off. The Earth First! Journal notes that "ELF solidified in 1992 at the first UK Earth First! gathering." In 1994, Earth First! activist Judi Bari wrote:


England Earth First! has been taking some necessary steps to separate above ground and clandestine activities. Earth First!, the public group, has a non-violence code and does civil disobedience blockades. Monkeywrenching is done by Earth Liberation Front (ELF). Although Earth First! may sympathize with the activities of ELF, they do not engage in them.
If we are serious about our movement in the US, we will do the same. Earth First! is already an above ground group. We have above-ground publications, public events, and a yearly Rendezvous with open attendance. Civil disobedience and sabotage are both powerful tactics in our movement. For the survival of both, it's time to leave the night work to the elves in the woods.

When longtime Journal editor Jim Flynn was asked by the Medford, Oregon Mail Tribune for his thoughts on ELF claiming credit for a 2001 fire that caused $400,000 in damage, Flynn responded: "I hope they aren't caught. I applaud them for standing up and taking action." Asked if he knew who belongs to ELF, Flynn said "I am clueless. It could be the person sitting next to me." Flynn, it should be noted, is no stranger to criminal behavior. His rap sheet winds from New York to Oregon.

In October 1998, ELF torched a Vail, Colorado ski resort, causing an estimated $12 million in damage. Predictably, the "above ground" counterpart to this arson consisted of an Earth First!-run "Coalition to Stop Vail Expansion."

After the Vail construction was burned to the ground, the London Times reported:

When members of the Earth Liberation Front burnt down $12 million-worth of mountaintop property belonging to the Vail ski resort in Colorado, ["Unabomber" Ted] Kaczynski applauded from prison -- as did Theresa Kintz, the editor of the widely read Earth First! Journal. "It's war," she wrote.

Kintz knows Kaczynski well. As of March she was still the editor of Earth First! but when I tried to contact her the magazine claimed to be unable to reach her. This is unsurprising: like al-Qaeda, America's hardcore environmentalists mistrust the mainstream press and operate in cells to evade detection.

The Journal regularly publishes articles by Earth Liberation Front criminals, and makes common cause with the Animal Liberation Front as well. In 1994 it ran a letter from ALF "spokesman" David Barbarash, who wrote from prison after being denied bail in connection with an "animal liberation" action. Addressed to "fellow Earth First!ers," it read: "Prison sucks, no doubt about it, but you can live through it. The thought of spending time in a pit like this should not deter anyone from taking the action that this planet needs for its survival."

A 1999 Journal article was headlined "Feds Escalate Hunt For ALF." It was written by Rodney Coronado, a convicted ALF/Earth First! criminal who knows a thing or two about being hunted by federal law enforcement. Coronado wrote:

Whether a member of a Headwaters nonviolent affinity group, Cascadia Forest Defenders or the Earth Liberation Front, all Earth First!ers should recognize the positive value of each other's contributions and exploit the leverage they create against our common opponent.
In other words: EF!, ALF and ELF are all part of the same clan of violent vandals.

Rodney Coronado

Committed Earth First!er and Earth First! Journal editor Rodney Coronado has replaced Dave Foreman as the radical environmental and animal-rights movement's most sought-after speaker. A convicted arsonist who has caused millions in damage to fishing ships, farms, and medical research labs, Coronado instructs his listeners on the fine points of firebombing.

Celebrating "the sixty-eighth raid on fur farms since 1995," in the 20th anniversary issue of the Earth First! Journal, Coronado wrote: "There have been nearly that many raids on genetically-engineered crops. All the federal agents in the United States will not stop more actions of this sort."

"No tactic that prevents environmental destruction -- without loss of life -- should be ruled out. Be it fire or an action at the homes of a corporate ecoterrorist," Coronado wrote in a September, 2003 article for the Earth First! Journal. "Monkeywrenching is more than a tactic or strategy," another Coronado article reads. "It's the way of warriors. A way of life." Coronado would know about that. He began spiking trees with Earth First! as early as 1987. And Earth First! has held him up as an example ever since.

In Confessions of an Eco Warrior, Dave Foreman praised Coronado's sabotage of the Icelandic whaling fleet as an example of effective property destruction. Paul Watson, who gave the young radical his blessing for the Iceland raid, described in lurid details Coronado's handiwork for the Journal. Coronado himself wrote:

Co-founder Dave Foreman hoisted Icelandic saboteur David Howitt and myself up on stage to salute our [Iceland] raid, welcoming the new generation of eco-warrior, the young anarchistic animal liberationists who also embraced Deep Ecology.
In the spring and early summer of 1999, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) made three payments to the Earth First! Journal ($2,616.64 on March 23; $2,970.24 on May 18; and $1,485.12 on June 22). PETA records show no previous or subsequent grants to the Journal. So what piqued PETA's sudden interest in radical environmental journalism?

The Journal itself gave a plausible answer in its May-June 2001 issue:

Those familiar with our movement’s history will know that convicted monkeywrencher Rod Coronado was a catalyst, once released from prison, in getting the Journal moved to Arizona. Within days of his release from federal prison, Coronado became a short-term editor in Oregon, where he spent the spring and summer of 1999 ... Following his return to Arizona, Coronado became active once again with Arizona Earth First!, while also traveling and lecturing about direct action in defense of the Earth and sharing stories of life in the Animal Liberation Front (ALF).

As recently as the spring of 2003, Coronado was working with Earth First! organizers Darryl Cherney and Karen Pickett to prevent logging in Northern California. The press reported Coronado threatening that he "was no pacifist hippie, my actions speak louder than my words." Around the same time, Coronado was seen in Northern California with Michael Scarpitti, who is on the FBI's most wanted list.

Breakin' the Law

Law enforcement has always kept a careful watch on Earth First! and the violent groups surrounding it. A Department of Homeland Security panel, chaired by former Virginia governor James Gilmore, took special notice of this threat in early 2003. Agence France Presse reported that the "most dangerous" domestic groups mentioned in the report are "Earth First, the Animal Liberation Front, and the Earth Liberation Front."

The report notes (page 36):

The loose confederacy created is comprised of coalitions between socialists, environmentalists and anarchists. Earth First! -- the radical environmental group founded by David Broder [sic] -- has been particularly active collaborating with anti-globalists. Similar concerns emanate from other environmentalist special interest groups such as the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), who have committed over 600 criminal acts in the United States since 1996 ...
Speculating on who vandalized 65 sport-utility vehicles in April 2003, Santa Cruz Police Lieutenant Joe Haebe told the San Francisco Chronicle:

It may have been ELF, but then, I sometimes get them confused with ALF, the Animal Liberation Front. And then there's Earth First! and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). There's a lot of cross-pollination between them, and some people here are probably members of two of those groups, or more.

If the Gilmore commission observations seem extreme, and Lt. Haebe sounds uninformed, remember that the Earth First! Journal includes convicted cop-killer Leonard Peltier among its list of prisoners who deserve "support" (they insist he was framed). Until recently, the Journal also included Unabomber Ted Kazcynski on the same list. "They are in there for us," the Journal notes.

On September 6, 2003 the Chronicle quoted Earth First!er Tim Ream saying: "There is every indication that we will see more political violence."

Profile:
Earth First!
Copyright © 2007 Center for Consumer Freedom. All rights reserved.

Jenifer Altman Foundation/Tides/ERF and CETOS

Source:Search; Foundations
Jenifer Altman Foundation
P.O. Box 1080, Bolinas, CA 94924
Phone 415-561-2182 | Fax 415-561-6480 | Email info@jaf.org

Finances
for tax year ending 6/30/2003
Total Assets $13,527,036.00
Grants Awarded $0.00

Officers and Other Supporters
Name Position
Anne Bartley Director
Philip Randolph Lee MD Chairman Emeritus
Michael Lerner President
Catherine Porter Director
Thomas Silk Secretary
Albert Wells Treasurer

Selected Grants
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Grant $10,000.00 in 1997
Source Donor's Website
Details In support of a two-day meeting to convene farmers, activists and scientists to discuss the public health and environmental hazards posed by using by-products of the chemical industry as fertilizer and to develop strategies to protect the public from its use

Dakota Resource Council
Grant $5,000.00 in 2002
Source IRS Form 990 or 990-PF
Details For a campaign of public education to prevent the introduction of genetically modified wheat in North Dakota

Institute for Social Ecology
Grant $10,000.00 in 2002
Source IRS Form 990 or 990-PF
Details For the Biotechnology Project, a campaign of public education that seeks to inform and strengthen coalitions of communities and activists opposed to genetic engineering

Top Grants Made
Funding To Activist Groups Total Donated Time Frame

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy $366,500.00 1992 – 2001
Friends of the Earth $283,300.00 1997 – 2002
Earth Island Institute $263,000.00 1992 – 1998
Center for Health, Environment and Justice $225,000.00 1995 – 1998
Tides Foundation & Tides Center $201,350.00 1992 – 2002*
Natural Resources Defense Council $185,000.00 1994 – 1999
Environmental Defense $170,000.00 1997 – 2001
American Oceans Campaign $120,000.00 1998 – 1998
U.S. Public Interest Research Group $105,000.00 1998 – 1998
Global Exchange $72,500.00 2000 – 2000
Physicians for Social Responsibility $65,337.00 1997 – 2001
Consultative Group on Biological Diversity $38,000.00 1994 – 2002
Pesticide Action Network North America $33,000.00 1995 – 2001
Children’s Environmental Health Network $32,500.00 1995 – 2001
Environmental Working Group $30,000.00 1995 – 1997
World Wildlife Fund $30,000.00 1995 – 1997
SeaWeb $30,000.00 1998 – 1998
Environmental Media Services $29,000.00 1997 – 1999
New America Foundation $25,000.00 1999 – 1999
Public Health Institute $24,000.00 1995 – 2001
Public Media Center $20,000.00 1999 – 2001
World Resources Institute $20,000.00 1995 – 1996
National Assn. of Physicians for the Environment $20,000.00 1997 – 1997
Green Guide Institute $20,000.00 1997 – 2001
Greenpeace $20,000.00 1997 – 1998
Environmental Grantmakers Association $20,000.00 1994 – 2002
Citizens Network for Sustainable Development $20,000.00 1994 – 1994
National Religious Partnership for the Environment $15,706.00 1994 – 1998
Essential Information $15,500.00 1996 – 2002
Biodiversity Action Network $15,000.00 1994 – 1996
Earth Action Network $15,000.00 2001 – 2001
Sierra Club $15,000.00 1995 – 1997
National Audubon Society $12,600.00 1992 – 1998
Public Citizen $11,500.00 2001 – 2002
Free Agency $11,500.00 1999 – 2000
Institute for Social Ecology $10,000.00 2002 – 2002
National Family Farm Coalition $10,000.00 2002 – 2002
Consumers Union of the United States $10,000.00 1997 – 1997
Center for Ethics and Toxics $6,500.00 1999 – 2001*
Dakota Resource Council $5,000.00 2002 – 2002
Environmental Research Foundation $5,000.00 1997 – 1997
Biotechnology Working Group $5,000.00 1998 – 1998
Center for a New American Dream $5,000.00 1998 – 1998
Center for Resource Economics $5,000.00 1992 – 1992
Land Institute $5,000.00 1995 – 1995
Rainforest Action Network $5,000.00 1996 – 1996

Foundations listed on ActivistCash.com may provide funding to a wider variety of nonprofit groups than those profiled here. This website focuses on activist groups that concentrate on food- and beverage-related issues.

Profile:
Jenifer Altman Foundation

Websites
www.jaf.org
Copyright © 2007 Center for Consumer Freedom. All rights reserved.
***
* This Foundation information ended up on this blog because it showed up in the benefactor list of "The Center for Ethics and Toxics" (CETOS), along with the "Ecological Rights Foundation" and "Californians for Alternatives to Toxics" (CATS) - when I started looking into the establishment of Humboldt Baykeeper and discovered that it was birthed by the Ecological Rights Foundation, who had "commissioned" a study from CETOS that aided them in their lawsuit against Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) - the funds from that suit appear to have been used in part to launch Baykeeper, another predatory litigious "org" - ERF paid for, among other things, a new Boston Whaler for Baykeeper, and the results of ERF's "commissioned study" have reportedly just been used in Baykeeper's efforts to get Humboldt Bay listed as polluted.

I thank activistcash.com for their work. It isn't easy following all these incestuous trails.

1.27.2007

TS -'Sovereign nations' waving wads of money

Not mentioned in this Op-Ed is the additional $10,000 given to Paul Gallegos by the Bear River Tribe.

'Sovereign nations' waving wads of money'Sovereign nations' waving wads of money
Article Launched: 10/13/2006 04:18:18 AM PDT
Leo Sears/For The Times-Standard

Unhappy with failed attempts to gain a third casino, the Agua Caliente tribe flexed its “sovereign nation” political muscle as no local government can. As reported in the Los Angeles Times, they gave the local Republican Party $450,000, which then began an advertising blitz in support of State Sen. Jim Battin and Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia. Battin and Garcia led the tribe's efforts to construct a third casino and increase their present 2,000 slot machines to 5,000.

Unlike our local tribes who claim their political donations aren't meant to buy favorable treatment, tribal chairman Richard Milanovich was upfront about it, reportedly saying, "That's why we help this woman (Garcia) get reelected every two years."

The political contributions of our local tribes, including the $25,000 to Humboldt County Supervisor Bonnie Neely and $10,000 to District Attorney Paul Gallegos, pale in comparison to the $1.3 million in direct donations that Battin has taken from tribes with casinos. But the perspective is the same, and the local political donations are undoubtedly only opening antes.

The Hoopa tribe has sought voting membership on the HCAOG (Humboldt County Association of Governments) for years -- but not as an equal. They refuse to waive any of their unfettered ability to play their “sovereign nation card” anytime they choose.

The tribe (a member of HCAOG's technical advisory committee) maintains that they are a government, and governments don't have to be identical to be a voting member of the joint-powers authority. With the special interest legislation they obtained designating them as a public agency, they may be legally correct. But it would be like letting the fox nest with the chickens.

Any attempt to equate our city and county governments with tribal sovereign nation status is ludicrous. Counties and cities embrace all of their residences, and are restricted by the Brown Act. A tribe represents a very narrowly defined ethnic group that decides its own membership, and is allowed to play by very different rules.

The present voting members of HCAOG all have to play by the same rules and none can, to quote Supervisor Roger Rodoni, “wave money in the air to get the votes they want.”

The media has referred to Rodoni as being caustic and vulgar regarding the machinations surrounding a voting membership for Hoopa. It seems that's what was necessary to get past the mantra of “it's the right thing to do” and into the public arena of debate about what's best for the entire county.

HCAOG is an important regional association that decides where state transportation monies are spent. It generally chugs along under its joint powers authority, with the give and take of equals and little public note. But the public needs to wake up to the ramification of tribes becoming voting members without waiving of their sovereign nation status.

Like the Aqua Caliente in Riverside, Hoopa has the potential, as a sovereign nation, to become Humboldt's 800-pound gorilla waving wads of money under the noses of our politicians.


Leo Sears writes a weekly Times-Standard column on issues of local interest. He can be reached at lsjb@cox.net

ER - Yunque found not guilty

Yunque found not guilty
by Kara D. Machado, 1/26/2007
A jury found Carol Ann Yunque not guilty of assaulting Kathleen McLaughlin.

The jury’s verdict was announced Thursday morning, although jurors made their decision after less than an hour Wednesday.

Yunque was obviously happy.

“This is the end of a very, very long vigil,” Yunque said. “And I will have to rebuild my life; this has destroyed my life.”

Yunque, 59, of Princeton, N.J., could have faced a maximum of three years in prison had she been convicted of felony battery with serious bodily injury, her attorney Mark C. Bruce, has said.

The case stems from a Jan. 27, 2006, incident in which Yunque slapped McLaughlin, 55, of Port Orford, Ore., at a mutual friend’s house in Fortuna.

McLaughlin claimed Yunque had punched her, not slapped her, causing two fractures to her jaw and chin area and misalignment of her bottom teeth. McLaughlin also claimed the act was not done in self-defense.

Bruce said, in talking with jurors after court proceedings Thursday, “it was very clear to them that (Yunque) acted in self-defense.”

“I think they did justice,” Bruce said. “I think they listened, heard the truth and recognized the truth, and were not afraid (to) bring their verdict based on the truth.

“It was a really good jury.”

Humboldt County Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey Schwartz, who prosecuted Yunque, said he was disappointed with the verdict, but respectful of the jurors’ judgment.

Schwartz said when he, too, talked to the jurors Thursday, they told him one reason they reached their verdict was because they had reasonable doubt Yunque may or may not have acted in self-defense.

“They had reasonable doubt and that’s all that counts,” Schwartz said, “and I certainly respect them on that issue.”

Schwartz said it was hard to phone McLaughlin with the jury’s verdict and that she was disappointed, as was he.

“I’m a little surprised of the quickness of the verdict,” Schwartz said. “I would have thought there would have been more deliberation, but I’m always respectful of what jurors have to do.

“ ... They’re set as objective fact finders. That’s what our system is all about and I believe that’s fair.”

Bruce said he believes what took place between Yunque and McLaughlin last year was “exactly what I told the jury.”

“(Yunque) slapped (McLaughlin) because McLaughlin was being very threatening, and McLaughlin used that as an opportunity to try to cash in,” Bruce said, “and went around to where the blood (was later found) in the garage and told her boyfriend to loosen a tooth and ‘we’ll sue her,’ and he just hit her a little too hard.”

Schwartz said he still maintains Bruce’s version of what happened is “ridiculous.”

Copyright (C) 2005, The Eureka Reporter. All rights reserved.

1.26.2007

The cost of Predatory Lawsuits

This man raises some interesting points - pay particular attention to the discussion of the predatory litigious groups, the Ecological Rights Foundation, River Watch:

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925 L Street, Suite 1400 Sacramento, CA 95814 PH: (916) 448-4808 www.casaweb.org
CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION of SANITATION AGENCIES
TESTIMONY OF THE CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF SANITATION AGENCIES
Presented by
MARK DELLINGER
SPECIAL DISTRICTS ADMINISTRATOR
LAKE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Submitted to the
SUBCOMMITTEE ON WATER RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT
COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WASHINGTON, DC
September 30, 2004
Ensuring Clean Water For California

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Good Morning, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:

I am Mark Dellinger, Special Districts Administrator for the Lake County Sanitation
District in Northern California. It is my privilege to address the Subcommittee today on
behalf of the California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA). CASA is a statewide
nonprofit association of over 100 local public agencies that provide wastewater collection,
treatment, disposal and water recycling services to millions of Californians. Lake County
Sanitation District is a member of CASA.

There is no question that citizen enforcement has played an important role in the
implementation of the Clean Water Act and other environmental statutes. Congress
envisioned that the role of the citizen lawsuit would be to supplement, not supplant, the
primary enforcement function of the States and the federal government. In recent years in
California, however, we have seen a cottage industry develop in which plaintiffs’ attorneys
file citizen suit after citizen suit against numerous local agencies without regard to the
magnitude or the environmental impact of the alleged violations, and despite the fact that
communities may already be taking steps to rectify their situations, either voluntarily or
because the State or USEPA has already undertaken administrative enforcement action.

The Clean Water Act imposes strict liability upon regulated entities. Local public agencies
are required to conduct thousands of analytical tests each year, so it is not surprising that
there may be a few exceedances. The results must be reported in the form of public
records. Thus, establishing a Clean Water Act case is generally very simple. And no
matter how strong a showing the local agency can make that it is doing everything it can to
comply with its permit and protect water quality, proof of even a handful of violations over
a five year period is sufficient to render the plaintiff a “prevailing party” entitled to
payments of attorneys fees and costs. As local agencies strive to comply with ever
changing, increasingly stringent regulatory requirements, every violation, however minor,
is accompanied by the specter of possible administrative enforcement and citizen litigation.


I would like to briefly discuss the Lake County Sanitation District’s experience, summarize
the experiences of several other communities around the State, and close by offering the
Subcommittee some suggestions for reform that we believe will help to reinforce the
original intent that citizen litigation serve as a “gap filler,” to provide a safety net for the
enforcement of real environmental violations where the government fails to step in.

The Lake County Sanitation District manages and operates four wastewater treatment
plants and is responsible for 200 miles of sewer collection pipes. We serve a large
geographic area that is relatively rural, with a low population density, which makes it more
difficult and costly to manage. The median household income in the communities we serve
is 62% of the statewide average. In recent years, the District has undertaken a number of
capital improvement projects, implemented an enhanced spill response program and made
staffing changes to reduce overflows of treated effluent from our treatment facilities as well
as to control overflows from our sewer system. Our Board recently approved a series of
rate increases to raise revenues to improve our entire system. In addition, the District has
received federal and state grant funding for our Full Circle project, which involves
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supplying our treated effluent to recharge the Geysers steam field. We see this as a win-
win situation; water quality is improved due to the beneficial reuse of our effluent as an
alternative to discharge, and the Geysers project generates clean energy for California
residents and businesses.

These types of improvements do not happen over night, of course, and unfortunately, as the
District has worked to implement its long-range plans, violations of its state discharge
permits have occurred, some of which may also be violations of the Clean Water Act. The
State regulatory agency, the Regional Water Quality Control Board, placed one of the
District’s two largest treatment systems under an enforcement order, which requires that
certain actions be taken by specified dates. The Regional Board was contemplating taking
similar enforcement action for the District’s Southeast Regional system, but had not yet
issued an administrative order when a so-called “citizen group,” Northern California River
Watch,
sued the District in October 2003 for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act at
both of the treatment plants and the associated sewer collection systems. Because the
District had not paid a monetary penalty as part of the State enforcement and compliance
actions, under Ninth Circuit case law, River Watch’s suit was not barred by Clean Water
Act Section 1319(g). After River Watch’s suit was filed, the Regional Board issued a
complaint for monetary penalties against the District for some of the same violations, and
the District is now faced with the worst of both worlds: expending its limited resources to
defend a citizen lawsuit and paying potentially duplicative penalties in a parallel
administrative enforcement action. This is surely not what Congress envisioned.

Other witnesses you will hear from today will tell their similar stories. I would just like to
mention a couple of other examples of citizen lawsuits against public agencies to assist the
Subcommittee in understanding that Lake County’s experience is not unique.

In January 2000, in response to a significant sewer overflow from the City of Pacific
Grove’s collection system into surface waters, the Regional Board levied a $70,000 fine,
required payment toward a supplemental environmental project, and set forth specific
directives to upgrade and enhance Pacific Grove’s sanitary sewer collection system. The
City paid the fine and began implementing the programs and asset improvements as
directed. In June, 2003, the Ecological Rights Foundation filed a citizen suit against Pacific
Grove for alleged violations of the Clean Water Act based on very small sewer overflows,
overflows that most likely did not reach navigable waters, and the 2000 overflow in
response to which Pacific Grove had already undertaken several new programs to address
the prevention of sewer overflows. The resulting consent decree largely memorialized the
work the City was already undertaking and did not measurably enhance water quality
protection. All but two of the overflows alleged in the complaint were less than 100
gallons. The majority of the alleged violations were less than 20 gallons and did not make
it to the Bay. Pacific Grove will pay plaintiffs $300,000. The amount of fees and costs the
plaintiff requested were over $400,000, all of which were allegedly incurred within one
year and without going to trial. The aggressive pursuit of litigation versus meaningful
settlement negotiations was the major factor in the large fees incurred.
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The El Dorado Irrigation District, located in the Sierra foothills, experienced a series of
wastewater compliance issues caused by growth in the local service area, combined with a
wastewater treatment facility which – unknown to the District until it was too late – was not
capable of functioning to its designed capacity. The facility discharged treated water into a
seasonal stream that would not have existed without the facility’s discharge. Despite the
facility’s difficulty in meeting all of its permit requirements, the water it discharged into the
stream had allowed a thriving ecosystem of native fish, plants, animals, and birds to
develop and to survive and flourish through the dry summer months.

In order to meet its permit requirements more consistently, the District embarked on a
fourteen million dollar treatment plant upgrade project. The project was proceeding under
the oversight of the Regional Water Quality Control Board, which was also processing an
enforcement order for penalties for past violations, when the California Sportfishing
Protection Alliance filed a citizens’ suit seeking penalties for exactly the same permit
violations.

Even after the District paid a $105,000 penalty to the Regional Board, the Sportfishing
Protection Alliance
refused to dismiss its suit. The District was ultimately compelled to
pay an additional $140,000 for a supplemental environmental project in lieu of penalties
and $160,000 in costs and attorneys fees to settle the citizens’ suit simply to avoid the
continued cost of litigation. Although supplemental environmental projects are supposed to
bear some relationship to the harm caused by the violations, the project selected by the
citizen’s group was for riverbank restoration tens of miles away from the wastewater
treatment facility in an area that had never been affected by the District’s facility.

The City of Healdsburg, located in the Northern California wine country, instituted a
state-of-the-art sewer maintenance program to eliminate any risk of sewer system
overflows. Although it had no sewer system overflows for over three years, and there had
been only two overflows in the two years before that (each of which was due to blockages
in private laterals, not in the public system), Northern California River Watch filed a notice
of intent to file a citizens’ suit seeking affirmative injunctive relief and penalties for sewer
system overflows. Healdsburg met with River Watch’s attorney and made their entire set
of public records available for review to demonstrate the effectiveness of their program.

Nonetheless, the citizen group filed the lawsuit and, after Healdsburg had defended itself
for over a year and spent tens of thousands of its taxpayers dollars on it own attorneys, the
citizen’s group settled for no penalties and only $7,500 in attorneys fees.

In 1995, a citizen group filed its first lawsuit against the City of Santa Rosa. The City
won the first lawsuit at trial and on appeal. The same citizen group sued the city again in
1998 and then settled after the city agreed to pay for environmental remediation and a
portion of the attorneys’ fees and costs. The citizen group agreed not to sue the city for
violations that might occur before a date in the future. In 2000, the City of Santa Rosa
was sued for a third time by the same attorney representing substantially the same plaintiffs.

Throughout the time all three lawsuits were initiated and pending, the City was under a
Cease & Desist Order issued by the Regional Water Quality Control Board, under which
the City was required to develop and implement a reclaimed water disposal project within a
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specific time schedule. That project was later implemented in compliance with the state-
issued enforcement order.

Prior to the filing of the third lawsuit, the State commenced a comparable enforcement
action (seeking monetary penalties) against the City by publishing notice and scheduling a
hearing regarding the issuance of a complaint for administrative penalties against the City.
However, because the penalty order was not issued until after plaintiffs' lawsuit was filed,
the Federal District Court found that the state's comparable enforcement action did not bar
the plaintiffs' lawsuit.

The City was not only fined $98,350 by the RWQCB for violations alleged in the third
lawsuit but also settled the third lawsuit for a total of $195,000 ($75,000 in attorneys fees
and $120,000 to fund a grant program). Under the terms of the settlement of the third
lawsuit, plaintiff Northern California River watch agreed not to sue the City pursuant to the
Clean Water Act for a period of four years. On July 15, 2004—exactly two months after the
expiration of the stipulated moratorium on litigation-- River Watch filed a Notice of Intent
to Sue Santa Rosa for what can best be described as “creative” interpretations of the Act
and the City’s permit,
. This will be the fourth Clean Water Act lawsuit against the City in
less than 10 years.

There are many more examples like these. I want to emphasize that none of these
communities were “perfect,” in that each of them had experienced compliance problems
and did not have spotless records. The important point is that in each case, either the
community was already acting by itself or the State had already stepped in and programs
were being implemented to guard against similar future violations.
Just as the citizen suit
was intended to supplement government action, it was also intended to be “forward
looking.” Citizens may not sue for wholly past violations. Given the length of time it takes
to plan, finance and construct improvements, many agencies find themselves in a gray area
where even though they have committed to a specific set of improvements, they cannot
avoid occasional violations while these upgrades are being made.

From CASA’s point of view, reform is needed to ensure that citizen suits serve their
intended purpose of supplementing limited government enforcement resources and
preventing future violations. I would like to briefly mention several potential reforms for
the Subcommittee’s consideration.

Clarify Availability of Attorneys Fees:

The availability of attorneys fees is without question a significant motivation for some third
party plaintiffs to bring or threaten lawsuits. Under the Clean Water Act, a “prevailing”
citizen plaintiff is entitled to attorneys fees and costs; a prevailing defendant may only
recover fees if it can demonstrate that the plaintiff’s suit was frivolous or entirely without
merit. Thus, except in the most ill advised cases, there is very little downside to pursuing
litigation for a third party plaintiff. Contrast that with the circumstance of a local public
agency defendant that knows it has a strong case against sizeable penalties but nonetheless
has some exposure because of a few minor violations. If the defendant goes all the way
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through trial, even if it significantly reduces the penalty assessed, it may find itself on the
hook for not only its own attorneys' fees, expert fees, and costs, but also similar costs and
fees incurred by the plaintiff. These facts place the plaintiff’s attorney in a very strong
bargaining position with regard to settlement.

Of all of the possible reforms, revisions to the attorneys’ fees provisions of the Act are most
likely to bear fruit, as the availability of these fees is what is motivating many of the abuses.
With that in mind, CASA recommends that the Subcommittee consider the following:

• Limit attorney fee awards to the degree of success on the claims included in the
complaint. For example, if a plaintiff alleges 100 violations and proves 10, plaintiff
should able to recover only a proportionate amount in fees.

• Issue a clear statement of congressional intent that the attorney fee provision of the
Act be read as reciprocal, so that attorneys’ fees are available to the prevailing
party-- period. The language of the Act supports this reading, but the Courts have
interpreted the language to allow prevailing plaintiffs to recover fees while
prevailing defendants are held to a much more difficult standard.

• Place a cap on the amount of fees that may be obtained in a lawsuit against a public
agency. The cap could be set as either an absolute cap or as a percentage of any
penalties assessed. In the latter case, a proportionate cap would insure fees are not
disproportionate to the nature of the violations actually proven. While these steps
may not prevent “nuisance” suits, they would limit a community’s potential
exposure to exorbitant fees and make it less of a target.
Reinforce Primary Role of the States

Congress specified that no citizen suit could be maintained where the State or the USEPA is
“diligently prosecuting” an action against the alleged violator. Given the time it takes to
process a State enforcement action, the fact that the State is already “diligently prosecuting”
is not enough to bar a citizen suit. In addition, the Ninth Circuit has determined that only a
State enforcement action requiring the payment of monetary penalties will serve as a
defense to a citizen lawsuit. Because achieving compliance rather than punishment is
generally the goal of water quality enforcement actions, the State or USEPA will often
choose not to require payment of monetary penalties preferring to allow the agency to
spend its limited resources on fixing the problem. In light of this, we ask the Subcommittee
to consider:

• Requiring courts to consider the improvements and actions already being
undertaken by the community either on its own initiative or pursuant to an
enforcement order, a capital improvement program, or master plan, etc. The citizen
suit should not go forward unless it can be shown it is likely to “trigger” further,
significant and necessary improvement or redress the violations in a manner
supplemental to those already underway. Courts could be authorized and
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encouraged to stay citizen litigation while the improvements already contemplated
by the community are developed and implemented.

• Clarifying that where the State has already taken, or is in the process of taking, an
enforcement action for violations, citizen litigation for the same or similar violations
is barred, whether or not the State action is complete or included the assessment of
monetary penalties. The 60 day window within which government is supposed to
act is simply not adequate time for a state regulatory agency to investigate alleged
violations, evaluate the appropriate enforcement approach, issue a complaint,
provide an opportunity for public notice and comment, hold any required hearing
and complete the action. It should be sufficient for the State or USEPA to make a
determination as to whether it intends to enforce within a specified number of days.
If the government decides to bring an action, the citizen suit should be stayed
pending initiation and resolution of the agency enforcement action. If the State
enforcement action is not completed within a reasonable period of time, the third
party plaintiff could then proceed with its suit.

There may be other reforms suggested here today. CASA is very appreciative of the
Subcommittee’s interest and leadership in finding solutions to the citizen suit abuses. We
urge the Subcommittee to consider carefully the various options for improving the law and
ensuring that citizen suits against local government only proceed where they will promote
real environmental solutions. Local agencies want to be partners with the federal
government and the states in achieving water quality improvements. Diverting attention,
limited resources, and energy to defend third party lawsuits where compliance solutions are
already underway is counterproductive and disheartening.

Thank you for your time.

Melissa Thorme, an Attorney with the Sacramento law firm of
Downey Brand, LLP, and a Member of CASA’s Attorneys Committee, is here with me and
we would be pleased to answer any questions that the Subcommittee may have.
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1.25.2007

TS - In Keeping With the Bay

Geez! It all sounds so benign. But what is really being described here is one litigious group spawning another. Using proceeds from one lawsuit to form another group poised to sue again, and again, and again. They make money just by THREATENING to sue... why rob the casino when you can just write yourself a big fat paycheck for life this way?

Humboldt Baykeeper in the News
In Keeping With the Bay
John Driscoll The Times-Standard
12/25/04

EUREKA -- A new environmental mission hatched out of the conflict over a liquefied natural gas terminal proposal last year is taking shape in the form of a Humboldt Bay citizens patrol and pollution monitoring effort.

Dubbing itself Humboldt Baykeepers, the new nonprofit is part of a larger network called the Waterkeeper Alliance, which is a host to 125 programs around the country. The San Francisco Baykeepers are also part of that network.

Humboldt Baykeepers Program Director Pete Nichols said as development pressure around the bay increases, so will the attention on the bay. That, he said, was seen when the Calpine Corp. proposed to build an LNG plant on the Samoa Peninsula. Opposition prompted Calpine to seek another site.

Part of the Baykeepers' mission will be to monitor the bay for signs of pollutants and perform extensive testing to detect them. The California Department of Fish and Game has pointed out more than 100 contaminated properties along the bay.

"I think there are some existing risks," Nichols said. "It's going to take some focus to deal with it."

The program is funded by the Santa Monica-based Environment Now, created in 1989 to protect the state's coast and forests, and reduce air pollution and sprawl, according to its literature. It has supported litigation aimed at improving environmental planning for the Port of Los Angeles.

Humboldt Baykeepers also comes under the umbrella of the Ecological Rights Foundation, which last year settled a federal lawsuit against Sierra Pacific Industries over chemical pollution to the Mad River Slough and Humboldt Bay. The Humboldt County District Attorney's Office filed a twin suit, and Sierra Pacific agreed to pay the foundation and the people a total of $1.5 million to settle the suits.

Fred Evanson, a board member of the foundation, is also volunteering his time with the Baykeepers, which he helped forge.

The San Francisco Baykeepers have had similar successes. In 2002, the Dow Chemical Co. agreed to pay the Baykeepers $3 million to settle a water pollution suit.

The Garberville-based foundation also bought the Baykeepers' new 25-foot Boston Whaler, which it intends to use as a patrol boat in the bay and along the coast from the Eel River to Trinidad.

Evanson believes that a watchdog presence on the bay may act as a deterrent against polluters.

The boat -- docked at the Eureka Public Marina -- is a requirement of most Waterkeeper Alliances organizations. Nichols said the California Coastal Commission and Coastal Conservancy are both interested in having a well-catalogued water sampling program.

The Baykeepers can help fill in gaps with testing, especially testing for toxics, Evanson said.

"No one has a cohesive monitoring program for toxics," Evanson said.

With new development, it becomes more and more important to ensure the bay stays healthy and supports a viable fishing community, Nichols said.

"We're not acting like we're here to save the day," Nichols said. "We're acting like another piece in the puzzle."

Nichols said lots of people have shown interest in volunteering for the program, and he wants to grow the organization from a few dozen members to thousands.

The Baykeepers have an office in Old Town at 424 First St. Suite G and can be reached by phone at 707-268-0664 or by e-mail.

< Back
Source: humboldtbaykeeper.org
http://www.humboldtbaykeeper.org/pressp1.htm