Investigative Journalist Barry R. Clausen
October 7, 2011
There are many radical elements of the environmental community and the Center for the (Earth First Southwest) Center for Biological Diversity (SWCBD) is probably the most despised. In recent years the SWCBD has received tens of millions of dollars (as has many others) from numerous entities including the American government to further their radical agendas. Their obvious goals are to shut down logging, mining, ranching, water usage and recreational use of not only America’s public lands but management of private property has also been in their sights.
Several years ago the SWCBD removed “Southwest” from its name making it the Center for Biological Diversity CBD and opened up field offices throughout the country.
In years past, the SWCBD has been listed in the Earth First Journal as an Earth First organization and over the years, staff members of the SWCBD have written numerous controversial articles for that radical/terrorist publication.
Among the current staff are former Earth First activist Keiran Suckling, Peter Galvin, Bill Haskins and Todd Schulke. While the Center’s staff has neither been charged nor convicted of any terrorism their beginning was somewhat controversial and circumspect.
Suckling is the executive director of the CBD and the founder of the Earth First SWCBD. On April 27, 1998 Suckling, stated in the Tucson Citizen, “We’re not trying to shut everything down.” At that time and currently this statement contradicts their apparent goals and the opinions of those whose jobs, lives and communities have been drastically impacted by the law suits filed by the CBD and other extremist groups on a national basis.
One example of these lawsuits is the Rodeo-Chedensky fire that left over 400 families’s homeless and ultimately severely damaged the entire community. Many citizens of Arizona blamed “radical environmentalist” for the June 18, 2002, fire including Arizona Senator Jon Kyl. The criticism comes as a result of a lawsuit over the Mexican Spotted owl which prohibited timber interests from thinning the forest.
Suckling’s career as an extremist goes back many years and includes a June 6, 1993 charge in Pima County, Arizona Justice Court, Case # CR93-608994 for “Interference with the peaceful conduct of educational institutions” at the University of Arizona. “Deposition: 6 months unsupervised probation and cannot return to the university for 6 months, unless he is a UA student.”
Suckling’s resume shows he was also a USFS employee, working as an “owl surveyor.” During the beginning of his career as an Earth Firster, Suckling and the SWCBD were based in Silver City, New Mexico. Until Ted Turner’s foundation and other foundations stepped in, Suckling and his fellow Earth Firsters were without funds. It was during this time that Suckling was arrested on November 26, 1994 in Silver City, New Mexico for shoplifting a pair of hiking boots at the local Wal-Mart store for which he plead “no contest.”
some members of Earth First continued on with terrorist activities, Suckling
and his staff legitimized themselves by using huge amounts of money to
manipulate a public relations campaign that they believe would uncover
and highlight what they apparently are convinced is the destruction of
Mother Earth. Currently, a look into the California Attorney General’s
website shows the Center has “$9,999,225.00 in assets and $7,989,259.00
On Monday June 13, 2011 at a Symposium at the US Department of Agriculture Larry Elsworth, Chief Ag Councilor for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), spoke briefly with regard to the EPA’s frustration with what he called “law-suit legislation” where policy is made through legal action rather than through legislative process. He stated that environmental groups often file numerous lawsuits knowing that the EPA cannot respond to them all in the allotted period of time with the result being that there are findings favorable to those groups by default and/or settlements are made to these groups which set precedence for future cases.
The law firm of Dunn, Carney, Allen, Higgins and Tongue LLP posted an article to the Internet written by May Anne Nash on September 29, 2011 which stated, “D.C. Circuit Approves Settlement Compelling Fish and Wildlife Service to Move Forward with Listing Decisions under Endangered Species Act.
“On September 9, 2011, the D.C. Circuit Court approved two far-reaching settlement agreements between the Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians, and the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). These settlements require the FWS to make listing decisions under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) on more than 700 species over the next 5 years.
“Upon receipt of a petition for listing a species as threatened or endangered, the FWS has 90 days to make an initial determination about whether a listing is warranted. If the FWS determines that a listing may be warranted, it must then review the species’ status and make a finding within 12 months that [the] listing is either: 1) not warranted; 2) warranted, but precluded by higher listing priorities; or 3) warranted.”
While the CBD continues on with their well planned radical destruction of American resource entities, those that are affected do very little to help expose the radicals who want to eliminate any use of lands that produce the food we eat or the products we as Americans all use. This is often either due to not knowing what to do or who turn to for help. Keeping current with new rules, regulations and threats to their family or community is time consuming and discouraging.
Groups like the CBD continue to grow stronger and gain influence through a system that allows them to profit at the expense of the American taxpayer.
Where are the contributions to the people and publications who work with very little pay to expose the truth about radical agendas directed at the American people? What is being seen over the last several years is a pattern involving some large industry groups who seem to be funding the radicals in order to further their own political and financial endeavors. These organizations may see this move as a way to regain standing in a public relations war they feel they have lost over time to the radicals. The result appears to be that the multi national corporations gain while the small property owners and small businesses are sold out.
According to information supplied to North American Research, the CBD has filed an excessive number of lawsuits during the 1990’s. One such lawsuit occurred at the beginning of their existence as an Earth First organization. On August 22, 1997 they filed a notice of intent to sue movie mogul Steven Spielberg. The SWCBD proved successful in their efforts to stop Spielberg from building the Playa Vista/Dream Works, (a special effects movie studio) because they claimed it would negatively impact the Ballona Wetlands in downtown Los Angeles. The Earth First Journal August-September 1998 reported: “On June 26, 1998 Federal Judge Ronald Lewis issued a ruling that hands environmentalists a huge victory for the Ballona Wetlands...” The Dream Works Park was later built elsewhere.
A suit to stop the building of a new school in Tucson because of an endangered species was thrown out of court by Judge Martinez the week of May 4, 1998. However, it was not until November 1999 that the final court ruling paved the way for the high school to finally be built. This lawsuit had also been the handiwork of the SWCBD and Defenders of Wildlife and cost the school district and taxpayers thousands of dollars to defend.
Yet another example is a lawsuit filed by SWCBD on was on December 19, 1997 against “Defendants Lt. Gen. Arthur E. Williams, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and The Honorable Togo D. West, Jr. Secretary, United States Army.” The complaint is “for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief.” The suit was filed in conjunction with Desert Watch and Defenders of Wildlife (DOW) a Washington D.C. based non-profit 501(c)(3). DOW financial records show revenues for 1995 at $6,824,352 and $8,689,550 for 1996.
Interestingly members on the Board of Directors for DOW at that time included: Arthur C. Martinez, Treasurer, Chairman of the Board and CEO Sears Roebuck and Co., 333 Beverly Road, Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Mr. Edward Asner, [actor] 12400 Ventura Blvd., Suite 371, Studio City, California 91604. As of October 5, 2011 Asner is still working with the DOW.
Even though SWCBD has filed numerous lawsuits against the USFS, their “Summer 1993 Newsletter” thanks Luna District Ranger Jerry Hibbits “for letting us use the USFS Xerox machine.” They also thank the Turner Foundation for their help. So again they were benefiting from taxpayer funded resources as well as from sympathetic multi million dollar private foundations.
In an effort to shut down grazing on public lands, which would adversely affect (if not destroy) many small ranchers, the SWCBD filed a lawsuit on August 11, 1998 against the Coronado National Forest for harming endangered species on 47 livestock grazing allotments covering 10,000 cattle on over 430,000 acres. Previously the SWCBD had filed suit against 92 grazing allotments on the Gila, Apache-Sitgreaves, Coronado, Coconino, Prescott and Tonto National Forests.
On October 6, 2011 the large number of lawsuits filed by the CBD are listed on their website. The website clearly shows just a fraction of the outrageous number of lawsuits filed by these radical extremists.
“SAN FRANCISCO, California, November 13, 2009 (ENS) - The Center for Biological Diversity today filed two lawsuits against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to protect two critically imperiled San Francisco Bay-Delta fish species, the long fin smelt and delta smelt.
“On October 5, 2011 – Lawsuit Filed to Stop Killing of Endangered Oregon Wolves October 5, 2011 – Two Florida Species Declared Extinct October 5, 2011 – Ozark Hellbender, North America's Largest Amphibian, Gets Endangered Species Act Protection October 5, 2011 – Lawsuit Challenges State Department Decision Allowing Work to Begin on Controversial Keystone XL Pipeline Even Though Project Not Approved October 4, 2011 – Groups Challenging Lake Arrowhead Development Awarded Attorney Fees October 4, 2011 – 26 Pacific Northwest Mollusks Move Toward Endangered Species Act Protection October 3, 2011 – Eight Freshwater Mussel Species in Alabama, Florida Proposed for Endangered Species Act Protection October 3, 2011 – Lawsuit Targets New Mexico County's Illegal Bulldozing in San Francisco River September 30, 2011 – National Petition to Ban Toxic Lead Ammunition Snags on Procedural Issue September 29, 2011 – Arctic Shell Game: No Spill Plan, No Problem – Feds Say Just Drill
October 5, 2011 “WASHINGTON — in response to a 2010 scientific petition from the Center for Biological Diversity and other groups, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today found that protection of 374 freshwater species in 12 southeastern states may be warranted under the Endangered Species Act. The decision was made in accordance with a historic settlement agreement reached this summer between the Center and the government to push 757 of the country’s least protected, but most imperiled, species toward Endangered Species Act protection.
“The 374 include 89 species of crayfish and other crustaceans; 81 plants; 78 mollusks; 51 butterflies, moths, caddisflies and other insects; 43 fish; 13 amphibians; 12 reptiles, four mammals and three birds. They are found in 12 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.”
What is Earth First?
Many people within our country do not know what Earth First (EF) and their counterparts the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) are. According to FBI definitions they are terrorist organizations that influence certain elements of our society to commit anarchy, revolution and terrorism. Their widely distribute book Ecodefense outlines how to commit acts of terrorism including the sabotage of airplanes.
Many members of these organizations have committed over 2000 acts of terrorism against American people and business interests throughout our country ovr the past few years. The damage estimates are in the billions of dollars.
The most recent was on September 26, 2011 in Boise Idaho against the Rocky Mountain Fireworks & Fur Company. According to an Associated Press story — “Animal rights activists said they pumped fuel into an Idaho fur and fireworks retailer before setting the place ablaze early Monday, and federal agents said they were taking the claim seriously.”
“Jerry Vlasak, a spokesman for the North American Animal Liberation Press Office in Los Angeles, said he received a message from activists shortly after the fire began at the Rocky Mountain Fireworks & Fur Co., on Monday morning.”
Prior to the Idaho arson, animal rights extremist Walter Bond of the Animal Liberation Front was arrested last summer (2010) and charged with Animal Liberation Front arsons which targeted three businesses: Sheepskin Factory in Denver, Tandy Leather Factory in Salt Lake City, and Tiburon in Salt Lake City. Bond pled guilty to the charges and received a five year prison sentence.
Most people are unaware of the direct connection between Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and Earth First. He like many others, was a follower of Earth First. Kaczynski used the “Ecof**ker Hit List” that was printed in the Earth First Journal when he decided to murder Thomas Mosser of Burston Marsteller and Gil Murray of the California Forestry Association.
On November 2, 2002 officer David Mobilio a Red Bluff, California police DARE officer was shot and killed from ambush when he stopped at the Department’s fueling station between 1:30 am and 2:00 am.
Mobilo was shot two times by a suspect as he got out of his patrol car. Fellow officers began looking for Officer Mobilio when he failed to answer radio calls. They located his body next to his patrol car with his gun nearby.
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The Earth Firster, Andrew Mickela was apprehended in Concord, New Hampshire, on November 27, 2002, after authorities learned his location. An email was posted on the internet claiming responsibility for the act, and the identity of the poster was uncovered. The suspect admitted to murdering Officer Mobilio in an effort to protest his perception of police brutality and corporate irresponsibility. The murderer was also a member of Earth First from Evergreen College in Olympia, Washington who said he killed Mobilio because he hated police after he was unfairly abused by police when he was involved in rioting at the November 1999 World Trade Organization meetings in Seattle.
These acts of terrorism have been ongoing for over twenty years and will continue unless something drastic is done to stop it. Radical extremists with their unwarranted lawsuits will also continue with their goal to shut down access to our National Forests and the use of public lands for recreational and other uses by misusing the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. So where do we as a society stand and what can we do to alter this disturbing and destructive trend?
© 2011 Barry R. Clausen - All Rights Reserved
Mr. Clausen has been a guest on over 250 U.S. and Canadian radio talk shows and TV news shows including ABC, CBS, NBC and repeatedly on FOX News. He has been featured or quoted in over 800 books, magazines and news articles including the San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Vancouver Province, Canada’s B.C. Report, New York Times, Newsday, Seattle Times, Oregonian, Sacramento Bee, Christian Science Monitor, The Dallas Morning News and a lengthy article beginning on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Clausen’s information has been translated and used by publications in many foreign countries including Japan, Ireland, England, Turkey, Germany, France and Chile. In 1994, a film crew from Danish TV-2 flew to Seattle to interview Mr. Clausen for a television documentary about international and U.S. extremist organizations. The documentary, A MAN IN THE RAINBOW, was subsequently aired in several European countries.
His latest book "Burning Rage - The Growing Anger Within My Country," covers Clausen's personal experiences within the American judicial system, as well as his investigations into the activities of environmental / animal rights terrorists and extremists. Burning Rage is a behind the scenes look at the dark underworld of government cover-ups, the Unabomber, and radical environmentalism. Clausen is a 'human backhoe' - constantly digging for the truth. What he finds is not always pleasant, but sometimes the truth hurts.