- WHO IS BEHIND THE WILDERNESS PUSH?
In mid-August, 2007, the Village of Hatch
unanimously rescinded their support for the proposed wilderness. A letter from
Village of Hatch Trustees Dave Sment
and Lloyd Burns brings to light some serious concerns.
Note: The blogsite referenced in the letter has been discontinued,
but Mr. Scarantino graciously gave us permission to
reproduce his writings about the
wilderness proposals in Dona Ana County on this website.
In their letter, the Hatch trustees state
of importance today is the emerging awareness of who is behind this
effort.", in reference to Mr. Dave
Foreman, one of the founders of the New Mexico
The 2005 IRS Form 990
for NMWA listed Mr. Foreman on the
Board of Directors. The
2006 Form 990 does not list Mr.
Foreman, however the connection between the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance
and Mr. Foreman remains quite strong. The NMWA website reflects several changes in
the individuals serving on their
Board of Directors, one of which is the addition of Nancy Morton to
the Board. Ms. Morton is recognized as a founding member of NMWA.
She is also the wife of Dave Foreman,
and is listed on the
"Working Group" for the
Rewilding Institute. The
Activist Cash biography on Nancy Morton is
"Wife of Dave
Foreman; former dir., Earth First! Foundation; former conservation cmte.
member, Sierra Club; activist, Wildlands Project & Sky Island Alliance;
former dir., Butte Env. Council; former coordinator, Northstate Wilderness
Mr. Foreman was a featured
speaker at the 2006 New Mexico Wilderness Conference, sponsored by NMWA,
on Nov. 11, 2006 in Santa Fe. A
flyer for the event read:
Director of The Rewilding Institute and Founding Father of NMWA,
presenting “The Future of Wilderness".
More recently, the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance
Spring 2007 newsletter
featured an article by Mr. Foreman.
Summer 2007 newsletter had an article on the founding board members of
NMWA, and stated that Dave Foreman "provided many, if
not most, of the philosophical underpinnings that guide the work of NMWA."
Additionally, the December 8, 2007 NMWA
Holiday Party was publicized on the
nmwild.org website as being held
at the home of
Since Mr. Foreman has been so influential
in the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, it seems appropriate to understand
more about his background.
In 1990, prior to founding NMWA, Mr.
Foreman was arrested by the FBI on conspiracy charges. He has served
on the board of directors of the Sierra Club, and is credited as
co-founder of the radical environmental movement "EarthFirst".
Click here for a video featuring interviews with Dave Foreman and
other "EarthFirst!" followers.
VIDEO - "THE POLITICS OF RADICAL ENVIRONMENTALISM"
There is a 4 part video
series titled "EARTHFIRST! The Politics of Radical
Environmentalism by Manes". Excerpts of this 1987 documentary
appeared on 60 minutes: "Part
2" and "Part
"Part 4". Featured in the videos are past and present NMWA Board Members Dave Foreman, Nancy Morton (Dave
Foreman's wife), and many other EarthFirst! followers. Mr. Foreman
has publicly stated that
their philosophy and purpose is to "destroy civilization and
technology, and eliminate the need for the word 'wilderness' because
everything will be 'wilderness'".
In the above videos, he states that EarthFirst! members are
"antibodies against the Humanpox". Ms. Morton states in
the documentary that "monkeywrenching" (sabatoge in the name of
"eco-defense") is "using the tools of the devil against the devil".
The book "Coyotes and Town Dogs" indicates that the current Chair of the
Board of Directors of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, C. Wesley
was also heavily involved with Dave Foreman in the inception of EarthFirst!.
Former NMWA Chairman Dr. Robert Howard has also been closely associated
with Mr. Foreman in NMWA and The
Wildlands Project and
continues to be involved with Foreman's
Rewilding Institute. NMWA
Board Member Todd Schulke also has
ties to EarthFirst!. For some background on the Wildlands
Project, see these
articles by Judy Keeler.
If you aren't familiar with the EarthFirst!
movement, here is an excerpt from the 9/22/89 EarthFirst! Journal:
terminally ill with a wasting disease? Don’t go out with a whimper; go out
with a bang! Undertake an eco-kamikaze mission. The possibilities for
terminally ill warriors are limitless. Dams from the Columbia and the
Colorado to the Connecticut are crying to be blown to smithereens, as are
industrial polluters, the headquarters of oil-spilling corporations, fur
warehouses, paper mills …… To those feeling suicidal, this may be the
answer to your dreams…. Don’t jump off a bridge, blow up a bridge. Who
says you can’t take it with you?”
Mr. Foreman has authored several books, including "Ecodefense:
A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching", which provides advice on sabotage
techniques as a method of "environmental activism". In another book,
of an Eco-Warrior", Mr. Foreman states
"We humans have become a disease -- the
“The only hope of the
earth is to withdraw huge areas as in inviolate natural sanctuaries from
the depredations of modern industry and technology ... Move out the people
and cars. Reclaim the roads and the plowed land.” He also wrote a
book titled "Rewilding North America".
Click here for more on the philosophy of Rewilding.
Mr. Foreman wrote an
article posted on his
"Around the Campfire" blog titled
“Birth Dearth Folly and the 300
Millionth American” Issue 2 January 1, 2007. In that article, he stated:
and foreboding as our country’s population explosion to 300 million is,
more terrible and foreboding is how Americans across our beautiful land
are reacting. For almost forty years, I’ve supported slowing and then
halting human population growth. It hasn’t been my main issue, but I have
always woven it in—especially in my Earth First! Journal and Wild Earth
writings.", and later in the
"Humans have already overshot ecological carrying capacity on Earth. The
greenhouse effect leading to catastrophic climate change is only one
example. Earth’s carrying capacity at a European level of living is
several billion fewer people than the current population."
He has also stated:
make this an insecure and inhospitable place for capitalists and their
projects. We must reclaim the roads and plowed land, halt dam
construction, tear down existing dams, free shackled rivers and return to
wilderness millions of acres of presently settled land.”
FOREMAN'S "WILDLANDS PROJECT"
Mr. Foreman also co-founded the
Wildlands Project, a group with the "vision" of establishing large
core wilderness reserves (estimates of up to 50% of the continental US,
termed "continental-scale conservation") with interconnecting corridors
and buffers. According to their website,
Foreman resigned from Wildlands Project staff in 2003 to form the
Rewilding Institute, a non-profit "think tank" focused on promoting ideas
and practices that result in continental conservation. ... The
Wildlands Project continues to maintain a strong working relationship with
FOREMAN'S "REWILDING INSTITUTE"
Rewilding Institude, Mr. Foreman is joined by NMWA Board Member Dave Parsons, NMWA
Executive Director Steve Capra, and NMWA Board Member Robert Howard
(also Former Wildlands Project Board President and "EarthFirster").
From the Rewilding Institute website:
"Foreman is the lead author and network designer of the Sky Islands
Wildlands Network Conservation Plan and the New Mexico Highlands Wildlands
Network Vision from the Wildlands Project. "
Rewilding Institute lists the New Mexico Wilderness
Alliance under "Ecological Wilderness Area Design" and "Wildlands
Defense" areas on it's website. Click here
for more on Rewilding.
Foreman - A Dialogue with Derrick Jensen" from EcoFuture -
isn't room for large predators -- for Wolves and Bears and Saltwater
Crocodiles and Harpy Eagles -- human beings have clearly exceeded local
carrying capacity. Educated people in the world today nearly all accept
evolution as a scientific fact. But very few people have accepted the
social implications of Darwinian natural selection -- that we are
"The Wildlands Project is trying to protect
as much land as possible, and to protect breeding stocks of all species,
so that after industrialism collapses there will be enough building blocks
of natural diversity to recolonize the world."
From NewWest.net - "Foreman:
Conservation Movement Must Return to Roots" -
meanwhile, work to impose human will on nature, including even wilderness
and wild predators, through some degree of management." and "When someone
asks you about a certain species, "Well, what good is it?", there is only
one suitable answer, "Well. What good ARE YOU?"
Foreman - "2005:
Nature's Crisis" -
since the 1980s, conservation efforts to protect wildlands and habitat by
means of national parks, game reserves, and other protected areas have
been severely compromised as financial-aid agencies and even some top
international conservation groups have shifted to promoting so-called
sustainable development and community-based conservation. Although these
approaches are sometimes sound conservation tactics, in practice they have
elbowed Nature into second place. This establishment undercutting of
Nature conservation has been joined by the leftist passion of some
anthropologists and other social engineers to reject protected areas in
favor of indigenous extractive reserves. Shockingly, sustainable
development is coming close to dominating the pages even of publications
about conservation biology, and gains more and more adherents in resource
management graduate schools and large “conservation” organizations. Some
members of the academic left have become deconstructors of Nature, denying
that it independently exists, proclaiming that we invent it; therefore
there is no reason to protect it."
QUOTES FROM FOREMAN
For a collection of quotes from Mr. Foreman
and other EarthFirst members,
for a chronological look at the background of Dave Foreman and the
GROUP AND ECO-TERRORISM RESEARCH SITES
provides a good starting point for gaining a better understanding of
eco-terrorism. A search on "eco terrorism" or "Earth
First" will provide numerous results. Below are just a few:
given by James F. Jarboe,
Domestic Terrorism Section Chief, Counterterrorism Division, FBI,
Before the House Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Forests and
Forest Health on "The
Threat of Eco-Terrorism" in 2002 provides useful background and
insight. Here are few excerpts from this testimony:
"During the past several years,
special interest extremism, as characterized by the Animal
Liberation Front (ALF) and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), has
emerged as a serious terrorist threat."
"The FBI estimates that the
ALF/ELF have committed more than 600 criminal acts in the United
States since 1996, resulting in damages in excess of 43 million
"Some special interest extremists
-- most notably within the animal rights and environmental
movements -- have turned increasingly toward vandalism and
terrorist activity in attempts to further their causes."
"Disaffected environmentalists, in
1980, formed a radical group called "Earth First!" and engaged
in a series of protests and civil disobedience events. In 1984,
however, members introduced "tree spiking" (insertion of metal
or ceramic spikes in trees in an effort to damage saws) as a
tactic to thwart logging. In 1992, the ELF was founded in
Brighton, England, by Earth First! members who refused to
abandon criminal acts as a tactic when others wished to
mainstream Earth First!. In 1993, the ELF was listed for the
first time along with the ALF in a communique declaring
solidarity in actions between the two groups. This unity
continues today with a crossover of leadership and membership.
It is not uncommon for the ALF and the ELF to post joint
declarations of responsibility for criminal actions on their
"The ELF advocates "monkeywrenching,"
a euphemism for acts of sabotage and property destruction
against industries and other entities perceived to be damaging
to the natural environment. "Monkeywrenching" includes tree
spiking, arson, sabotage of logging or construction equipment,
and other types of property destruction."
"The most destructive practice of
the ALF/ELF is arson. The ALF/ELF members consistently use
improvised incendiary devices equipped with crude but effective
timing mechanisms. These incendiary devices are often
constructed based upon instructions found on the ALF/ELF
"In recent years, animal rights
extremists and eco-terrorists have become the most active
criminal extremist elements in the United States."
"The eco-terrorist movement has
given rise and notoriety to groups such as the Animal Liberation
Front, or ALF, and the Earth Liberation Front, or ELF. These
groups exist to commit serious acts of vandalism, and to harass
and intimidate owners and employees of the business sector."
"One of today's most serious
domestic terrorism threats come from special interest extremist
movements such as the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), the Earth
Liberation Front (ELF), and Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC)
campaign. Adherents to these movements aim to resolve specific
issues by using criminal "direct action" against individuals or
companies believed to be abusing or exploiting animals or the
"While most animal rights and
eco-extremists have refrained from violence targeting human
life, the FBI has observed troubling signs that this is
changing. We have seen an escalation in violent rhetoric and
tactics. One extremist recently said, "If someone is killing, on
a regular basis, thousands of animals, and if that person can
only be stopped in one way by the use of violence, then it is
certainly a morally justifiable solution."
"We believe these trends will
persist, particularly within the environmental movement, as
extremists continue to combat what they perceive as 'urban
The problem is not going away.
From a 3/31/08 article by Fox News: "FBI:
Eco-Terrorism Remains No. 1 Domestic Terror Threat" -
speaking, the Earth Liberation folks are motivated by a deep kind of
affective connection to nature that many of them would characterize
as spiritual or religious," said Bron Taylor, a professor of
religion and nature at the University of Florida. "They believe that
the human species is perpetrating a war on nature and that those who
are connected to nature and belong to it have a right to defend
website provides helpful background information into many key
groups, such as "EarthFirst",
The Sierra Club, and others. It also has a section with
information on key individuals involved in many of these
This list is just a
start. It is by no means complete, and represents only a small sampling
of the information available. For more information on the grazing
positions of some of these organizations and others, see our
Grazing Issues page.
Economy: How Runaway Environmentalism is Wrecking America”,
written by Ron Arnold and Alan Gottlieb
provides a thorough look at the environmental organizations operating in
There is an environmental movement underway
called "The Rewilding of America".
Dave Foreman, a founder of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, is also
co-founder of the
Wildlands Project and a founder of The
Rewilding Institute. He has also written a book titled
North America: A Vision for Conservation in the 21st Century".
The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance is listed as a "primary sponsor group"
for the "Sky
Islands Wildlands Network Conservation Vision", whose
vision is to designate 10 MILLION ACRE "ecoregional landscape" as part of
the "Rewilding" movement.
Abbey is held in high esteem and even revered by many in the
environmental movement today. Mr. Abbey wrote the Forward for Dave
Foreman's book "EcoDefense:
A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching". Because of Mr. Abbey's
influence within the environmental community, it can be useful to
understand his perspective.
got to share this planet with the other living creatures, and sharing
means not merely preserving them in zoos or National Parks, but setting
aside huge areas. Whole regions perhaps that will be free of human
interference. Ideally, I would like to see certain large areas of the
planet set off-limits to human entry of any kind, even aerial over
Abbey-Deep Ecology for the 21st Century: The Natural Wonder: An Ecocentric
World View. New Dimensions Radio, 1998.
Following is a very high level overview of
the philosophy of "Rewilding":
Set aside of approximately 50% of the
North American continent as "wild land" or "wilderness" for preservation
of "biological diversity"
Establishment of networks of "reserves"
across the continent, including "core areas" (public lands, national
forests, wilderness), "buffers" (public and private land surrounding
core areas), and "corridors" (connections between core areas)
Core areas should allow for minimal
Buffers must be managed with "native
biodiversity" as a primary objective
Based on the philosophy of "Deep
Ecology", which can be summarized as follows:
-- All life (human and non-human) has
-- Resource consumption beyond what is necessary for "vital" human needs
-- Human population must be reduced
-- Western civilization must radically change the current economic,
technical and ideological structures
-- Followers of "Deep Ecology" have an obligation to implement the
necessary changes to facilitate this effort
Wikipedia defines "Rewilding"
"the process of undoing domestication",
"Supporters of such human rewilding argue
that through the process of domestication, our wildness has been tamed and
taken from us. Rewilding, then, is about overcoming our
domestication and returning to our innate wildness."
From Wikipedia "Rewilding
is most associated with green anarchy and anarcho-primitivism or
anti-civilization anarchy in general, though there is a large primitive
living contingent who come at it from a less militant direction.".
It should be quite simple to understand why
"wilderness" plays such a critical role in pursuing this agenda.
For an interesting perspective on the Dona Ana
County wilderness proposals, we have
Jim Scarantino's comments in writings from his New Mexico Wilderness blog.
Westerner Issues of concern to people who live in the west:
property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing,
energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on
western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois
served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a
former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant
Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
RANGE MAGAZINE ARTICLES
There are several excellent articles and special reports from
which cover various aspects of conservation and ranching. Following
are links to several relevant RANGE magazine special reports.
The Value of Rest Rest can restore an area to abundance or cause
its resources to literally dry up and blow away
Water in the West Water is
the essence of all life. There has never been more, and there will never
The Great American Land Grab The
Clinton administration's lands-locked legacy may be undone before it is
even fully recognized as a sinister plan to manipulate the population and
the economy of the United States.
Read a transcript of testimony given by Mike Webster to the
Senate Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests regarding H.R. 3606
and S. 3794 on September 27, 2006. Mr. Webster is a 4th generation
cattle rancher and provides a rancher's perspective on wilderness issues.
Livestock Growers Association put together a very informative and helpful
workbook on stockwater rights.
This was written for the Gila area, but the majority of the information is
applicable throughout the state.