In mid-August, 2007, the Village of Hatch unanimously rescinded their support for the proposed wilderness.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 "The issue 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 Wilderness Alliance

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 Cmte."

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: "Dave Foreman, 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. 

The 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 Dave Foreman.

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. 


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 1", "Part 2" and "Part 3" and "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 Leonard, 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:  “Are you 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?”

On September 1, 2010, an environmental extremist terrorized the Discovery Channel headquarters before being shot and killed by police. 


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, "Confessions of an Eco-Warrior", Mr. Foreman states "We humans have become a disease -- the Humanpox.", and “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: "Terrible 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 article, "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: “We must 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.”


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, "Dave 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 Dave...".


In The 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. "

The 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.


From "Dave Foreman - A Dialogue with Derrick Jensen" from EcoFuture - "If there 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 animals." and "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" - "Resourcists, 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" - "Internationally 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."


For a collection of quotes from Mr. Foreman and other EarthFirst members, click here.


Click here for a chronological look at the background of Dave Foreman and the environmental movement.


For additional information on Dave Foreman, see Wikipedia, Activist Cash, National Center for Public Policy Research dossier, or view the numerous sites on a Google search.

Henry Lamb wrote an article titled "The Rise of Global Green Religion".

Read additional quotes from a variety of "Environmental Leaders".



The FBI website 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:

Congressional Testimony 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 dollars."
  • "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 web-sites."
  • "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 websites."

Following are excerpts from remarks prepared for delivery by John E. Lewis Deputy Assistant Director, Counterterrorism Division Federal Bureau of Investigation 4th Annual International Conference on Public Safety: Technology and Counterterrorism Counterterrorism Initiatives and Partnerships, San Francisco, California, March 14, 2005

  • "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."

From the Congressional Testimony Statement of John E. Lewis Deputy Assistant Director, Counterterrorism Division Federal Bureau of Investigation Before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works May 18, 2005:

  • "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 environment."
  • "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 sprawl'."

Tree Hugger Terrorizes Discovery Channel (Human Events)
Four More Explosives Detonated at Home Tied to Discovery Channel Gunman (Fox News)
Gunman's Environmental Grudges Well Known before Discovery Channel Hostage Standoff (Fox News)
Gunman Likely Viewed Himself as Environmentalist Martyr, Former FBI Profiler Says (Fox News)

The problem is not going away.  From a 3/31/08 article by Fox News: "FBI: Eco-Terrorism Remains No. 1 Domestic Terror Threat" - "Generally 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 themselves."

A simple Google search on organizations (such as Earth First, Wildlands Project, Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, Rewilding Institute, Eco-terrorism, etc.), as well as the key individuals involved, can provide substantial information on the background and focus of these groups and individuals.

The Taking Liberty website also has good information.  Their "Introduction",  "Environmental Master Plan", "Where America is Headed", and "Region by Region" links give overviews of the Wildlands Project.  The Wildlands Project Revealed gives another perspective of "Rewilding" effort. 

John Berlau authored a publication titled "Eco-Terrorism: When Violence Becomes an Environmentalist Tactic", which contains an eye-opening overview of the Eco-Terrorism trend in the environmental community. 

Wikipedia has information on EarthFirst, The Sierra Club, The Rewilding Institute, Wild Earth, Center for Biological Diversity, Dave Foreman, Eco-Terrorism, etc.

The Activist Cash 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 organizations. 

The Capital Research Center website has a list they publish called "Gang Green", with what they describe as the "worst environmental groups".  They have information on EarthFirst, The Sierra Club, The Center for Biological Diversity and others.  They also have several publications on environmental groups, including "Deep Ecology, Depthless Thinking", "Greenpeace, Earth First!, PETA", and "Ted Turner, Down But Not Out".

Guidestar provides financial information on many non-profit organizations, including the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance and many others.

The National Center for Public Policy Research also has helpful information on organizations and individuals, including Dave Foreman.

A 4 part article series on the American Land Rights Association website called "Crimes in the name of the environment" provides more information on this movement.  The Anti-Defamation League also has an article "EcoTerrorism: Extremism in the Animal Right and Environmentalist Movements".

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.

The book “Trashing the Economy: How Runaway Environmentalism is Wrecking America”, written by Ron Arnold and Alan Gottlieb provides a thorough look at the environmental organizations operating in the U.S.



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 "Rewilding 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.

Edward 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.

"We have 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 flights."  Edward 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 human use
  • 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 equal value
-- Resource consumption beyond what is necessary for "vital" human needs is immoral
-- 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" as "the process of undoing domestication", stating "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.".

Read the Wikipedia description for "Pleistocene Rewilding" to get an overview of this effort, or The Nature commentary "Re-wilding North America".  Following are a handful of articles which give more insight into "Rewilding":

Following are articles which help outline the impacts of the "Rewilding" concept:

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. 

The 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.


There are several excellent articles and special reports from RANGE magazine which cover various aspects of conservation and ranching.  Following are links to several relevant RANGE magazine special reports.

Land in Crisis  Wolves at the door in Catron County (748kb pdf file)
In Search of Sanity  Lawsuits doom woods and wildlife (240kb pdf file)

American Forests: The Great Lie  Arrogance and indifference in America's forest. (1mb pdf file)

Enemies of Conservation  Conservationists admit wrecking the lives on millions of poor. (392kb pdf file)

The Ribbon  Ranchers fighting the war in the southwest. (1.1mb pdf file)

Taking Liberty  How private property in America is being abolished. (1mb pdf file)

The West 2005  The bad guys are still after the ranch.

Pristine Nature  The founding falsehood.

Refuting The Myths  It is time to expose anti-livestock bias in federal culture

Land Trusts  Forever and ever, Amen. The frightening thought of perpetuity.

This Land is OUR Land  Untamed nature and the removal of humans

Return to Eden  The man behind the Wildlands Project.

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 be less.

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.


John Berlau authored a publication titled "Eco-Terrorism: When Violence Becomes an Environmentalist Tactic", which contains an eye-opening overview of this trend in the environmental community.  (added 8/4/07)

Southwest Center for Resource Analysis' "Ecomonic and Social Importance of Cattle Ranching in Southwest New Mexico".  This is a summary of the findings in the WMNU report.  (added 7/23/07)

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.

The Gila 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.

The Mountain States Legal Foundation has written a very informative document containing comments to the Colorado Roadless Areas Review Task Force.  This document outlines some very important information and gives substantial background information.  In their comments section, they have a section titled "By definition, new wilderness may not be created" which is quite helpful to read and understand.  Their website is www.mountainstateslegal.org.

Judy Keeler has written a series of articles that are very informative, beginning with "The Wildlands Project Comes to Hidalgo County ".  They are well worth reading.


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American Land Rights Association
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