(en) what the anti-environmentalists are up to

Lyn Gerry (redlyn@loop.com)
Tue, 4 Nov 1997 23:24:08 +0000

A AA AAAA The A-Infos News Service AA AA AA AA INFOSINFOSINFOS http://www.tao.ca/ainfos/ AAAA AAAA AAAAA AAAAA

------- Forwarded Message Follows ------- Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 21:27:37 -0800 (PST) From: MichaelP <papadop@peak.org> Subject: what the anti-environmentalists are up to

Date: Fri, 31 Oct 1997 13:45:02 -0400 From: CLEAR View Mailing List <clear-view@ewg3.ewg.org> Subject: A CLEAR View, Vol 4, No. 13 & 14, 10/31/97

Attached is the latest issue of _A CLEAR View_, our periodic bulletin on the anti-environmental movement.

Vol. 4, No. 13 & 14 October 31, 1997

A CLEAR View takes the form of two-issues-in-one this month. In Volume 4, Number 13, you'll find out what the anti-environmentalists are up to in Texas, Florida, the Ozarks, Minnesota, and other regions across the country. In Volume 4, Number 14, which follows this mailing, you'll find an update on multiple use related legislation both on the federal and state level, and backlash news from Canada. As always, in our Resource section, reports and services help you sort out the good, the bad and the ugly.

Permission to repost by electronic means (or reproduce in other media) all or part of the attached report is granted so long as the information is attributed to CLEAR.

Distribution within environmental organizations and networks is encouraged.

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Please visit our new WWW homepage at <www.ewg.org> where current and back issues of _A CLEAR View_ can be downloaded. While you're there, check out CLEAR's database of "wise use" organizations, individuals and literature.

As always, send along your news and leads regarding 'wise use'-- you are our eyes and ears!

Please contact CLEAR (at clear@ewg.org) with any comments or questions.

Thank you.

A CLEAR View Vol. 4, No. 13 & 14 October 31, 1997


FEATURES *1 Defenders of Property Rights: New office opens in FL

*WHAT THE USERS ARE UP TO *2 Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy Holds Press Conference on Air Standards *3 Steve Forbes Praises Anti-Science, Anti-Enviro Ed Manifesto *4 Michael Coffman Rounds Up Nationwide Speaking Tour *5 Violence Against Enviros: What Happened in the Ozarks *6 County Movement Holds Conference in Arkansas *7 Judge Rejects MN Snowmobiler's Protest Claims *8 Oberstar Bill Threatens MN Wilderness Area *9 Environmental Education Backlash: Texas House Committee to Review EE Program

Volume 4 Number 14 October 31, 1997 ****** Legislation Review: *1 National Association of Home Builders Behind "Takings" Bill *2 ESA: Who's For and Against H.R. S.1180 *3 Grazing: H.R. 2493 Passes House *4 Monument Bill: Measure Would Restrict Designations *5 American Lands Sovereignty Act: Bill Referred to Senate *6 American Heritage Rivers Initiative Hearing Held

State "Takings" *7 Idaho *8 Pennsylvania

Canada: What the Users Are Up To *9 Ad Campaign Signals New BC Group

RESOURCES, Tools and Strategies for Activists *10 & 11 New reports from EWG on air pollution: "Last Gasp" and "New Clean Air Standards Are No Sweat in Florida" *12 New From CLEAR: "Wise Use on the Web" analyzes the internet presence of the environmental backlash movement. *13 Palnet Ark Offers Free Enviro News Service

A CLEAR View Volume 4 Number 13 &14 October 31, 1997


"Global warming, if it were to occur, would probably benefit most Americans. ... Global change is inevitable; warmer is better; richer is healthier". -- Thomas Gale Moore, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, in the Wall Street Journal 10/7; Greenwire 10/8.

"If I run, and if I'm elected, I will make Fred Smith [of the Competitive Enterprise Institute] the last head of the EPA." -- Steve Forbes at CEI's annual Warren T. Brookes Memorial Dinner, 10/21. Metropolitan Times, 10/24.

FEATURES *1 Defenders of Property Rights In Florida

DC-based Defenders of Property Rights has set up shop in the Sunshine State. According to A CLEAR View reader, the Defenders of Property Rights Florida Project in Fort Walton Beach, FL, has been open since early September or August. The purpose of the new office is to stake a position against the proposed amendment to the Florida constitution on environmental rights. Andrew M. Langer, director of the program, wrote an op-ed piece in the Tallahassee Democrat in September denouncing the efforts of Florida Environmental Secretary Virginia Wetherell who supports the amendment.

The Washington, DC, Defenders' office confirmed the news and said that all property rights and legal questions would continue to be addressed at its office. Defenders of Property Rights joins the Pacific Legal Foundation in FL to keep tabs on property rights issues in the legislature and judiciary. (Tallahassee Democrat, 9/22)

WHAT THE USERS ARE UP TO *2 Expressly Speaking

On September 29, Peggy Venable, Director of Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy, held a press conference from the Central Expressway in Dallas to thank Sen. Phil Gramm (R-TX) "for his leadership in slowing down implementation of more stringent air quality regulations." Gramm is a cosponsor of S.1084, a bill that would place a 5-year moratorium on enforcement of the new standards until more thorough scientific study has been completed. About the standards, Venable said, "These more stringent regulations are just bad public policy based on junk science."

Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy is an affiliate of the national organization Citizens for a Sound Economy, which advocates free market solutions to public policy problems. The Texas branch is located in Austin. Joining Venable at the press conference was a spokeswoman for Mayor Ron Kirk (D-Dallas) and several others. Dallas Sierra Club members attended and spoke to the press rebutting the smoke screen by CSE and Gramm. They also issued a press release.

The press conference appeared to be part of another coordinated national effort in Congress to try to gut the new EPA standards. The bill has been referred to the Subcommittee on Clean Air, Wetlands, Private Property and Nuclear Safety. (Press Release, CSE 9/29; Thomas)

For more information on the efforts of the anti-environmental lobby to thwart clean air standards, read Last Gasp, an analysis of air pollution data and campaign contributions. The report finds that too many politicians side with their contributors and against their constituents on air pollution, even in metropolitan areas where air pollution prematurely ends thousands of lives each year. Go to www.ewg.org

*3 Forbes Takes Stock of Environment Ed

The anti-environmental education, anti-science movement gained a new spokesman this summer. In Forbes Magazine , Steve Forbes wrote a gushing review of Michael Sanera and Jane Shaw's book "Facts, Not Fear" (Regnery Publishing, Inc., $14.95).

Despite the book's unabashed reliance on a minority viewpoint, as opposed to peer-reviewed science, Forbes' lauded the book as "balanced." He said the "guide is a straightforward, fact-filled, kid-friendly, scientifically based antidote to unbalanced presentations. It tells us where there are problems and challenges but courageously avoids scaremongering. Any house with school-age children should have this book."

Throughout the column, Forbes repeats the myths that have made the late Dixie Lee Ray popular. He writes: "Global warming? Hot air." "Will automobiles choke us with pollution? This much maligned miracle actually saved cities from being buried under horse manure." "Is the ozone disappearing? Again, no." If only picking stocks were this easy. (Forbes 6/19/97)

*4 "Eco-Fraud" Topic of Michael Coffman Tour According to the John Birch Society, Coffman was "such a smashing success" during his Spring '97 speaking tour, he went nationwide again this fall at the behest of the anti-U.N. group. A U.N. conspiracy-theorist, Coffman has made a name by asserting that: "environmental threats (global warming, waste disposal, overpopulation, etc.) have been concocted and exaggerated to provide justification for a global slave-state." Among the topics he "addressed" during his tour: 1) The pantheistic world view of environmentalists who "brazenly declare that earth is god (or goddess), and that humanity is a cancer which must be eradicated from the eco-system; 2) The role of the United Nations and the Global Environmental Facility in policing and usurping private property for an omnipotent global elite; and 3) What you can do to help oppose the global green regime." During the final tour week of Oct. 24, he spoke in Little Rock, AR, Harrison, AR, Padukah, KY; Charleston, SC and Birmingham, AL. Will Coffman ride the crest? Stay tuned for a Spring '98 update.

*5 Violence Against Environmentalists in the Ozarks by Sarah Bantz

On the evening of August 1, Becky Horton went for a swim at Boze Mill Spring, a remote Forest Service campground in southern Missouri. She had planned to meet a reporter there the next morning to discuss the effects of lead mining on sensitive groundwater in the area. Before she entered the water, however, four people began harassing her about property rights, her work on water testing and environmentalism. Eventually, they bound her with duct tape, beat her, and locked her in her van.

The next morning, a friend -- who was to join Horton at the interview -- found Horton with a property rights video taped to her arm and a Sierra Club flier taped to her mouth. According to her statement, Horton said her attackers expressed surprise that "she had arrived early." Evidently, the attackers set up Horton by posing as reporters, as none showed up that morning.

Since that time Horton's husband and their friends have been harassed and threatened. Two weeks after the incident, a local Sierra Club activist received a dead kitten at his post office box.

Both incidents can be traced to a Sierra club flier put out in early August titled "One Choice, Two Futures." A heavy anti- environmental atmosphere pervades the region, where newspapers consider a United Nations takeover imminent. The county rights movement, including Take Back Arkansas (a anti-environmental group in Fayettesville, AR) has been organizing actively in the area against environmental activist groups. The attack on Horton occurred the night before a daylong seminar on county rights. (See following story)

Horton is a former teacher who now runs the Ozark Mountain Center for Environmental Education and has received grants from the EPA for her work. The EPA is looking into possible jurisdiction over damage to their van, which Horton drives. The Forest Service says that although the assault took place on Federal land, they will leave the investigation to local authorities. Oregon County deputy Nathan Murphy, however, says the investigation is at a standstill.

Within the environmental community, severe disagreement arose over its response to the assault. Some people felt it was imperative that Horton go public immediately. Others consider the situation a personal tragedy and understood Horton's hesitancy in taking the situation to the media.

Eventually, a press statement released after the incident by Horton and the Sierra Club denounced this attack as a threat to the democratic values of this country and called upon local leadership to denounce the attack. So far, local response has been disappointing. A number of recent news articles, including comments by William Jud (who was featured in a St. Louis Dispatch article entitled "Ozarks Uproar: Rumors of a U.N. Takeover Feed Fears of Conspiracy and Distrust of Government"), call Horton's statement a hoax. The county sheriff is dragging his feet and has failed to return calls from Horton's lawyer. (Sarah Bantz is with Missouri Heartwood.)

For more information, check out CLEAR's report on violence ("Target: Democracy. The Effect of Anti-Environmental Violence on Community Discourse") at www.ewg.org.

*6 County Movement Conference in the Ozarks While the county movement does a slow burn in the west these days, the south and midwest have seen some flames. On August 2, a day after the attack on Becky Horton, the National Federal Lands Conference and Take Back Arkansas held a conference in Harrison, AR, called "On the Power and Authority of Local Governments." According to a report from the conference, 300 county movement activists and elected officials attended. The report noted that Take Back Arkansas helped pass Home Rule Ordinances in two Arkansas counties and is setting up groups to push sovereignty in western Tennessee, northern Mississippi, and southeast Arkansas.

The conference speakers included Karen Budd-Falen, who represented Catron County, NM, in a lawsuit against the federal government. Howard Hutchinson of the Coalition of Arizona/New Mexico Counties also spoke. Attendees were instructed how to set up a local sovereignty group in their communities. It was emphasized that counties should have their own land use policies so the federal government, when implementing Environmental Impact Statements (EIS), would have to heed county rules. A model land use law on the county level, for example, might specify that before any property be declared a wetland, the agency must report to the county citizens' committee on wetlands. (Source: Media Bypass Magazine, October 1997)

*7 Judge Rejects Snowmobiler's Protest Claims by Michael Furtman

"I hope that people do take note of the severity of the penalty here, and that it encourages people to follow the law," said Barb Soderberg, Wilderness Program Manager for the Superior National Forest, about fines handed out to a MN snowmobiler on September 25.

Citing that he found no justification for fleeing duly appointed law enforcement officers, no sign of remorse or regret from the defendant, and that the use of a snowmobile in a federal wilderness was not an appropriate form of protest, U.S. District Court Judge Raymond Erickson on October 15 fined Michael T. Loe $5000, the maximum amount allowed by law. Loe, of Ely, MN, was convicted in the same Duluth, MN, Federal Court on three counts: possessing motorized equipment within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness; snowmobiling within the wilderness; and fleeing law enforcement officers.

In his decision, Judge Erickson ignored the request of the Assistant U.S. District Attorney, William Michael, Jr., to put Loe on probation. In addition to the large fine for fleeing the Forest Service, Judge Erickson also handed out fines of $250 for possessing motorized equipment (a power ice auger), and $750 for snowmobiling in the wilderness. Loe has one year to pay the total of $6000 or face having his wages garnisheed.

In its request for stiff fines and probation, the U.S. Attorney's office stated that Loe had a history of fleeing law enforcement, including fleeing within the BWCAW in a motor canoe. "We are not seeking to make an example of Mr. Loe," said Michael, "but to impose a punishment that would be a deterrent to him."

Loe was one of three men spotted snowmobiling in the Boundary Waters Wilderness last January 25 by the U.S. Forest Service while conducting a routine aerial patrol (a month after Al Unser, Jr. illegally operated his snowmobile in a CO/NM wilderness area). The three snowmobilers separated during the pursuit, which eventually involved law enforcement officers from the U.S. Forest Service, Lake County Sheriff's Department, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and the City of Ely. Only Loe was ultimately apprehended. Local supporters of increased motorized use of the Boundary Waters immediately set up a defense fund for Loe, who plead not guilty to all charges. They tried to dress up his violations as a legitimate political protest.

At the sentencing session, Loe's attorney, Scott Belfry, repeatedly argued that the act of snowmobiling in the wilderness was a political statement, and that stiff fines would only reaffirm the contention among some in the Ely area that the government is oppressive. He also stated that the fines as suggested by the government were "outrageous," and that local pro-motor people were "being treated unfairly" and "not being listened to." The Ely area, he went on to say, feels "persecuted" and that the federal government managing the wilderness is "heavy handed" and "selective in its enforcement of the law." Judge Erickson was not swayed by these arguments.

Judge Erickson pointed out that in the three instances during which law enforcement officers attempted to get Loe to halt, either the defendant or the officer's lives were put at risk by Loe's refusal to stop. Nor was this a short chase, Judge Erickson noted, reminding those in the courtroom that Loe was pursued over a two and a half hour period before finally being apprehended.

"This is not an appropriate form of protest," Judge Erickson stated. He pointed out that Loe was privileged to vote, write letters, or otherwise influence public policy, but that "he was not privileged to flee law enforcement officers" and that "any acts of a similar nature will not be countenanced."

"In this country the majority will control what will occur within places like the Boundary Waters," Judge Erickson said. "Any notion that this was a sporting event or a legitimate comment on the Boundary Waters was destroyed by his actions of fleeing law enforcement officers."

Neither Loe nor his attorney would comment after the sentencing.

The Forest Service, however, hopes that this sentencing will help to convince others that violating federal land use laws is no laughing matter. (Michael Furtman is a full time freelance journalist and nature write living in northern Minnesota.)

*8 Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Bill Make that a double assault on the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness. On Oct. 22, Rep. James L. Oberstar (D-MN) and motorboat supporters coasted their bill "The BWCAW Accessibility and Fairness Act of 1997" (H.R. 1739) through the House Natural Resources Committee with a 22-7 vote. Oberstar's bill would expand the use of motorboats in the wilderness area by opening three closed wilderness portages. In an attempt to make the bill more palatable, Oberstar has taken out language that called for a management council for the BWCAW. It's not clear how this sits with local Ely, MN, anti-environmentalist activist Todd Indehar, of the Conservationists for Common Sense. Indehar has been quoted in the news as supporting increased motorboat use, and has said his goal has always been to bring the BCWAW under a local management council. More than 200,000 people visit the BCWAW, with 92 percent of visitors paddling its 1,100 lakes. (Washington Post, 10/22; Duluth News-Tribune 10/24)

*9 Environmental Education Backlash: Texas Legislature Reviews Enviro Ed In early October, the Texas House Committee on Environmental Legislation called for an interim study to review material of publicly funded environmental programs and assess whether the material and the programs promote views based on scientifically sound information. The significance of the review is clear. A similar 1990 review in Arizona -- spearheaded by Michael Sanera of the Claremont Institute -- resulted in severely reduced funding for that state's EE programs.

Grant programs administered by the Arizona Advisory Council on Environmental Education (ACEE) are now required to fund only projects that "include discussion of economic and social implications" of environmental and extractive resource issues. Sanera, at the Alliance for America's Fly-In last June, announced that the ACEE would award $10,000 grants to student projects that were written in a "balanced manner". According to the guidelines, the contest stresses student knowledge of the science and economics of the environment. The projects must reflect one of five questions, including: Should the Endangered Species Act consider economic effects upon humans to be as important as effects upon wildlife in designation of critical habitat areas? Should all waste materials in Arizona be recycled? Is global warming a real or perceived threat? To carry out their research, students can select from suggested research sites such as an active copper mine or metallurgical operation.

ACEE's science competition resembles the Political Economy Research Center's (MT) model curriculum "Eco-Detectives," which employs the anti-environmentalist tactic of simplifying all environmental problems into a "jobs vs. the environment" issue. Check it out at http://www.perc.org/ecochap1.htm. For more information about the Texas interim study, contact Harold Wood, Chair, Sierra Club Environmental Education Committee; email: hwood@lightspeed.net


See Vol 4, No. 14 (following) for information on anti- environmental legislation, news from Canada, and more.