Earth Liberation Front Resorts to Terrorism in the Wake of Failed Court Battle

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by Norm Lenhart,
Senior Editor, Off-Road.com
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Vail Ski Resort Sustains $12 Million in Damage Due to Arson

"The unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives." -FBI Definition of Terrorism

"On behalf of the lynx, five buildings and four ski lifts at Vail were reduced to ashes on the night of Sunday, October 18th. Vail, Inc. is already the largest ski operation in North America and now wants to expand even further. The 12 miles of roads and 885 acres of clearcuts will ruin the last, best lynx habitat in the state. Putting profits ahead of Colorado's wildlife will not be tolerated. This action is just a warning. We will be back if this greedy corporation continues to trespass into wild and unroaded areas. For your safety and convenience, we strongly advise skiers to choose other destinations until Vail cancels its inexcusable plans for expansion." - Earth Liberation Front (E.L.F.)

These are not the words of the IRA, the Islamic Jihad, or another foreign terrorist organization. They are the words of a domestic terrorist organization, the ELF (Earth Liberation Front), and they are speaking directly to you, to me, and to every citizen of the United States of America.

What started out as an environmentalist instigated legal battle to block expansion at the Vail CO. ski resort, ended in $12 million of damage due to an "environmentalist" perpetrated act of Arson & Terrorism. 5 buildings and 4 chair lifts were destroyed by the ELF (an offshoot of Earth First!) when a court decision allowed the Colorado company, Vail Associates, to expand the world famous resort.

At dispute was the Lynx, and it's supposed habitat. Yet again, environmentalists tied up the court system with frivolous litigation that ultimately proved to have no basis. Yet again, environmental terrorists have taken the path of terrorism to achieve through force, what they could not through civilized, legal behavior.

$12,000,000 in damage to "save" 885 acres of legally approved land.

Who do you think is going to pay for it? Well first, there will be the insurance company, resulting in increased premiums. Then it will be Vail Associates, spending more on their policies, and for increased security costs to protect the people who come to Vail to participate in a legal outdoor activity.. Next it will be outdoor recreationists.

As prices rise for lift tickets, food, drinks, security, and other services climb, fewer people will be able to afford to ski , snowboard, snowshoe, snowmobile, hike, or otherwise recreate there. As attendance drops, people in the service and support industries will loose their jobs, as the demand for their very existence continues to steadily drop. Unemployment and welfare rolls then increase, costing the taxpayer millions of additional dollars.

Those people brave (and rich) enough to defy the edict of the ELF and continue recreating at Vail will be faced with the looming specter of the ELF's none too "Veiled" (pun intended) threats, such as:

"This action is just a warning" ...."We will be back if..." ...."For your safety and convenience, we strongly advise"

Few people will want to endanger themselves and their families lives, and will eventually take their recreational activities elsewhere. In the end, this is the purpose of acts of Eco-terrorism. Make it too expensive, inconvenient, and even dangerous to legally recreate on / in a given area.

An Isolated Incident? Hardly. Even the US Government Isn't Safe. On Nov 30th 1997, the barns of the Bureau of Land Management run Burns Adoption Center were burned to the ground, in an act of "environmentalism" that left 500 horses, and 40 burros without shelter. Also lost in the act of arson were the BLM's tack & gear - all at taxpayer expense. Earlier in the year, the Cavel West horse-rendering plant, a popular target of animal rights activists, sustained a $1,000,000 fire.

Congressman Frank Riggs of California got a first hand look at Eco terrorism when a group of masked Earth First! terrorists laid siege to his office, threatened his staff, and caused several thousand dollars worth of damage to the facility. Tree stumps, sawdust, urinating on the furniture, and locking themselves down were all a part of this "Environmental" Action".

These are but 3 examples. There are more.

Fighting Back

Rather than laying down, rolling over, closing our eyes, and ignoring the most destructive act of Eco-terrorism in history (US, or otherwise), we must ensure that these acts of hate and terror do not go unpunished. Recent terrorist acts at US embassies overseas have galvanized our government into declaring war on terrorism "No matter where it occurs". Let's hold them to it.

Our elected officials, whether village, town, county, state, or federal, must stop pandering to the so called "Environmental Lobby" . It is NOT "politically correct" to support the supporters of terrorism. It is NOT "politically correct" to hand away the rights of American citizens to the control of NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations). It is NOT "politically correct" to allow the voting constituency to be held hostage by the whims, desires and pseudo-science of groups like the Sierra Club, SUWA, Greenpeace and their ilk. It is NOT "politically correct" to allow Eco terrorism to continue.

We have a unique opportunity as we approach the election cycle. Other events have left many of our "Environmentally Correct" elected officials in very real danger of loosing their undeserved seats in government. It's time to ensure that that happens.

When you cast your ballot this November, (or during any election) be sure that the vote you make is a vote for your rights and freedom. Elect those who will not suck up to the environmental lobby in exchange for a few thousand dollars in "contributions". Elect those who will enact laws that will protect our property rights and personal freedom. Elect those who will repeal laws based on junk science and personal environmental agenda, rather than hard cold fact.

Finally, elect those who will stop playing games with Eco-Terrorists like the ELF, Earth First!, the Animal Liberation Front, and those like the Sierra Club who support and fund them. The other option is to stay home from the polls, turn a blind eye, and complain when these terrorist actions result in the death of innocent people. Perhaps someone you love. It's your choice.

-Reprinted from Off-Road.Com, a web-based news magazine for off highway recreationists of all types. To learn more about Off-Road.Com, or to read the latest stories on events effecting recreation, visit their site online at: http://www.off-road.com/

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