Radical Environmentalism’s Print History
From Earth First! To Wild Earth
From Earth First! to Wild Earth.” Environment & Society Portal, Virtual Exhibitions 2018, no. 1. Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society. doi.org/10.5282/rcc/7988.
Radical Environmentalism’s Print History: From Earth First! to Wild Earth1
Bron Taylor, Professor of Religion, Nature & Environmental Ethics, University of Florida
Introducing Earth First!
Earth First!, the best known of the so-called “radical environmental” groups, was founded in 1980 in the southwestern United States. Dave Foreman, who had been working for The Wilderness Society (http://wilderness.org), was the most charismatic and well-connected of the new movement’s co- founders. He soon sent out a mimeographed announcement of the group, explaining that politics as usual—electoral politics and lobbying—had failed to significantly slow, let alone halt the destruction of the wilderness areas and a corresponding decline of the continent’s biodiversity. With the slogan, “No compromise in defense of mother earth!”—and punctuating their passion by putting an explanation point at the end of their moniker Earth First!—Foreman and his comrades promoted the idea that every life form, and indeed every ecosystem, has intrinsic value and a right to live and flourish regardless of human interests. (In the parlance of environmental ethics this notion has been variously labeled as ecocentrism, biocentrism, and deep ecology.)
It was this ethical standpoint, combined with a view that democratic processes had broken down, weakened or corrupted by corporate power and wealth, upon which Earth First!ers based their contention that extra-legal tactics in defense of threatened species and ecosystems was morally warranted. Soon, those drawn to the movement would put such convictions into practice, engaging in civil disobedience and sabotage as means to thwart environmentally destructive commercial enterprises and the governmental decisions that enabled them. And before long, business leaders, politicians, law enforcement authorities, and many others would rise up to attack these activists, labeling them terrorists and working ardently to suppress their movement. The ensuing conflicts have been long, trenchant, wrenching, and sometimes violent.
Soon after Earth First!’s founding, its mimeographed announcement morphed into Earth First!: The Radical Environmental Journal, which is now available via the Environment & Society Portal. While much has been written about this movement and its influence on environmental politics in the United States and other countries, there is no better way—apart from having been present when these activists gather to play, plot strategy, or protest—to get a visceral feel for the movement than by perusing the journal. Yet the pages of the journal may be more intelligible with some background about the events that gave rise to the movement and an overview of some of the watershed moments in its history.
Tributaries of radical environmentalism before Earth First!
The event that precipitated the formation of Earth First! was a devastating defeat in the late 1970s at the end of the US Forest Service’s “Roadless Area Review and Evaluation” process, in which the Forest Service refused to grant the designation of “wilderness” to areas that many conservationists considered biologically important. But the seeds of radical environmentalism had already sprouted long before then. As early as the 1950s there were scattered incidents of sabotage in the United States in defiance of environmentally destructive and aesthetically displeasing commercial enterprises. Some of these were reflected in the writings of the Southwestern writer Edward Abbey,2 first subtly, in his classic memoire Desert Solitaire (1968). In it, while ruminating on his time as a park ranger at Utah’s Arches National Monument (now a National Park), Abbey alluded to late-night sabotage campaigns by wilderness lovers that had begun in the late 1950s. Soon Abbey published The Monkey Wrench Gang (1975), a novel about a band of passionate if crazed and angry environmentalists who roamed the deserts of the Southwest, destroying billboards, bulldozers, and conspiring to blow up Arizona’s Glen Canyon Dam to liberate the Colorado River, which they felt had been unjustly incarcerated behind it. Abbey combined evocative, pantheistic writing about the sublime value of nature, with a unique form of libertarian anarchism that resonated with biocentrism, and by so doing, inspired many of those who formed Earth First!. Earlier nature writers, especially Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, and Aldo Leopold, also helped to kindle the movement, as did a host of writers who from the 1960s onward provided strong critiques of mechanistic, hierarchal, patriarchal, monotheistic, agricultural- industrial-capitalist societies, especially Rachel Carson, Paul Shepard, Louis Mumford, Lynn White Jr., and Roderick Nash.
Likewise, the tributaries of radical environmentalism3 included diverse streams of the American counterculture, which incubated in the 1950s and emerged as a powerful cultural force in the 1960s. Its elements included a deep suspicion of, if not outright antipathy toward the religious and philosophical underpinnings of Western culture, which was said to obviate a proper understanding of sacredness and kinship of all life, and to be linked to a repressive patriarchal order. Offered as alternatives, variously, were worldviews rooted in indigenous traditions (especially American Indians), recently revitalized pagan religions, or religions originating in Asia, as well as understandings emerging from ecology and new sciences ranging from quantum and complexity theory to conservation biology and the Gaia hypothesis.4 These diverse streams were all said to recognize the interrelatedness and mutual dependence of all life and to provide better ethical guideposts than Western civilization with its sky gods, philosophical dualism, and reductionist science. Fused to this were leftist or anarchist political ideologies, and sometimes a corresponding revolutionary fervor, envisioning the overthrow or eventual collapse of a putatively authoritarian and environmentally unsustainable capitalist nation-state.
No one better exemplified or promoted the general thrust of these critiques than the poet/philosopher Gary Snyder,5 who had been deeply involved in the San Francisco counterculture. In his remarkably innovative (and eventually, Pulitzer Prize winning) book of poetry and prose, Turtle Island (1969), Snyder advanced an animistic and biocentric spirituality influenced by American Indian cultures and shaped by his longstanding Buddhist practice. He fused these spiritual views to a decentralist, anarchist ideology inspired by Petr Kropotkin and the International Workers of the World (a.k.a. the Wobblies) that he and others labeled Bioregionalism, which sought to reconfigure political loyalties and revive a sense of connectedness with the watersheds and ecosystems people inhabit and to which they belong. This mix of nature-based spiritualities and decentralist political ideologies was a close countercultural cousin to Earth First!; the bioregionalists focused on creating environmentally sustainable and spirituality meaningful communities while Earth First!ers prioritized direct resistance to what they also considered the destructive force of Western civilization.
Although there were differences and sometimes tensions between members of these movements, in the years preceding and following the invention of Earth First!, there was enough overlap in the ideas and people involved in Bioregionalism and Earth First! that the main elements of what could be called the worldview of radical environmentalism came into view.
These elements are summarized in the following chart.6
Binary associations typical of radical environmentalism
Foraging (or small-scale organic horticultural) societies
Pastoral and Agricultural Societies
Animistic, Pantheistic, Indigenous, Goddess- Matriarchal, or Asian Religions
Monotheistic, Sky-God, Patriarchal, Western Religions
Biocentrism/Ecocentrism/Kinship Ethics (promotes conservation)
Anthropocentrism (promotes destruction)
Reason (especially instrumental)
Mechanistic & Dualistic Worldviews
Globalization and International Trade
Anarchism/Bioregionalism/ Participatory Democracy
Consequently, when Earth First! announced its arrival and intention to disrupt politics as usual, there was fertile countercultural ground upon which to draw. Indeed, in the early 1980s, there were many radicals without a cause, as the Cold War and nuclear anxieties had ebbed and Latin American revolutions were pacified, while environmental alarm, even apocalypticism, had continued to grow, fueled in part by the Club of Rome’s landmark 1972 report titled The Limits to Growth. The stage was set for the dramatic entry of Earth First! into US environmental politics.
The Earth First! Journal as a gateway to movement history
From its inception, the Earth First! movement prized robust debate. Although periodic controversies erupted about articles and views that were excluded from the pages of Earth First! – there has been an ongoing debate about whether the journal should be for outreach and therefore somewhat more moderate and without undue expression of internal disputes, or for internal, movement discussion, debate, and strategizing – reading it provides a good sense of the movement’s political and spiritual dimensions, campaigns, successes and failures, diversity, disputes, and schisms, and a window into the ways their adversaries and law enforcement authorities responded. It may be helpful to have some sense of what to look for when wading into this documentary record.
The first decade
Earth First!’s first few years (1980–1983) were characterized by largely symbolic acts, outreach, and fledgling efforts to invent a fitting cultural infrastructure and identity, which was a contentious process that would become ongoing, and was the result of differing political, religious, and strategic visions, including what sorts of tactics would be discussed in the journal and deployed in the field.
Early on, at Foreman’s direction and insistence, Earth First! was published according to a pagan calendar and its masthead announced that the movement did not accept the authority of the nation- state. At the same time, he and the movement’s founders dressed in Western cowboy garb and cultivated an image as “rednecks for wilderness.” This image went well with the macho notion that they were willing to wage a guerrilla campaign that would sabotage Earth’s destroyers, but it also early on engendered criticism for promoting an alienating, patriarchal and violent ethos. Such criticisms would lead to intense debates in the coming years.
By 1982 Foreman and many others had been introduced to, and enthusiastically embraced, deep ecology,7 a biocentric philosophy first articulated a decade earlier by the Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess. Linking this philosophy to nature religions, Foreman wrote, “Deep Ecology is the most important philosophical current of our time,” and pledged to make Earth First! a forum for such philosophy as well as for “Earth religion in whatever guise.” He even contended that “all of us are religious, even atheists like [co-founder] Howie Wolke who deifies grizzly bears and hopes to become one.”8 Wolke considered such religious talk counterproductive and Foreman would eventually distance himself from earthen spiritualities, but given the presented image, it was not surprising that a very wide array of activists – rednecks and pagans, feminists and chauvinists, hippies and anarchists, social justice activists and misanthropes, ecologists and postmodern critics of science – would be drawn to the movement. This diversity and the contention it aroused was often expressed in Earth First!.
But these were also early years of tremendous energy and innovation. By 1983, the movement’s activists were engaged in high-stake and high-profile campaigns, attempting to halt logging and other practices they considered a threat to the natural heritage of North America and beyond. Over time, the movement also spawned many additional organizations with their own foci, such as the Rainforest Action Network (http://www.ran.org) and a group that would eventually become the Center for Biological Diversity (http://www.biologicaldiversity.org), one of the most tenacious defenders of wildlands in North America.
Between 1983 and 1987, the movement experienced a dramatic expansion in numbers and campaigns, and its public profile increased. Activists started invading the offices of politicians and companies, blockading bulldozers, or occupying ancient trees, and in some cases, driving metal stakes into trees or sabotaging equipment in their efforts to thwart logging. These tactics also created controversy and garnered major media attention, which activists hoped would spur increased public resistance to deforestation. Internal dissension also grew during these years, however, as anarchists (of different sorts) debated with non-anarchists, and some of the movement’s feminists, most prominently Judi Bari, objected to what they considered to be the sexism of the movement’s most prominent male leaders. Still others complained about hierarchal structure of the journal itself and demanded a wider array of voices be included, including those advancing animal-liberationist and social-justice causes.
In 1987, Edward Abbey himself, who had become friends with Foreman and attended movement gatherings, was harshly criticized for supposedly sexist and racist views but was sharply defended by others, which lead to deeper divisions in the movement. Leftists and anarchists promoted greater attention to economic injustices and revolutionary movements while others objected, arguing that Earth First! should stay tightly focused on the conservation of biological diversity and not get distracted by such causes, however justifiable they might be on anthropocentric or humanitarian grounds.
By the mid-1980s, Foreman had become disillusioned with the movement he had co-founded, and after the attacks on Abbey in late 1987 he decided to step back from editing the journal. The growing contention and Foreman’s decision were signs that momentum was building toward a major schism in the movement.
Between 1987 and 1990, Earth First! campaigns proliferated and intensified, law enforcement authorities infiltrated the movement and a bombing captured headlines, exacerbating internal divisions yet further. On 29 and 30 May 1989, four activists, including Foreman, were arrested by federal law enforcement agents. A fifth activist was arrested soon afterward. The group was then dubbed the Arizona 5, and accused of conspiring to topple power lines associated with a nuclear power plant, along with other acts of sabotage designed to halt environmentally destructive practices. All these activists were eventually convicted; one received a six-year sentence, the second three years. Foreman himself eventually agreed to a plea that enabled him to avoid jail.
Long before the cases of the Arizona 5 were adjudicated, on 24 May 1990, a bomb exploded in a car being driven by Judi Bari in Oakland, California, nearly killing her and injuring her passenger, fellow activist Darryl Cherney. They were the most prominent leaders of an Earth First! campaign to prevent the logging of ancient redwoods in northern California. At that time, they were organizing a civil disobedience campaign that, combined with tree sits and blockades, had already disrupted logging and promised to do so all the more. Although Bari had been assaulted previously and she and Cherney regularly received death threats, the authorities charged them with knowingly carrying a bomb and publicly called them “ecoterrorists.” The pair was eventually vindicated but Bari died from breast cancer in 1997. Five years later, in 2002, Cherney and representatives of Bari’s estate won 4.4 million US dollars in a lawsuit against officials from the FBI and Oakland Police Department, whom a jury ruled had, with the arrests and in other ways, violated Bari and Cherney’s free speech and other civil rights.
By the late 1980s, some of those with differing, and more overtly anarchistic perspectives than Foreman (who controlled the journal through the 1980s), began publishing their own tabloids. The most radical among these was was Live Wild or Die (LWOD) eight issues of which were published by a rotating collective of editors operating from various locations in Northern California and elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest between 1988 and 2001. LWOD regularly advocated arson as a revolutionary tactic to bring down industrial civilization, sometimes proving instructions about how to build incendiary devices. With martial rhetoric, images of firearms and bombs, and an occasional feature titled “Eco-fucker hit list,” which listed those considered to be ecovillains along with their addresses, it appeared to countenance violence against individuals.
The second decade
This, among other things, was a bridge too far for many who had been drawn to the movement. Indeed, made fragile from internal divisions and external repression, the movement decisively splintered not long after the arrests of Foreman and the bombing of Bari and Cherney, right at the cusp of its second decade.
After the bombing, some activists withdrew out of fear that they might be targeted by vigilantes or framed by law enforcement authorities. Foreman and his closest associates felt unsupported by the wider movement in their precarious situation as they faced trial. Moreover, they thought that the movement had lost its moorings with its increasingly diverse array of concerns and passions, so they withdrew from the movement, precipitating an internal crisis at the beginning of the 1990s. Foreman went on to establish and publish Wild Earth (1991–2004), which took a strong biocentric perspective deeply informed by conservation biology. Alarm was another anarchistic tabloid founded and published by longstanding and important Earth First! activists, Anne Peterman and Oren Langelle in the Northeastern USA, during the first decade of the 1990s. Both of these are available in this print history.
After a brief period in the early 1990s wherein Earth First! co-founder Mike Roselle was installed as lead editor of the movement’s journal, a new, collective structure was established to publish Earth First!. The journal’s new structure reflected the growing proportion of anarchists in the post-schism movement. The issues addressed in the journal grew dramatically to include a host of causes that had gotten relatively little attention during the 1980s, including animal liberation and the support of Animal Liberation Front (ALF) prisoners. It also focused increasing attention on egalitarian ideals, advancing many anti-capitalist, anti-racist and anti-sexist causes, and engaging in a great deal of internal critique of the movement’s failures to consistently reflect and promote such values.
Perhaps most significantly, the journal’s pages increasingly discussed arson other tactics that risked and occasionally appeared to support harming people. Its pages also sympathetically covered the groups becoming infamous for such tactics, including the Earth Liberation Front (ELF); an offshoot from Earth First! that was founded in the United Kingdom in 1992 by activists frustrated by the movement’s absolute commitment to non-violence.9
Observing these developments was the so-called Unabomber, Theodore John Kaczynski, who between 1978 and 1996 from his remote cabin in Montana (USA) waged a murderous mail-bomb campaign against those he considered representatives of an authoritarian and environmentally destructive “technoindustrial” civilization. By the time of his arrest on 3 April 1996 he had badly maimed eight, killed three and injured a dozen others. In November 1979 he sent a third mail bomb via a passenger jet that was rigged to explode upon reaching an altitude of 20,000 feet; it nearly murdered 78 more.
Kaczynski was a long time reader of LWOD, he acknowledged in a letter to its editors after his arrest.10 In fact, he had selected one of his murder victims from one of the aforementioned hit lists.11 He also wrote to and offered Theresa Kintz, an Earth First! editor at the time, an exclusive interview, because he had been impressed by an editorial she had written for the journal defending ELF activists who had torched a ski lodge under construction in Vail, Colorado.12 She agreed with the rationale of the arsonists that the action was justifiable because the construction project destroyed critical habitat for an endangered Lynx species.
The publication of this editorial was protested vehemently by many activists who rejected arson as a tactic and thought embracing it was dangerous to activists and politically counterproductive. But Kintz had her own supporters, including for the idea of conducting and publishing an interview with Kaczynski. She conducted interviews during the summer of 1999 but at a large movement gathering that summer a consensus was reached that the journal ought not publish it. Consequently, Kintz left the journal staff and published the interview in the UK-based tabloid, the Green Anarchist.)13 Like Kintz, the editors of LWOD supported and felt affinity with Kaczynski, agreeing with his anti- technology ideology and at the very least that violent tactics are sometimes warranted.14
The majority of the movement’s activists, however, rejected Kaczynski’s violent tactics and did not want the movement tarred by them.15 But the explicit and implicit endorsement of the ALF and ELF, the sympathy of some for Kaczynski, and the focus on issues that some in the movement considered to be mired in distracting, anthropocentric concerns, caused more moderate members of the movement to drift away. The result was an increasingly radical and anarchistic movement.
Throughout the 1990s Earth First!’s campaigns primarily involved protests, lawsuits, and civil disobedience. In several cases, the resistance gained enough strength to orchestrate large protests that included mass protest arrests, as in 1996 when thousands of citizens gathered in a sparsely populated area of northern California to protest logging in ancient redwood groves by the Pacific Lumber Company (PALCO); over a thousand citizens were arrested. This and a decade of resistance to PALCO’s practices contributed to political pressures to reduce social disruption and the loss of political support, and led to heightened scrutiny by state forest authorities and to the company being cited repeatedly for violating the law. Eventually, a deal was worked out wherein the company would sell the most biologically precious old-growth groves to the state of California. Not long afterward the company went bankrupt and was sold to another company with a better reputation, which promised to protect the remaining ancient groves and manage the rest of its forestland more gently.16
In another long struggle, Earth First! and other environmental activists worked in solidarity with religiously traditional American Indians opposed to a complex of telescopes being built (with more planned) on Mount Graham in southeastern Arizona. In their own ways both the Indian and environmental activists viewed the mountain as sacred, either as a place of ceremony and prayer necessary to communicate with their gods, on the one hand, or as a sacred island ecosystem populated by precious, endangered species. Although they did not prevent the construction of three telescopes, they did thwart the construction of eight others.
Often complemented by lawsuits, the radical environmental movement had no small number of victories in the 1990s, although the victories were usually small. Nevertheless, the accurate perception of the movement’s activists was that they were losing overall and badly, and moreover, that the government was not only corrupt and in cahoots with industry, but increasingly repressive. Such perceptions reinforced an increasingly common view in the movement that the time had come to eschew above-ground tactics and create an underground resistance movement. By the mid-1990s there was a proliferation of such tactics. Between then and the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001, at least twenty activists deployed arson as a tactic—torching gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles, a Forest Service office in Oregon, a university research station believed to be investigating the genetic modification of organisms in Washington, and “trophy homes” being built in ecologically sensitive areas—to name a but a few of these incendiary incidents.
The third decade and beyond (radical environmentalism in the twenty-first century)
While these sorts of tactics have drawn the bulk of the media’s attention to these movements, significant environmental victories have been won, or contributed to, by radical environmentalists. In January 2001, for example, the United States Forest Service under President Bill Clinton issued the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, which protected over 25 million hectares (58 million acres) of federal forestlands. Although it took more than a decade of legal battles for opponents of this rule to exhaust their legal challenges to it, it eventually became the law of the land. It is inconceivable that the government would have issued this important rule in the absence of a decade of strong and disruptive resistance to the Forest Service’s timber program by radical environmentalists. Although the rule did not provide everything radical environmental activists sought, it was a significant advance for biodiversity conservation in North America.17
Within a year of this ruling, however, the 11 September 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center occurred, ushering in a very difficult period for the movement. While its campaigns continued, the federal government dramatically increased funding to apprehend activists involved in what it deemed “‘ecoterrorism’,” and it dramatically increased the prison terms for any acts so considered.
In December 2005, federal law enforcement officials then made the initial arrests of a half dozen Earth Liberation Front activists, and soon the number of convicted activists rose to nearly twenty, with several others becoming fugitives after, or in anticipation, of, being indicted. About two-thirds of the arrestees cooperated and named others whom they claimed were involved. Meanwhile, friends of the various activists debated, sometimes stridently, whether those who cooperated should be shunned or shown sympathy and supported. Much of the movement’s energy and focus turned to giving support to the non-cooperating defendants and prisoners.
While campaigns against deforestation continued, a great deal of discussion in the journal focused on how to build a non-hierarchal movement in which people with diverse identities – ethnic, gender, and with regard to sexual orientations – could feel safe. Other movement activists felt that, although “Earth First!” remained the title of the journal, the moniker no longer defined the movement. The movement seemed to shrink further in the light of internal divisions and the state’s repressive power, and many of its activists considered it moribund.
During the same period, however, a new generation of activists assumed responsibility for the journal and some of them sought to rekindle the biocentric vision that originally animated the movement, fusing it to the by-then prevailing egalitarian, anti-capitalist, and anarchistic ideology. Tensions within the movement as well as efforts toward reconciliation and regrouping can be seen in the journal’s pages during the early twenty-first century and beyond, along with concurrent attention to and support for ecological resistance movements around the world.
After the trials were over there also appeared to be signs of a rekindling of the most radical forms of militant environmental resistance. Just as a new moniker for a more radical form of resistance emerged in 1992 with the Earth Liberation Front, another new, radical environmental group took up the cause, labeling their movement Deep Green Resistance (http://www.deepgreenresistance.org). The arguments they deployed, however, were not really new: that the only solution to ecological devastation and social inequality is to end industrial civilization by whatever means necessary. Like the most militant environmental activists a decade earlier, the group, led foremost by writer and activist Derrick Jensen, contended that electoral politics and lobbying, as well as educational and other reformist conversion strategies that prioritize increasing awareness and changing consciousness, have been ineffective, in part, because agricultural civilizations are established and maintained by intimidation and violence, and are inherently destructive and unsustainable. The only viable solution therefore, they claimed, is to bring down industrial civilization. This is feasible, they further contended, because of the current system’s structural vulnerabilities, specifically, its dependence on fossil fuels. So, in a strategy that resembled the Earth Liberation Front a decade earlier (and Kaczynski’s exhortation in his letter to Earth First!), they urged activists to form secret cells to sabotage the energy infrastructure of today’s dominant and destructive social and economic systems. They also contended that activists should eschew pacifist ideologies and consider whether and when the time might be ripe to take up arms to overturn the system.
Since most of these strategies and points of view were articulated and practiced in the 1980s and 1990s, and the social and environmental conditions that gave rise to them have continued if not also intensified in most ways, in the coming years, we can expect periodic waves of radical environmental activism interspersed between relatively quiescent times, along with internal division, external suppression, and small and significant victories, all within an overall environmental landscape in which the global decline of biological and cultural diversity – which gave rise to the movement in the first place – continues to intensify.
Indeed, if the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, Earth First! (found online since 2010 at http://earthfirstjournal.org) may well presage the future: by recounting the trials and tribulations, experimentation with tactics, internal divisions, and successes and failures, of a movement purporting to challenge what it considers to be the anthropocentric economic/political systems of industrial (and industrializing) societies. Examining the images it presents and the arguments its activists make, perusing the poetry it provides and perhaps finding environmental music18 online which has helped to inspire its activists, will provide a sense of the movement in a way that reading scholarly or journalistic articles about it cannot.
Although not all of the movement campaigns or divisions are discussed in the journal’s pages, its overall commitment to free speech and debate makes it an excellent primary source for understanding its internal disputes, its strengths and weaknesses, its heroism and flaws.
In the interest of free inquiry and debate this value documentary archive is now available worldwide, for the first time, thanks to the Rachel Carson Center's Environment & Society Portal.19
1 Revised 3 August 2019.
2 See the entry for “Abbey, Edward” in Bron Taylor, ed., Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature (London & New York: Continuum, 2005). The article is available online at: http://bit.ly/EdAbbey.
3 See Bron Taylor, “The Tributaries of Radical Environmentalism,” Journal for the Study of Radicalism 2, no. 1 (2008): 27–61; online at http://bit.ly/REtribs.
4 See the entry for “Gaia” in Taylor, Bron, ed., Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature; online at http://bit.ly/GaiaERN.
5 See the entry for “Snyder, Gary” in Taylor, ed., Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature; online at http://bit.ly/SnyderERN.
6 Adapted from the article “Radical Environmentalism” in Taylor, ed., Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature; online at http://bit.ly/RdEnvsm.
7 See the entry for “Deep Ecology” in Taylor, ed., Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature; online at http://bit.ly/DeepEcoERN.
8 Earth First! 2, no. 8 (September 1982), p. 2.
9 On the relationship and blurry lines between them, see “Earth First! and the Earth Liberation Front” in Taylor, ed., Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature; online at http://bit.ly/EfElf.
10 Ted Kaczynski, “And Now Some Words from Longtime L.W.O.D. Reader: Ted K.” Live Wild or Die, #7 (1998): p21.
11 Alston Chase, Harvard and the Unabomber: The Education of an American Terrorist (New York: Norton, 2003), p. 73. For the hit list see LWOD #4.
12 Theresa Kintz "Fanning the Flames of Resistance." Earth First! 19, no. 2 (21 December 1998) p. 2.
13 See Theresa Kintz, “Interview with Ted Kaczynski” Green Anarchist (1999); online at http://bit.ly/TedKintv (accessed in 2007 and 2019).
14 LWOD’s editors not only published Kaczynski’s letter acknowledging that he was a “longtime reader”; they published an essay by him arguing against nonviolent strategies. LWOD also published fawning poetry praising Kaczynski and other statements and images expressing support for him, including by including him on a list of political prisoners needing support. See Ted Kaczynski, “When Nonviolence Is Suicide” Live Wild or Die, #8 (2001): p. 4; Sue H., "For Ted (thanks for all your help)" Live Wild or Die, #8 (2001): p. 9.
15 EF!’s editors and others of the movement’s most high-profile voices sought to distance themselves and the movement from Kaczynski. But the journal’s revolving editorial collective provided opportunities for the bomber’s sympathizers to interject, controversially to be sure but with some regularity, articles and letters to the editor endorsing his ideas and tactics, even including him on several occasions on EF!’s list of political prisoners, and publishing a letter from him in which he urged the “real revolutionaries among them” should withdraw from EF! to “form their own movement. . . form a movement that is exclusive to the extent that it incorporates none but real revolutionaries. Only in this way can the movement have cohesion and the capacity for vigorous action.” For this letter to the editor by Kaczynski see Earth First! 19, #5 (1 May 1999), p. 3. For a letter to the editor agreeing with Kaczynski’s argument see Eric Blair, Earth First! 20 #1 (1 November ) p. 28. Kaczynski was listed several times as a political prisoner between 1998 and 2001. Several letters to the editor have praised Kaczynski while others sharply criticized these positive statements about him. These are but a few of the examples that demonstrate that Kaczynski has been a highly polarizing figure with the radical environmental movement.
16 See Darren Speece, Defending Giants: The Redwood Wars and the Transformation of American Environmental Politics (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2017); David Harris, The Last Stand: The War between Wall Street and Main Street over California's Ancient Redwoods (New York: Times Books/Random House, 1995); Richard Widick, Trouble in the Forest: California's Redwood Timber Wars (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009); On the mass arrests, see Associated Press, “Hundreds Arrested at Protest against Redwood Logging,” Los Angeles Times, 16 September 1996, http://articles.latimes.com/1996-09-; this article mentioned between 300 and 400 arrests, but the number swelled to over 1000, as documented in Bill Dawson, “Redwood Protests Ease amid Reports of Deal,” Houston Chronicle, 17 September 1996 (article no longer online).
17 It was more than ten years before lawsuits challenging the rule were finally exhausted. For the decisive 21 October 2011 ruling in Wyoming v. United States Department of Agriculture, see https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-10th-circuit/1583397.html. This decision was confirmed on 1 October 2012 when the Supreme Court of the United States declined Wyoming's appeal; see “US Supreme Court Supports Clinton’s Roadless Rule” at http://pennfuture.blogspot.com/2012/10/us-supreme-court-supports-clintons.html and also https://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.aspx?FileName=/docketfiles/11-1378.htm. Unsurprisingly, the administration of President Donald Trump has sought to reverse this rule, and as I update this overview in August 2019, these forests are again in peril.
18 For a list of music inspired by environmental movements and topics, see http://bit.ly/DGRsound.
19 For additional reading beyond the articles linked herein and found on the Environment & Society Portal, see also the scholarly articles and books about the movement at http://www.brontaylor.com.