Earth Liberation Front Extremists Destroy Washington Homes

Earth Liberation Front extremists were responsible for firebombing three houses in Snohomish County, Washington, that caused an estimated $1 million in damages.

The fires were set in the early morning hours of April 20 in Snohomish County, and there were apparently other targets in nearby areas as well as one incendiary device that apparently failed to ignite.

According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer,

At a separate home-construction site near Maltby, workers arrived yesterday morning to find soft drink and Gatorade bottles filled with liquid and a threatening note written on a piece of cardboard.

The Associated Press quoted the Sierra Club’s Bill Arthur as denouncing these acts of extremism saying that,

What’s happened in Snohomish County is not an ecological statement but a criminal act.


ELF tied to fires at new houses, $1 million loss. Associated Press, April 24, 2004.

Arsonists destroy two new houses. Jennifer Langston, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, April 21, 2004.

Paul Watson Fails in Bid to Take Over Sierra Club

On April 21, the Sierra Club announced the results of its vote for five open spots on the group’s board of directors. The anti-immigration/pro-animal rights slate promoted by animal rights extremist Paul Watson garnered only a small number of votes and were defeated.

Of 176,616 Sierra Club members who voted, only 14,527 voted for David Pimental, 13,090 for Dick Lamm, and a paltry 9,765 for Kim McCoy.

And speaking of Kim McCoy, she is of course the animal rights activist who claimed earlier this year that there was absolutely no connection between the animal rights and anti-immigration activists who were seeking seats on the board, saying,

. . . there is no alliance between animal rights people and “anti-immigration” people. Honestly, the two movements could not be more separate, and these allegations are nothing more than an attempt to distract from the real issues and power struggles at hand in this election.

As I noted before, McCoy forgot to tell that to Paul Watson who both on his website and in interviews complained that the anti-immigration candidates were being unfairly slighted as racists and professed his own anti-immigration views. On his web site, Watson posted a FAQ in early April addressing this issue,

2. What about the accusations that you are supporting an anti-immigrant and anti-immigration position?

I am not anti-immigrant and I am not anti-immigration. I am in fact an immigrant. My position is that I support the policies of the Sierra Club that were in effect from 1965 until 1995 which called for the Club to support population reduction and to address the factors contributing to population increase. Immigration is one of those factors. In 1996, the Club adopted a cowardly-head-in-the-sand policy of neutrality on immigration for fear that the issue was politically incorrect.

There are already limits on immigration. My position is that these limits should be lowered to achieve stabilization. The population of the United States is increasing at a rate of 1.1% per year and at this rate of growth, the population of the United States will reach one billion by the year 2100.

In an interview with the Associated Press after the results of the Sierra Club election were announced, Watson went further saying this was the most important environmental issue for the 21st century,

Watson said the Sierra Club cannot afford to ignore the population issue.

“It’s the most pressing environmental issue of the 21st century,” Watson said. “I find it cowardly for any environmental organization to avoid talking about the issue of human overpopulation.”

Yeah, Kim — the animal rights and anti-immigration movements are just world’s apart.


Sierra Club Leadership’s Candidates Win. Terence Chea, Associated Press, April 21, 2004.

2004 National Board of Directors Election Results. Sierra Club, April 2004.

How Stupid Does Kim McCoy Think People Are?

Kim McCoy, one of the animal rights activists who is part of Paul Watson’s plan to seize control of the Sierra Club board of directors, has posted the following statement about her candidacy on her web site (emphasis added),

Animal Rights and Human Population

An additional misconception that I would like to clear up is that there is no alliance between animal rights people and “anti-immigration” people. Honestly, the two movements could not be more separate, and these allegations are nothing more than an attempt to distract from the real issues and power struggles at hand in this election.

In recent weeks, I have heard animal rights activists being falsely labeled as “anti-human.” This is simply not true. The animal rights movement is a movement of compassion for all species. Certainly this would include humans as well as non-humans, and for this reason, I (and many animal rights activists) fully support and champion the promotion of human rights. However, the fact remains that human population is the single largest threat to life on earth, and if nothing is done to slow or reverse the growth of human population, it is inevitable that all species will suffer, including both humans and non-human species. A wise friend recently said to me, “One of the most wonderful things about promoting vegetarianism is that we can claim with all honesty that what is best for us is also best for the animals and the environment.” I could not agree with this statement more, and I will add that, from my perspective (looking at the big picture), this is fundamentally true of the human population issue as well.

There is a lot at stake here, and our planet and its inhabitants need forward-thinking advocates who will speak on their behalf, even in the face of controversy and unpleasant accusations. My hope is that the goodhearted, gentle souls who fight against injustices in this broken world will turn inwards and really think about this issue; think about the repercussions of failing to address human population growth; think about the kind of planet they would like to see for their children and grandchildren, and for the offspring of countless other species of plants and animals. Addressing human population growth from a purely ecological perspective is entirely consistent with the protection of human and non-human rights and does not damage either movement, but failing to do so will.

Watson’s alliance with immigration foes has caused some consternation and criticism among liberal-leaning activists, so McCoy’s effort to say that there simply is no such alliance is understandable. But she might have clued in Paul Watson, since the Sea Shepherd site endorsed all three of the leading anti-immigration candidates for the Sierra Club board in a February press release,

The Sea Shepherd Endorsement for Sierra Club Directors

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is endorsing the following distinguished candidates for the 2004 election to the Board of Directors of the Sierra Club.

We urge our supporters who are members of the Sierra Club to look for your ballots in March 2004 and to consider voting for the candidates listed below.

. . .

Governor Richard Lamm

Why: Because as a three time elected Democratic Governor of Colorado with an excellent environmental record, Dick Lamm will be a strong and distinguished voice on the Board. Governor Lamm has been a long time supporter of the Sierra Club.

Frank L. Morris

Why: Because as a retired State Department foreign service officer and former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation he brings both a knowledge of international affairs and minority concerns to the Sierra Club Board. His ballot statement talks about helping the Club with one of its longstanding internal challenges, diversifying its membership base. “I seek a leadership position in our Club because I deeply share our core values of protecting the planet,” he wrote. “I will effectively represent us in settings not always open to our message-in minority and disadvantaged communities, in Congress, and in leading the defeat of President Bush.”

Dr. David Pimentel

Why: Because Cornell University entomologist Prof. David Pimental is a respected ecologist and expert on the impact of human population growth on eco-systems. The Sierra Club needs the expertise of Dr. Pimentel.

Lamm, by the way, shares some of the animal rights animosity toward medical technology and research. As he put it in an infamous 1984 speech, “We’ve got a duty to die and get out of the way with all of our machines and artificial hearts and everything else like that and let the other society — our kids — build a reasonable life.”


Personal statement from Kim McCoy. Kim McCoy, Undated.

The Sea Shepherd Endorsement for Sierra Club Directors. Press Release, Sea Shepherd, February 12, 2004.

Paul Watson Attempts Takeover of the Sierra Club

Paul Watson’s announcement last summer at AR 2003 that he was just three seats away from controlling the board of the Sierra Club suddenly started getting a lot of media attention in early 2004 as the Sierra Club’s April election deadline comes closer.

The Sierra Club, of course, has a $95 million budget which Watson wants to control in order to push his agenda. According to the Center for Consumer Freedom, Watson said at that time,

One of the reasons that I’m on the, um, the Sierra Club board of directors right now is to try and change it Â… we’re only three directors away from controlling that board. We control one-third of it right now. And, uh, once we get three more directors elected, the Sierra Club will not, no longer be pro-hunting and pro-trapping and we can use the resources of the $95-million-a-year budget to address some of these issues. And the heartening thing about it is that, in the last election, of the 750,000 members of the Sierra Club, only 8 percent of them voted. So, you know, a few hundred, or a few thousand people from the animal rights movement joining the Sierra Club — and making it a point to vote — will change the entire agenda of that organization.

According to Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope, about 18 percent of Sierra Club members fish or hunt, and Pope worries that those individuals would be driven from the organization and that it would end up marginal,

It’s important to have hunters and fisherman in the Sierra Club. We are a big-tent organization. We want the Sierra Club to be a big-tent organization. We want the Sierra Club to be a comfortable place for Americans who want clean air, clean water, and to protect America’s open spaces.

The most amusing commentary on the controversy came from FARM USA’s Alex Hershaft who distributed a letter charging that it was, in fact, the hunters and fisherman who were trying to take over the Sierra Club rather than vice versa. According to Hershaft,

The Sierra Club, with 750,000 members and a $95 million annual budget, is being hijacked by the hunting, trapping, and fishing cadres in the forthcoming Board election. Their leaders have been urging members to join the Sierra Club in droves. We can not do any less.

Hershaft parted ways with reality long ago, so this claim should not surprise anyone.

According to Hershaft the three candidates the animal rights activists want to win are activists Kim McCoy and Robert Roy van de Hoek as well as Cornell University Professor David Pimentel.

Pimentel is part of the other group that is trying to hijack the Sierra Club — an organized effort by right wingers and extreme environmentalists to turn the Sierra Club into an anti-immigration organization. A few years ago this coalition managed to put up to a vote by the members a proposed anti-immigration stance that they wanted the Sierra Club would take, but that failed. Along with Dick Lamm and Frank Morris and promoted by racist web sites like VDARE.Org, the anti-immigration effort has also seen the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Morris Dees enter his name as a candidate for the board in order to protest and highlight the anti-immigration effort.


Keep the Sierra Club Out of Hunters’ Clutches! Letter, Alex Hershaft, January 23, 2004.

Sierra Club: Ever More Radical. Center for Consumer Freedom, September 4, 2003.