Bullying, Ruining Reputations, and Psychological Warfare

Bullying, Ruining Reputations, and Psychological Warfare


Submitted by: Shannon Albrecht

The “sue and settle” tactics of the Center for Biological Diversity:

          “First, the private environmental group sues the EPA in federal court seeking to force it to issue new regulations by a date certain. Then agency and group officials meet behind closed doors to hammer out a deal. Typically in the deal, the government agrees to do whatever the activists want. The last step occurs when the judge issues a consent decree that makes the deal the law of the land. No messy congressional hearings. No public comment period. No opportunity for anybody outside the privileged few to know how government regulatory policy is being shaped until it’s too late.”

          The Department of Justice data shows that between the years of 2009-2012, American taxpayers footed the bill for more than $53 million in environmental groups’ legal fees. It is widely known that groups like the Center for Biological Diversity (Exec. Director: Kieran Suckling/former Forest Service employee) despise fossil fuels. The CBD brags about its use of lawsuits to block development, but it isn’t just oil and gas they block; it’s virtually ALL human activity.

          Whether it be someone interested in protecting sheep, a fisherman, or an attorney representing ranchers, they all seem to have a common thorn in their side. That thorn is the CBD.

  • According to Amos Eno (http://www.resourcesfirstfoundation.org/our-people), who has been involved in conservation for more than 40 years, “CBD doesn’t care about the critters. They are creating a listing pipeline and then making money off of it.”

  • Environmental writer Ted Williams, in a piece on wolves, called CBD http://e360.yale.edu/feature/should_wolves_stay_protected_under_endangered_species_act/2674/ : “perennial plaintiffs.”

  • New Mexico rancher Stephen Wilmeth states that the CBD’s efforts targeted livestock grazing and sought “the removal of cattle from hundreds of miles of streams. CBD has elevated sue and settle tactics, injunctions, new species listings, and bad press surrounding legal action to a modern art form.”

  • According to an article on Forbes: (http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidblackmon/2013/05/27/the-sue-and-settle-racket/#6dcadfc05e32) “Bullying, ruining reputations, and psychological warfare – it all sounds like something out of ‘The Sopranos’, doesn’t it?  Try to imagine the outrage that would emanate from the nation’s news media if the leader of an oil and gas industry trade association, or CEO of a coal company bragged about deploying similar anti-government, anti-societal tactics in an interview. No industry leader would keep his job for more than a few days after uttering such statements in public.”

  • Looking at the Center’s 2009 IRS Form 990 report it clearly shows on page 9: “legal settlement” income of $1,173,517. The 2008 CBD form 990 shows $1,398,161 in “cost recovery for environmental litigation” at page 9 of that filing. On their 2007 Form 990 at page 8 they list an income source called “cost recovery” of $486,032.

          The Center ranks people second. By their accounting, all human endeavors are subordinate to the habitat requirements of all the world’s obscure animals and plants. But these selfish people don’t care about any person, plant, or animal. The Center collects obscure and unstudied species for a single purpose, specifically for use in their own genre of lawsuits. They measure their successes not by quality of life for man or animal, but by counting wins in court like notches in the handle of a gun. – According to their own board member; who isn’t particularly liked by the executive director of the CBD, Kieran Suckling.

          How did the CBD get such a broad-based collection of negativity from within their own community? According to writer Ted Williams: “Environmentalists who are paying attention are not happy with CBD.”

          Kieran Suckling, a former Forest Service employee, and executive director of the CBD, is gleeful over its results. CBD has sued government agencies hundreds of times and has won the majority of the cases. Although, many never go to court and are settled in a backroom deal (sue and settle). “They are extremely proud to report that single-handedly they deplete the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s entire annual budget, an approximate $5 million, for endangered species listings year after year by forcing them to use their limited funds defending lawsuits instead of their intended purpose.” -Thomas writes

          In a wide-ranging interview  Suckling defends his tactics – which he explains in the New Yorker, as “we are in the position of being able to powerfully negotiate the terms. Psychological warfare is a very underappreciated aspect of environmental campaigning.” 

CYMERA_20160409_221435-186x300          March 21, 2016/Kieran Suckling’s description of the photo to the left“Thanks Candy Henderson for memorial Bundy psychopath militia T-shirt. Let’s camp in Mexico nxt.” Suckling wrote an Op-Ed titled, “Lawmaker Embraces A Racist And Violent Movement.” He has made numerous false statements about Arizona Rep Bob Thorpe, Cliven Bundy, and the Americans who traveled to Nevada to stand with Mr. Bundy. He falsely calls Cliven Bundy a ranting, disgraced racist. This accusation is based on a video tape of Cliven Bundy that was heavily edited to distort his statements. This hacked up video traveled like wildfire from one media outlet to another. In response, one of Bundy’s volunteer bodyguards, who happens to be African American, spoke in defense of Cliven, stating: “I’d take a bullet for him.” This same man, a Marine, also stated: “He might not be tactful, but one thing he isn’t is a racist.”

          Suckling is also known for calling the “militia” who arrived to defend Bundy, “thugs.” He personally ignores the fact that the BLM arrived first, heavily armed, with posted snipers on hilltops, and aiming weapons at supporters who were taking photographs of the historic event. This was just his first go-round with the Bundy Family. We will be taking a closer look in further articles at his continued agenda directly affecting hard-working ranching families such as the Bundys and how he and his CBD profits at their demise.

 CYMERA_20160409_212045         Tierra Curry is listed as a “senior scientist” for CBD and says she “focuses on the listing and recovery of endangered species.” She has quite the odd profile for an activist. She once claimed to have enjoyed dynamiting creek beds in rural Kentucky and taking perverse pleasure at sending fish and aquatic animals flying onto dry land and certain death. Now Curry spends her time filing petitions to ‘save’ some of the same animals she once enjoyed killing. Maybe Curry’s frantic listing efforts are her way of doing penance for her childhood critter-killing.

          In an April 8, 2014 hearing before the House Committee on Natural Resources, fifth-generation rancher and attorney specializing in environmental litigation, Karen Budd-Falen talked about the need for ESA reform, as four different House bills propose: “Public information regarding payment of attorney’s fees for ESA litigation is equally difficult to access.” Addressing HR 4316 – which requires a report on attorney’s fees and costs for ESA related litigation – she says: “It should not be a radical notion for the public to know how much is being paid by the federal government and to whom the check is written.” As she reports in her testimony, Budd-Falen’s staff did an analysis of the 276-page spreadsheet run released by the DOJ: “We believe when the curtain is raised we’ll be talking about radical environmental groups bilking the taxpayer for hundreds of millions of dollars, allegedly for ‘reimbursement for attorney fees.” Budd-Falen’s research shows that for groups like CBD – who sue on process not on substance – it really is about the money. An April 2012 study released by GAO found that, from FY 2001 through FY 2010, the government was forced to reimburse many of these same groups more than $21 million.

          Eno believes that for the CBD, it isn’t about the critters: “CBD endangers the endangered species program on multiple fronts. First, their petitions and listing suits use up significant financial and personnel resources of both Office of Endangered Species and solicitor’s office in the Department of Interior. This means less funding and personnel devoted to species recovery. Second, CBD suits antagonize and jeopardize recovery programs of cooperating federal land management agencies, particularly USFS and BLM. Third, their suits have hampered forest and grassland management thereby inviting forest fires which endanger both human and wildlife (sage grouse) communities throughout the west. Fourth, CBD suits antagonize, alienate and create financial hardship for affected private land owners, thereby reducing both public support and initiatives and active assistance for listed species recovery.”

          Groups like CBD have twisted the intent of the law. Put the focus back on actually saving the species rather than, as Wilmeth calls it: “the bastardized application of science, policy and education.”

          There has only been one legal victory won against the CBD; and a rancher won it. Arizona rancher Jim Chilton won a defamation suit against CBD with a $600,000 settlement.

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