Trees spiked to stop Lake Erie road project

spectr17

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PittsburghPost Gazette editorial

Eco-criminals / Vandalism in Erie is counterproductive

Friday, April 12, 2002

Extremism in the pursuit of environmental protection is no virtue. You'd think the shadowy activists who inserted metal spikes into trees to stop a $31 million highway project in Erie last week would have learned a thing or two from the recent history of modern extremist movements in America.

Instead of constructive debate or even acts of civil disobedience that don't imperil life or limb, the nihilists of the Earth Liberation Front have resorted to acts of sabotage to further what many would consider legitimate goals.

Unfortunately, the debate about the construction of a proposed highway running along the southern shore of Lake Erie has been obscured by mindless acts of vandalism that could result in the death or injury of workers trying to cut down trees.

The Earth Liberation Front claims to have driven ceramic and metal spikes into unidentified trees scheduled for removal. The group also torched a construction crane on the site last month. Each act of protest has ratcheted up the potential harm to workers caught between ELF and the mandate of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

This isn't the way any legitimate debate about the impact of road construction on the environment should proceed. There are too many ways within the parameters of the American political arena to effect policy without resorting to vandalism.

Acts of sabotage and wanton destruction of property attributed to the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front have risen dramatically since the mid-1990s. By their own count, the two groups have committed 600 acts of vandalism -- enough to move them to the top of the FBI's list of domestic terrorists.

Recently, state Sen. Joseph Scarnati, a Republican representing counties around the Allegheny National Forest, introduced legislation dealing specifically with "eco-terrorism." The Post-Gazette opposed his effort because there are plenty of laws already on the books to deal with the crimes inherent in such acts.

Yet the eco-aggressors in Erie, by threatening life and limb of innocent workers on a construction job, only encourage such rash responses from the Legislature, not to mention the public.
 

Freedom

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That actually happened about 4 miles from where I'm sitting right now.  Right over by my college alma mater of Penn State-Erie.  Amazing that the E.L.F. feels a tree's "life" is equal to that of a mans'.  If I was a family member of one of the men there cutting trees and he was hurt or killed, I'd sue the pants off of the E.L.F.  They supposedly "protect" nature but with disregard to human life.  Sick.
 

Sidekick

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What's the big deal. Move from chainsaws to dynamite and blow the friggin trees out of the way !
 

MNTNMAN

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That has been going on in Oregon for many years now. Most of it has happend on USFS ground. It just ends up costing the tax payers more, because after the trees are spiked they have to pay someone to go around to all the trees with a metal detector. That is one more reason the USFS has lost so much money on their timber sales. But that is a whole other story.
 
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