Cheat-Seeking Missles

Friday, March 04, 2005

Another Big E-Activist Loss

A judge has confirmed a $611,850.62 defamation verdict against the environmental litigation mill Center for Biological Diversity for defaming an Arizona rancher.

As CSM reported earlier, the Center distributed a news release with photos purporting to show that Jim Chilton and the Chilton Ranch and Cattle Company were abusing their Forest Service lease by allowing the forests to be degraded by cattle. Chilton took wide-angle photos of the same shots the Center took, showing the Center's photos were, in fact, nonrepresentative and slanderous close-ups of a well maintained landscape.

But here's the show-stopper. The case revealed that the Center, which has sued the federal government more than 170 times, collected $990,000 in legal settlements, mostly from the US government, in 2003 alone.

These are not lawsuits that protect the environment. They are usually filed when a government agency misses a deadline -- typically because they are swamped by other lawsuits filed by the Center, the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council and other litigation mills. They are slam-dunk cases that waste your tax dollars, protect no critters, and enrich a small group of activist, cash-hungry attorneys.

Ted Turner, the Pew Charitable Trust and the Foundation for Deep Ecology are among the major contributors to this scam, according to Undue Influence.