Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Voice of Radical Environmentalism Heads South.. But Not For Retirement

 The Earth First! Journal celebrates its 30th year in print and in action with a move to the sub-tropics of Florida

 The image above was selected as one of "The Greatest Environmental Magazine Covers"

Lake Worth, FL-- For 30 years, the Earth First! Journal has been carrying news and opinions from the frontines of ecological resistance to readers around the world. While it has moved to several locations throughout its history, this winter will mark the first office in the South.

While the Journal will continue to cover global eco-defense movements, this relocation will also give Earth First! an opportunity to amplify its voice towards defending the Everglades, one of the largest roadless areas in the lower 48 states and protecting the imperiled coastline of the southeast.

The Earth First! (EF!) Journal focuses on ecological direct action no-compromise strategy, grassroots organizing and biocentric philosophy, including vocal support for underground eco-resistance, such as the Earth and Animal Liberation Fronts (ELF and ALF). The publication also often addresses indigenous solidarity, environmental justice and various forms of land-based struggles.

The publication is run a by an editorial collective of activists involved directly with the movement. For example, Leah Rothschild, a current Journal editor, first saw the publication while living at a tree sit overseas, against a rock mine slated to level the forest which bordered a national park and the ancient Nine Ladies stone circle in Derbyshire, England.

"I wanted to be a part of that sort of journalism, on the frontlines. Thanks to the Earth First! Journal, people around the world get involved with protests and blockades like the one at Nine Ladies." Says Rothschild. "And that's how we win."

The rock mining plan in Derbyshire was eventually canceled in 2008, due to the opposition.

The Journal is distributed in countries around the world, including the Philippines, Iceland and Australia. It is also circulated in dozens of prisons, with subscriptions to many eco-political prisoners here and abroad.

In its new Florida office, the EF! Journal Collective will be partnering with the local Everglades Earth First! (EEF!) group and the Night Heron Grassroots Activist Center, a community space which EEF! helped to open last year in the coastal city of Lake Worth.

Local EF! activists expect that the national attention brought by the Journal will aid in their various campaigns against government agencies and corporations such as:
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the people responsible for approving most every industrial project in the state;  
Florida Power & Light (FPL), trashing the state with power plants and pipelines;  
Scripps Biotech, clearing endangered species habitat for genetic engineering and animal testing labs;  
Palm Beach Aggregates, implicated in major political corruption, pursuing expansion of their rock mines into bordering cancer cluster neighborhoods; and  
Southern Waste Systems, using African-American neighborhoods as their dumping ground for construction debris, also implicated in political corruption.

The collective who produces the Journal also coordinates the EF! Speakers Bureau, a newly established project to facilitate EF!-oriented presentations for student and community groups.

More information about the EF! Journal can be found at:
(includes information on the release of the hot, new anniversary issue and the archive of selected articles from back issues)
(online daily reports from the eco-frontlines)
(find EF! speakers and trainers available for booking)

About partnering groups:


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Letter from PBCEC to new FAU President, Dr. Mary Jane Saunders, regarding impact to wildlife

 [Below is a letter sent by the PBCEC to FAU's new President.]

Mary Jane Saunders, Ph.D.
Florida Atlantic University
Administration Bldg., Room # 339
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431

Nov 16, 2010

Re: FAU’s disregard for protected wildlife and habitat

Dr. Saunders:

The Palm Beach county Environmental Coalition is disappointed with the disregard for wildlife that Florida Atlantic University (FAU) has shown on and near its campuses. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) list the Gopher Tortoise as a Threatened Species and the Burrowing Owl a Species of Special Concern which as you know have habitat designated for them on the FAU Boca Raton campus. It is your responsibility as the new president to ensure their survival by stopping further removal of their habitat.

As of right now, FAU is slated to build a road to the new stadium which will go through current Gopher Tortoise and Burrowing Owl habitat. Too much encroachment has already occurred as the animals are surrounded by concrete, parking lots and multiple story buildings. To put another road which intersects the conservation area would not just reduce their habitat area, but increase their exposure to toxins, pollutants, noise pollution, etc. It would also drastically increase the chances that these beautiful creatures would die at the hands of careless drivers.

This environmental devastation extends beyond the single campus in Boca Raton. To the north, across from Jupiter campus, FAU has remained complicit while a partner of the University, Scripps Florida, plans to further wipe out the habitat of Gopher Tortoises and endangered species, such as the Hand Fern (Ophioglossum Palmatum), by building a biotech research park and animal testing laboratory.

On this 700 acre forest, citizen surveyors (1) recorded the location of over 50 colonies of Hand Ferns. This endangered plant cannot be relocated. As a shade dependent fern, no relocation methods have been successful; it dies almost every time it is removed from its host cabbage palm. If the Florida Natural Areas Inventory is correct in its estimation of Hand Fern populations in the state, then Scripps could be decimating 2% of the species. (2)

We analyzed the DRI done on this property and they noted only two Hand Ferns. As a partner with Scripps, can you reassure us, the community, and the student population that FAU is doing all it can to preserve and protect all of Florida's endangered and threatened species on this property?

FAU should not further impact the habitat of these listed species on any of their property. And it has a moral obligation to speak out regarding the practice of its partners and neighbors. The school’s Conservation Committee is a step in the right direction, however; this has not prevented the continued shrinking of the Boca’s campuses on-site Preserve and the loss of other open lands.

We join other organizations in urging you to set aside the Preserve and other available open lands on campus through a Conservation Easement or similar program. We also recommend that funds be allocated on an annual basis to manage these habitats appropriately for tortoises and owls.

Without ongoing management, these lands will quickly become unsuitable for these species. FAU has unique habitats that are rapidly disappearing throughout south Florida, and it is your responsibility to ensure their preservation. It would be a great embarrassment for the school if they were to lose the resident population of their mascot.

These habitats and wildlife can and are being used for educational purposes. Several research studies have been conducted by students and faculty on the Preserve and open areas. We feel the educational opportunities on Jupiter campuses neighboring Briger Tract also deserve to be seriously evaluated.

Please let me know at your earliest convenience what steps the university is taking to prevent the loss of these unique species and habitat. We would like to set up a meeting to discuss this topic with you.


Panagioti Tsolkas
Rachel Kijewski
Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition

(1) Please see attached document: Impacts to Listed Species and Threatened Habitat on Proposed Scripps Phase II Development / Briger Tract

(2) Florida Natural Areas Inventory, Field Guide "Hand Fern". 2000

Monday, November 1, 2010

Lisa Maxwell and Carla Blockson taking dirty money from Waste Transfer Dump

Despite ongoing efforts to keep dirty money out of election, developer candidate Lisa Maxwell accepted $2,500 from 5 different companies all operating out of the Southern Waste Systems facility on the Lantana/Lake Worth border. Last report the BACPAC took over $1000 from SWS et al, and has been using the money to support Maxwell and Blockson.

See for yourself in Lisa Maxwell's G4 financial report

Or the BACPAC's report