Skip to comments.Cattle Update: Arizona Cattleman Wins Libel Suit
Posted on 01/30/2005 10:56:12 AM PST by madfly
Washington, D.C. (Jan. 26, 2005) A Pima County jury has awarded Arizona rancher Jim Chilton $600,000 in a libel suit against the Tucson-based environmental group, Center for Biological Diversity. On Jan. 21, jurors in Pima County Superior Court voted 9-1 that the Center made false, unfair, libelous and defamatory statements regarding Chilton's management of his Forest Service grazing allotment.
Chilton, a fifth generation producer and member of the Public Lands Council (PLC) and National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA), claimed the Center made false statements about him in a news advisory, and that the Center posted defaming photographs of his operation on its web site. The photos of Chiltons grazing allotment showed barren patches of ground which the Center said illustrated damage done by grazing. Chilton's lawyer, armed with wide-angle photos taken at the same locations, argued that the surroundings were worthy of a postcard, with oaks and mesquites dotting lush, rolling hills.
The Center for Biological Diversity tried to further its political agenda by attacking Jim Chilton and alleging that he was mismanaging his 21,500-acre Forest Service grazing allotment, when nothing could be further from the truth, says Jeff Eisenberg, NCBA director of federal lands and PLC executive director. Ultimately, the goal of activist groups like these is to end grazing on public lands. Were glad there are folks like Jim Chilton who wont let that happen.
Chilton has said he will donate some of the $100,000 in actual damages and $500,000 in punitive damages to the Arizona Cattle Growers Associations legal fund to be used in fights for truth and responsibility for cattle grazing issues.
NCBA and the Public Lands Council decry efforts by activist groups that try to portray grazing in a negative light. "Unfortunately, many of our members are forced to deal with this kind of harassment as they go about earning their livelihoods and building their communities, says Eisenberg. When environmental groups engage in these public fights, it does little to meet the mutual goal of conserving resources."
Eisenberg says this verdict sets an important precedent and will hopefully dissuade other activist groups from trying to libel ranchers in the future. The jury's award is an important vindication for Jims position and for stockgrowers everywhere. PLC and NCBA congratulate Chilton for his important work in support of responsible management of our public lands.
Hooray for the Good Guys!
Update on Center for Biological Frivolity Litigators getting theirs!!!! Ping your friends :)
Such good news!!
What a guy!
Arizona Cattle Grower's Association
The Arizona Cattle Growers' Association (ACGA) is a non-profit organization founded in 1904 to properly represent the ranchers of the state and to protect the cattle industry. It has grown to include more than 2,000 cow/calf producers, business associates, individual associates and friends of the industry from every county in Arizona.
ACGA offers member benefits such as group health insurance and workers' compensation insurance plans, discounts from local merchants and full-time representation in the legislative and executive branches of state and federal government. ACGA staff members monitor federal, state and county agency regulations and in recent years monitor court decisions that affect ranch families.
Due to the dozens of lawsuits filed in the past few years by activist organizations, ACGA has also established a litigation fund to defend ranching in both state and federal courts.
I wonder if the Forest Sevice was also included in this suit? If so their (the so called Center for Bio Diversity) legal expenses, at least in part will probably be paid for by you and me. This is the part that of the law that needs to be changed.
These environmental lawsuits are just part of a lawyer employment act.
The enviro lawyers should have each been given 90 days for contempt of court for filing this case. The time should be with out privledge that is no phone calls, no visitors, no mail and no computer access. If more lawyers were given time for filing false cases there would be a lot less of them filed. We can't assume that the "good ole boy network" of the Bar will police itself, after all they never have.
ping,,,, just in case you didn't get the AFIA or NCA email message.
Save the ESA! Post-election rider targets habitat
Your letter will be addressed and sent to:
----THIS LETTER WILL BE SENT IN YOUR NAME----
Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],
California developers are pressuring members of Congress to place a rider on the upcoming Omnibus Appropriations Bill to fundamentally weaken the Endangered Species Act. The amendments would be the most significant changes to the ESA since 1982. Massive public policy changes should not be done through stealth riders. They should be subject to rigorous public review and debate. Please do not allow the rider to be attached or to be voted through on the Omnibus coattails.Attention Anti-Enviro Extremists Activists: Sign up for this newsletter to respond to your Congressmen in opposition to these insane campaigns.
RIDER 1. For almost 20 years, federal agencies have used a controversial Reagan-era regulation that undermines the recovery of endangered species by allowing the destruction and degradation of their critical habitats. In the past four years, three different federal appeals courts have ruled that the regulation is illegal. The most recent decision states: "This can not be right. If the [U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service] follows its own regulation, then it is obligated to be indifferent to, if not to ignore, the recovery goal of critical habitat." The victory should issue in a new conservation era that focuses on recovery of endangered species, not merely keeping them alive in a continuous endangered state. Developers want to override the Endangered Species Act and the courts to undermine recovery, allowing critical habitats to be destroyed and wildlife populations to continue their slow spiral toward extinction.
RIDER 2. The rider also seeks to shield logging, development, mining and other large-scale plans from scientific review and reform -even when the plans are proven by scientists to be pushing imperiled plants and animals to extinction. The rider would thus amend the ESA to include the controversial "no surprises" policy created in the mid-1990s. Like the anti-critical habitat regulation, this plan was also struck down by the courts. Developers want the outdated policy made a permanent part of the ESA even though it has been thoroughly opposed by scientists and is currently being rewritten to include greater public review and to remove its most glaring flaws. The developers don't want to wait for public review; they don't want the flaws removed; they want the plan enshrined in its worst, most damaging form.
Please oppose these riders to the Omnibus Appropriations Bill. Riders take the public out of public policy. They shield controversial, damaging proposals from debate and examination. In this case, they would weaken the fundamental underpinnings of the Endangered Species Act: recovery, habitat protection, and good science. We need more recovery of endangered species not less. We need more protection of essential habitat areas, not less. And we need to change management plans in response to new scientific research, not blindly lock plans into place.
----END OF LETTER TO BE SENT----
Sincerely, EnviroWhacko members of Center for Biological Insanity!
If you received this message from a friend, you can sign up for Center for Biological Diversity - Biodiversity Activist at:
Yes, they get reimbursed regardless of outcome. Rush was talking about this last week.
Thanks for the deep set smile. I'll keep it at least through the weekend.
BTTT for post 13
Even if they just got paid if they won, it needs to be counterbalanced with a disincentive to file harassing or frivolous lawsuits. Otherwise they would have nothing at risk by filing on marginal or clearly frivolous cases. They shouldn't only not get paid if they lose, there should be some civil or criminal penalty. If they don't like that they can just go back to doing it on their own nickel.
Also, I suspect some house cleaning would be in order at EPA itself. Probably a hand-in-fist relationship with the green weenies where the bureaucrats job is to put on the weakest possible defense and fall on their sword.
Good luck on collecting the judgement.
They'll close their doors tomorrow and open undera new name next week.
There needs to be a more permanent solution.
I also believe that certain bureaucrats in the EPA let the activist groups win lawsuits inorder to further their intrusive policies.
isn't that special!!!!
Kierán Suckling, Policy Director, oversees development and implementation of the Centers endangered species protection and wilderness conservation strategy. He acts as liaison between the Center and other environmental and public interest groups, handles negotiations with government agencies, and writes and lectures widely on biodiversity issues. Kierán holds an MA in Philosophy from the State University of New York at Stonybrook and a BA from Holy Cross; he is a Board member of Southwest Trout, Western Native Trout Campaign, Southwest Forest Alliance, and the Endangered Species Coalition.
Contact: Tucson, AZ, 520.623.5252 ext 305, email@example.com
Center for BioDumba$$$$ lose to Rancher. That's one now we need more to break their bank and power.
. . . . .The suit was filed, according to Chilton, because he wanted to challenge the way the Center for Biological Diversity does business. "They don't use science, they use scare tactics," said Chilton. "They also use endangered species as surrogates to obtain their own goals and to raise money," he added.
The jury agreed with Chilton's claim, citing the Center did make false statements in a news advisory, and that misleading photographs were used in an unsuccessful effort to block renewal of Chilton's grazing permit. The jury also cited that the Center did not accurately describe the condition of the grazing allotment.
"Four of the photographs were of other people's private property," Chilton said.
"What they do is sue the forest service," Chilton explained.
"If the forest service doesn't do something they (Center for Biological Diversity) ask for an injunction to end grazing until the forest service rights its wrong."
"In 1999 I was involved in a lawsuit that affected 85 ranches in the southwest, including Santa Cruz County"
The source of these controversial lawsuits are two endangered animal species: the lesser long nosed bat and Sonoran chub, a small fish endemic to the Sonoran Desert.
Chilton explained that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) published an opinion that cattle grazing would "likely adversely affect the Sonoran Chub."
In order for Chilton to continue grazing on certain pastures, a biologist, zoologist, fish biologist, rangeland conservation expert and botanist would have to inspect his pastures nine times a year.
"That would have wiped me out," said Chilton, adding, "I objected strenuously to this ruling and filed a lawsuit with the Arizona Cattle Growers' Association" and eventually had the ruling overturned. . . . . . . . . .
Great news, thanks.
Thanks for the ping. We are at our first destination now, signed on and running like a top.
Not as I understand the case (I posted a thread about a week ago on the same case, based on article in local rag (AZ Daily Star, Tucson)).
In this case the cattleman sued the enviro-weenie group for libel. There was no Forest Service or other government agency involved. The 'Center for Bio Diversity' is an NGO (Non-Government Organization).
I mistated. What I meant was the lawsuits in general that originate from this so called front for unemployed lawyers. If they sue a Gov agency, along with the alledged offender then they can recover costs from the taxpayers.
Bout Time !!!!!!!!!!!!!
....until we run them out of money and friends.
What, no spotted owls??? Seriously, this is great news.
ping for Chilton family
Ancient forests, free-flowing rivers, living oceans and deserts and the abundance of life they contain: all these, having evolved over millions of years, are in danger of vanishing from the world within decades. In the grips of an explosion of extinctions that is unprecedented in history, we are now seeing the disappearance of biological and habitat diversity across the globe as wild lands and waters are desecrated and species are driven extinct.
At the same time-under the advance of a rapacious and homogenizing global economy driven by human population growth and resource consumption-traditional and smaller societies are being subsumed and destroyed, and with their destruction linguistic and cultural diversity are also in drastic decline.
At the Center we believe that the health and vigor of human societies and the integrity and wildness of the natural environment are closely linked. Beyond their extraordinary intrinsic value, animals and plants, in their distinctness and variety, offer irreplaceable emotional and physical benefits to our lives and play an integral part in culture. Their loss, which parallels the loss of diversity within and among human civilizations, impoverishes us beyond repair.
Combining conservation biology with litigation, policy advocacy, and an innovative strategic vision, the Center for Biological Diversity is working to secure a future for animals and plants hovering on the brink of extinction, for the wilderness they need to survive, and by extension for the spiritual welfare of generations to come.
Join us in the fight to keep the wild alive.
I hope he starts collection actions!
He can take posession of the organizations name! He can take posession of the donor list! He can take possession of the MAILING LIST!
If they try and conceal assets they can be held in contempt!
(plus in judgment collections proceedings, THE LOOSER PAYS ATTORNEY FEES! )
If they transfer assets such as a member list or donor list to a new organization, he can get a cease and decist order and obtain MORE DAMAGES!
see above post.
It does not take only money. There is much much more, he can literally OWN the organization and shut them down IF they don't pay up.
He is probably the only creditor of the organization too.
Forgot to mention the fun part.
When you file an appeal YOU HAVE TO POST A BOND TO PROTECT THE JUDGMENT HOLDER!
You don't hear much about this since most bonds are posted by insurance companies.
Does anyone know if the envirowackos used their own lawyers? If so then they have not insurance company backing them.
THEY MAY NOT BE ABLE TO POST A BOND, WHICH MEANS THIS CASE CAN NOT BE APPEALED.
I was watching a show the other day on RFD-TV. Which showed how cattle farmers, who cared more about the land the some of these so-call enviros. Were not going to be able to pass their farms down to their children, because of these so called enviro laws.
It's enuff to piss one off..
About time they started using the Commie's tactics against them.
One down, how many more thousands to go?
The good guys won one ~ perfect!