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
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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.
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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.
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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.