Ron Arnold's Green Tracking Library

Disambiguation
The Wildlands Project
Three different but related organizations,
all known as "The Wildlands Project"

Wild Earth Society, Incorporated (a Vermont corporation, 1991)
Formerly doing business as The Wildlands Project (trade name registered 2001)

Now doing business as The Wildlands Network (trade name registered 2008)


and

North American Wilderness Recovery Incorporated (an Arizona corporation, 1992 - informally also known as The Wildlands Project)
Also doing business as The Rewilding Institute (trade name registered 2003)

and
 

Wildlands Project, Inc. (a Florida corporation, 2005)

Three related organizations promoting a continental-scale program to de-develop North America and "unmake" its technological and industrial civilization.

This profile deals with context issues such as corporate structures, sequences of events and administrative details regarding the three organizations. See the separate profiles for programs and content issues.

 

Dave Foreman linkage: All three organizations are commonly known as "The Wildlands Project" because they were based on a wilderness preservation concept forwarded primarily by William David "Dave" Foreman, who was simultaneously the chief officer of the Vermont and Arizona corporations, but not the Florida Corporation. Foreman resigned from Wild Earth Society in 2003, but remains chairman of North American Wilderness Recovery, doing business as The Rewilding Institute.

Background: Dave Foreman had worked for the mainstream Wilderness Society in Washington, D.C. in the late 1970s and left in an internal shakeup that left him disillusioned with the half-measures and compromises in saving wilderness that politics required. "The Wildlands Project" was born out of that disillusionment and conceived by Dave Foreman, Howie Wolke and Bart Koehler in 1983 while on a Northern California recruiting "road show" for Earth First!, the radical environmental group they co-founded in 1980 with Mike Roselle and Ron Kezar. Foreman, already the charismatic leader of Earth First!, later emerged as the leading advocate of "The Wildlands Project."

The 1983 concept was called the "Earth First! Wilderness Preserve System." Foreman, Wolke and Koehler co-authored an article with that title in the June 21, 1983 issue of Earth First!: The Radical Environmental Journal, summarizing the idea:

It is not enough to preserve the roadless, undeveloped country remaining. We must re-create wilderness in large regions: move out the cars and civilized people, dismantle the roads and dams, reclaim the plowed land and clearcuts, reintroduce extirpated species.

The project seemed like mere bluster in 1983, and did not develop. However, in 1987 Foreman became notorious for releasing a saboteur manual titled, EcoDefense: A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching.
"Monkeywrenching" was a synonym for "sabotage" borrowed from Edward Abbey's novel, The Monkey Wrench Gang, in which environmentalists plot to blow up Glen Canyon Dam to return the Colorado River to its original state.
EcoDefense
provided detailed instructions for committing a wide array of crimes to save nature by destroying industrial infrastructure one piece at a time. It became the Earth First! bible. Unforeseen by Foreman, his EcoDefense manual also became a key element in turning the fizzled Earth First! Wilderness Preserve System into the credible threat of the Wildlands Project.

Foreman in trouble: EcoDefense fed a widespread crime wave that gave rise to headlines such as the Phoenix [Arizona] Gazette's, "Terrorism fears grow at home - Earth First!, other groups stir fears of injury, deaths."
The FBI conducted a sting operation to prosecute Foreman for conspiracy with a group of four activists plotting to blow up power lines at several nuclear power plants in the American Southwest. An undercover FBI agent obtained sufficient evidence to arrest Foreman at his Tucson, Arizona home on May 31, 1989 for providing cash to the four perpetrators to buy metal-cutting incendiary devices and instructions by providing them copies of his book EcoDefense.
Thus, Foreman's monkeywrenching manual was instrumental in bringing his sabotage advocacy career to an abrupt end and turning him to the Wildlands Project.

Foreman in makeover: Out on bail, Foreman rearranged his life in preparation for his felony conspiracy trial, which would not begin for another year.
First, Foreman resigned Earth First! in mid-August, 1990, stating that a new, younger generation had taken over and strayed from the original mission of saving wilderness in favor of leftist / anarchist protest blockades against timber and mining companies. Functionally, his departure triggered the mass defection of the older co-founders of Earth First!, leaving only the youngest co-founder, Mike Roselle, to lead the reinvented group. Instrumentally, Foreman's departure also distanced him from any criminal acts that might be carried out by activists in the name of Earth First! and affect the outcome of his upcoming felony conspiracy trial.

Second, in late 1990, Foreman invited Earth First! Journal editor John Davis to his new residence in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Together they planned to shut down the Earth First! Journal, and publish a new magazine that would transform Foreman's public image from eco-saboteur to a respectable advocate for non-criminal wilderness preservation.

They would portray Foreman as extreme enough to retain his radical wilderness constituency yet avoid prosecution - which might help at his trial (it didn't).


Foreman as Wild Child:
Davis agreed to shut down Earth First! Journal and
edit the new quarterly magazine, to be called Wild Earth. The first issue was in mockup form in January, 1991, and the Library of Congress registered the Wild Earth International Standard Serial Number (ISSN 1055-1166) Feb. 8, 1991. The first issue set the tone of respectability for Foreman by framing his homey feature, "Around the Campfire" with the words of notables ranging from a co-founder of Earth First! to a credentialed academic. Wild Earth's first issue:

Spring 1991 • Ecological Foundations for Big Wilderness; Howie Wolke on The Impoverished Landscape; Reed Noss on Florida Ecosystem Restoration, Biodiversity & Corridors in Klamath Mtns.; Earth First! Wilderness Preserve System; Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Marshall Plan; Dolores LaChapelle on Wild Humans; Dave Foreman “Around the Campfire; and Bill McCormick’s Is Population Control Genocide?

All perfectly legal (if edgy) save-the-earth public policy discussions, almost bland, with just a hint of chili pepper. Succeeding issues carried on the mix.
 

Foreman the felon: In April, 1991, the five bombing suspects' legal counsel began their trial as a media circus to justify vandalism to save nature, but the media paid no attention.

After more than three months' impassioned rhetoric, the judge was so unimpressed, the jury appeared so hostile, and their defense came across as so weak that their lawyers gave up and recommended a plea agreement. All five accepted a guilty plea agreement and the trial was halted August 14, 1991.

Three weeks later, Foreman signed two plea agreements at the same time, both dated September 6, 1991:
 

  • one, a guilty plea of felony conspiracy that would be reduced to a misdemeanor if he kept a clean slate for five years (United States of America v. David William Foreman [sic - his correct name is William David Foreman], case number CR-89-192-PHX-RCB, p. 12), and,

  • two, a guilty plea of misdemeanor depredation of government property, which would replace the felony plea upon five years of good behavior (CR-89-192-PHX-RCB, p. 2). He made good on the agreement and paid a $250 misdemeanor fine after the five years elapsed.

Foreman got no prison time, but could have no contact with Earth First! and do nothing to advocate criminal acts - as a convicted felon, he had no First Amendment civil rights. He was not only denied his charismatic radical leadership role, but also his income from Earth First!, although he was allowed to keep royalties from his January 1991 book, Confessions of an Eco-Warrior. After five years, the 1991 plea agreement was fulfilled, and Foreman was no longer a convicted felon.


THE WILDLANDS PROJECT'S THREE CORPORATE PROFILES

IMPORTANT NOTE: The corporate structures of the Wildlands Project have always operated as part of a network including many other groups and initiatives such as the "Yellowstone to Yukon" project and "wildlife corridor" campaigns, among many others. Some allied groups list their affiliation or connection to the Wildlands Project corporations, but many do not. Well over 200 different organizations share projects with the Wildlands Project corporations.

This network / coalition structure has led critics and the general public to treat the term "Wildlands Project" as a generic term, just as the brand name "Kleenex" is used for any kind of nose tissue. That creates damaging confusion among the victims of any Wildlands Project-type of restrictive land use campaign. People hurt by such campaigns don't know who to fight back against or how to trace who is paying for it.
 

THE GENERIC "WILDLANDS PROJECT" PROBLEM: Many citizens whose lives and property have been affected by some large-scale land use campaign think of it as "The Wildlands Project" whether or not any of the three corporations are involved. This creates a serious social, political and economic dilemma of identifying the source of their problem.

Thinking about "The Wildlands Project" as a vague, amorphous concept out to destroy private property and individual rights is accurate, but not useful for litigation, legislation, or organizing resistance campaigns. Detailed information about which groups are operating which campaigns is essential to combating forces out to "unmake civilization" and destroy the industrial and economic strength of the United States.

Identifying and analyzing the nodes in the network is a matter of national security. The following profiles of the seminal Wildlands Project corporations are critical starting points for those who want to fight back and win.


Corporation 1: Between the day the Earth First! trial halted (August 14) and the day Foreman signed his plea agreements (September 6), on August 21, 1991 a number of his friends incorporated a non-profit group in Vermont first known as the Cenozoic Society, Incorporated - Wild Earth. The hyphenated name changed in 2000 to Wild Earth Society Incorporated and Vermont records no longer show the original name.

Vermont Corporation Information (2009)

Corporation Name

WILD EARTH SOCIETY INCORPORATED

Corporation Status

Active

File No

N-07353-0

Type

Vermont

Incorporation Date

08/21/1991

Corporation Description

WILDLIFE RESEARCH/CONSERVATION

State of Incorporation

VT

Registered Agent

CONRAD REINING

Address

PO BOX 225

City State Zip

EAST THETFORD VT 05043

Officer 1

DENNIS SIZEMORE

Officer 2

JOHN DAVIS

Officer 3

DAVID JOHNS

Officer 4

ROB AMENT

Officer 5

MICHAEL SOULE

Officer 6

BARBARA DEAN

Officer 7

OSCAR MOCTEZUMA

Principal Street Address

PO BOX 225

City State Zip

EAST THETFORD VT 05043

Last Biennial Report filed

04/30/2008

The Cenozoic Society's sole activity was publishing Wild Earth, edited as agreed by John Davis, "melding conservation biology and wildlands activism". It was not originally the Wildlands Project, but within two years of its 1991 incorporation, its Vermont filings were included as part of the Arizona filings of North American Wilderness Recovery, as shown below, causing confusion among critics and the media as to who, what, and where the Wildlands Project really was.

The Wildlands Project process: The project itself was developed from the raw original Earth First! concept of 1983 into a coherent plan with scientific and legal underpinnings primarily by three credentialed academicians (although others were influential):

Reed F. Noss, Ph.D. (1988, Wildlife Ecology, University of Florida), who in 1991 was a research associate at Stanford University and research scientist at the University of Idaho, later an endowed professor at the University of Central Florida, with the specialty of "
Multicriteria conservation planning on regional to continental scales."




Michael E. Soulé, Ph.D (1964, Population Biology, Stanford University) in 1991 was the Chair and a Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz, now emeritus. Soulé is credited with promoting the concept of "conservation biology," which, in the words of retired U.S. Forest Service scientist Richard Everett, "is concerned only with plant and animal habitat and does not consider human use of the land."



David  A. Johns, Juris Doctor, earned degrees in law and political science from Columbia University. Currently Adjunct Professor of Political Science, Portland State University, Portland OR. He specializes in "place-based ecosystem conservation on a continental scale" and in "assuring the accountability and financial health of small nonprofits." In addition to teaching law and political science, he serves as treasurer of the Society for Conservation Biology, co-founded and remains a board member of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative and co-founded and was the first executive director of The Wildlands Project.
 


Corporation 2: By late January 1992, Dave Foreman had his affairs sufficiently in order after his felony conviction to help form North American Wilderness Recovery, Inc. in Arizona. Current Arizona records show:

Arizona Corporate Inquiry

File Number:  -0526046-1

Corp. Name: NORTH AMERICAN WILDERNESS RECOVERY

Domestic Address

PO BOX 13768

ALBUQUERQUE,  NM  87192

Additional Corporate Information

Corporation Type: NON-PROFIT

Business Type: OTHER

Incorporation Date:  01/27/1992

Corporate Life Period: PERPETUAL

Domicile:  ARIZONA

County: PIMA

Approval Date:  01/28/1992

Original Publish Date:  04/13/1992

Officer Information

DAVE PARSONS
CHAIRMAN
8613 HORACIO Pl NE
A16, NM  87111

Date of Taking Office: 09/27/2003
Last Updated:
08/29/2008

WILLIAM DAVID FOREMAN
CHAIRMAN
PO BOX 13768
ALBUQUERQUE, NM  87192

Date of Taking Office: 09/27/2003
Last Updated: 08/30/2006

ROXANNE PACHECO
TREASURER
1027 B HOMESTEAD LN
BERNALILLO, NM  87004

Date of Taking Office: 09/27/2003
Last Updated:
08/29/2008

Special relationships:
Dave Foreman and
Roxanne Pacheco
are siblings
 

The original list of officers upon incorporation January 27, 1992, and directors (other dates) was:

Officers: President: David A. Johns; Vice President and Secretary: Ron Mondt (former Earth First! activist);, Treasurer: Roxanne Pacheco (Dave Foreman's sister).
Directors: John Davis, editor, Wild Earth; Bill Devall, Sociology Professor, Humboldt State University and co-author Deep Ecology; Jim Eaton (former Wilderness Society operative with Foreman, Earth First! activist), Mitch Friedman (former Earth First! activist, Northwest Ecosystem Alliance executive director).

Bill Devall had a special relationship with Doug Tompkins, whose Esprit clothing fortune funded his Foundation for Deep Ecology, which was among the first major donors to support North American Wilderness Recovery. Devall served for a time as special advisor to Tompkins.

For the complete 1995 North American Wilderness Recovery, Inc filing with the state of Arizona, click here (large file, 2MB PDF). The form identifies the corporation as North American Wilderness Recovery, Inc except on page 3, where it is labeled The Wildlands Project and board members and officers of the Vermont corporation are listed, along with a large number of previously unlisted directors. The filing is exceptionally chaotic.


Corporation 3: On July 29, 2005, the officers of Wild Earth Society Incorporated (the Vermont corporation) incorporated their group in Florida, using the name, Wildlands Project, Incorporated. Their federal EIN (Employer Identification Number) remained the same as the Vermont corporation, and so carried the Vermont corporation's IRS exemption with it.

In 2008, Wild Earth Society Incorporated registered the trade name, The Wildlands Network, to indicate that the Wildlands Project had matured beyond being a project, or work-in-progress, to a finished and functional instrument of social change. For the organization's official explanation of the name change, see their report Wildlands Connection Fall 2008 ("Wildlands Project Grows with a New Name"). The Florida organization re-incorporate under the new name and remains recorded in Florida filings as the Wildlands Project, Inc. doing business as the Wildlands Network.

 

Florida Department of State
Division of Corporations

 

Detail by Entity Name

Foreign Non Profit Corporation

WILDLANDS PROJECT, INC.

Cross Reference Name

WILD EARTH SOCIETY, INC

Filing Information

Document Number

F05000004388

FEI/EIN Number

161402497

Date Filed

07/29/2005

State

VT

Status

ACTIVE

Principal Address

2608 APPLEWOOD DRIVE
TITUSVILLE FL 32780 US

Changed 03/21/2007

Mailing Address

PO BOX 5284
TITUSVILLE FL 32783-5284 US

Changed 03/21/2007

Registered Agent Name & Address

BOONE, SANDI
2608 APPLEWOOD DR
TITUSVILLE FL 32780 US

Officer/Director Detail

Name & Address

Title P

SOULE, MICHAEL
PO BOX 1808
PAONIA CO 81428 US

Title V

DAVIS, JOHN
PO BOX D-2
ELIZABETHTOWN NY 12932 US

Title S

JOHNS, DAVID
PO BOX 725
MCMINNVILLE OR 97128 US

Title T

AMENT, ROB
417 EAST STORY ST
BOZEMAN MT 59715 US

Title ED

MCKNIGHT, MARGO
11022 BONNET HOLE DRIVE
THONOTPSASSA FL 33592 US

Title O

BOONE, SANDI
2608 APPLEWOOD DRIVE
TITUSVILLE FL 32780 US

Annual Reports

Report Year

Filed Date

2007

03/21/2007

2008

03/05/2008

2009

04/25/2009

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