The Wildlands Project
Three different but related organizations,
all known as "The Wildlands Project"
(a Vermont corporation, 1991)
Formerly doing business as The Wildlands Project (trade name registered
Now doing business as The Wildlands Network
name registered 2008)
organizations promoting a continental-scale program to de-develop North America and
technological and industrial civilization.
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.
linkage: All three organizations
are commonly known as "The Wildlands Project" because they were
based on a wilderness preservation concept forwarded primarily by
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
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 EnvironmentalJournal, 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
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.
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.
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.
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
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).
Wild Child: Davis agreed to shut down Earth First! Journal
and edit the new
to be calledWild Earth. The first
issue was in mockup form in January, 1991, and the Library of
Congress registered the Wild Earth International Standard
(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
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.
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
their lawyers gave up and recommended a plea agreement. All five accepted a guilty
plea agreement and the trial was halted August 14, 1991.
later, Foreman signed two plea agreements at the same time, both
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
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
WILDLANDS PROJECT'S THREE CORPORATE PROFILES
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
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.
"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.
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.
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.
WILD EARTH SOCIETY
PO BOX 225
City State Zip
EAST THETFORD VT
PO BOX 225
City State Zip
EAST THETFORD VT
Last Biennial Report
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 Projectprocess: The project itself was developed from the raw
concept of 1983 into a coherent plan with scientific and legal
underpinnings primarily by three credentialed academicians (although
others were influential):
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
and a Professor of Environmental Studies
of California at Santa
Cruz, now emeritus.
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."
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
North American Wilderness Recovery, Inc. in Arizona.
Current Arizona records show:
Arizona Corporate Inquiry
File Number: -0526046-1
Corp. Name: NORTH AMERICAN WILDERNESS RECOVERY
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
Original Publish Date:
8613 HORACIO Pl NE
Date of Taking Office:
WILLIAM DAVID FOREMAN
PO BOX 13768
Date of Taking Office:
1027 B HOMESTEAD LN
Date of Taking Office:
Special relationships: Dave Foreman
list of officers upon incorporation January 27, 1992, and directors
(other dates) was:
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).
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
complete 1995 North American Wilderness Recovery, Inc filing with the
state of Arizona,
(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
3: On July 29, 2005, the officers of Wild Earth Society
Incorporated (the Vermont corporation) incorporated their group
in Florida, using the name,
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
by Entity Name
Foreign Non Profit Corporation
Cross Reference Name
EARTH SOCIETY, INC
TITUSVILLE FL 32780 US
TITUSVILLE FL 32783-5284 US
Registered Agent Name & Address
2608 APPLEWOOD DR
TITUSVILLE FL 32780 US
Name & Address
PO BOX 1808
PAONIA CO 81428 US
PO BOX D-2
ELIZABETHTOWN NY 12932 US
PO BOX 725
MCMINNVILLE OR 97128 US
417 EAST STORY ST
BOZEMAN MT 59715 US
11022 BONNET HOLE DRIVE
THONOTPSASSA FL 33592 US
2608 APPLEWOOD DRIVE
TITUSVILLE FL 32780 US