November 2, 1998
Let me add another word to your vocabulary: ecoterrorism. Now I don't know if Ron Harris will ever use it as his "word of the day." But I do know this, broadcasters are unfortunately going to be using it more and more.

The latest incident took place in Vail, Colorado where the Earth Liberation Front set fires causing more than $12 million in damage. The reason? They wanted to stop development of a ski area that they believed was critical habitat for the lynx—a tuft-eared bobcat that hasn't been seen in Vail in more than 20 years.

Ecoterrorism started a decade ago with tree-spiking. When chain saws hit the spikes, the saws shatter sending deadly shrapnel in all directions. Ecoterrorists also would pour sand in the fuel tanks of logging trucks, cut down fences, and set small fires. Up until now the targets were mining and logging. October 1998 changed all that. Now environmental extremists have another target: tourism.

Vail, Colorado is the nation's busiest ski resort. Six days before the fires, Vail Associates began clearing trees and putting up fences for a 885-acre expansion known as Category III. The Earth Liberation Front burned it down, and warned skiers to "choose other destinations until Vail cancels" its plans. By the way, ski season open November 6. And Vail is also the site for the 1999 World Alpine Skiing Championships.

Will the Earth Liberation Front strike again? Probably, and that's all the more reason for law enforcement officials at every level to investigate and prosecute these actions. Ecoterrorism is alive in America, and we would do well to learn the lesson from third world countries that have to deal with terrorism on a regular basis. Prosecute and convict these environmental extremists before more damage in done and someone is killed.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.

© 1998 Probe Ministries International