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International Engine Room Colorcode. Tool List. Optional Equipment. Secondary Sabotage Techniques. Ramming Ships. Destruction of Drift Nets. Engaging Naval Forces on the High Seas. Anti-Boarding Deterrents. The Eco-Navy. Ecodefense is a historical artifact. It be argued that it is the most controversial environmental book ever published; more importantly, though, it is a key exhibit in the legal history of freedom of the press in the United States.

No other country so jealously defends the right of its citizens to speak and publish controversial ideas. Several years ago when Australia banned the importation and sale of Ecodefense, it was not possible for the United States to follow suit — because of the First Amendment. Instead, the United States government spent several million dollars, employed a small army of FBI agents, and entrapped a number of citizens in —89 in an effort to suppress publication and distribution of Ecodefense. That attack on free speech and the freedom of the press glares like a pustulating boil in American history just as do the Alien and Sedition Acts, the Palmer Raids, and McCarthyism.

Efforts to suppress Ecodefense and to entrap its co-editor, Dave Foreman, have been well covered elsewhere and we will not go into them here. Nor will we here attempt to justify the practice or necessity of monkeywrenching. We will here, however, rebut two myths about Ecodefense. In fact, ecological sabotage was widespread before Ecodefense was first published in and even before The Monkey Wrench Gang was published in The second myth is that Dave Foreman wrote Ecodefense.

The first edition of Ecodefense was a compilation of articles and letters sent to the Earth First! Journal by dozens of individuals. This Third Edition has over two dozen major contributors and at least one hundred other contributors. In this edition, we have given aliases to credit all articles and significant field notes where the author did not offer her own alias.

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In the previous editions, Dave Foreman and Bill Haywood compiled, edited, and arranged the contributions. We have retained their names as editors for the Third Edition since it is largely based on the previous editions. There are changes in the Third Edition, however. Some material deemed to be irrelevant or counterproductive has been dropped. Incorrect information has also been dropped.

Much new information has been incorporated. Most of it was contributed between and A professional editor was retained to rewrite, copy edit, arrange, and otherwise clean up all of the text. Some previous material has been rearranged. This Third Edition is dedicated to their memories and to the fierce green fire that burned in their eyes. They were heroes, defenders of their native land. We thank the other defenders of the land who contributed to Ecodefense, though they must remain anonymous. It is their book.

He responded:. Is your act a strategic one, or is it merely an inarticulate yell, conveying only rage, alienation, and despair? Monkeywrenchers must constantly ask themselves:. Of course this Third Edition of Ecodefense, like those before it, is meant only to entertain. No one should take it seriously. If a stranger batters your door down with an axe, threatens your family and yourself with deadly weapons, and proceeds to loot your home of whatever he wants, he is committing what is universally recognized — by law and morality — as a crime.

In such a situation the householder has both the right and the obligation to defend himself, his family, and his property by whatever means are necessary. This right and this obligation is universally recognized, justified and even praised by all civilized human communities. Self-defense against attack is one of the basic laws not only of human society but of life itself, not only of human life but of all life. The American wilderness, what little remains, is now undergoing exactly such an assault. Dave Foreman has summarized the character and scale of the assault in the first chapter of this excellent and essential book.

With bulldozer, earth mover, chainsaw and dynamite the international timber, mining and beef industries are invading our public lands — property of all Americans — bashing their way into our forests, mountains and rangelands and looting them for everything they can get away with.

This for the sake of short-term profits in the corporate sector and multi-million dollar annual salaries for the three-piece-suited gangsters M. Representative democracy in the United States has broken down. Our legislators do not represent those who elected them but rather the minority who finance their political campaigns and who control the organs of communication — the Tee Vee, the newspapers, the billboards, the radio — that have made politics a game for the rich only.

Representative government in the USA represents money not people and therefore has forfeited our allegiance and moral support. We owe it nothing but the taxation it extorts from us under threats of seizure of property, or prison, or in some cases already, when resisted, a sudden and violent death by gunfire. That wilderness is our ancestral home, the primordial homeland of all living creatures including the human, and the present final dwelling place of such noble beings as the grizzly bear, the mountain lion, the eagle and the condor, the moose and the elk and the pronghorn antelope, the redwood tree, the yellowpine, the bristlecone pine, even the aspen, and yes, why not say it?

For many of us, perhaps for most of us, the wilderness is as much our home, or a lot more so, than the wretched little stucco boxes, plywood apartments, and wallboard condominiums in which we are mostly confined by the insatiable demands of an overcrowded and ever-expanding industrial culture. And if the wilderness is our true home, and if it is threatened with invasion, pillage and destruction — as it certainly is — then we have the right to defend that home, as we would our private rooms, by whatever means are necessary.

The majority of the American people have demonstrated on every possible occasion that they support the ideal of wilderness preservation; even our politicians are forced by popular opinion to pretend to support the idea; as they have learned, a vote against wilderness is a vote against their own re-election. We are justified in defending our homes — our private home and public home — not only by common law and common morality but also by common belief.

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We are the majority; they — the greedy and powerful — are the minority. How best defend our wilderness home? Well, that is a matter of strategy, tactics and technique, which is what this little book is about. Dave Foreman explains the principles of ecological defense in the complete, compact and conclusive pages of his short introduction.

I can think of nothing I could add nor of anything I would subtract; he says exactly what needs to be said, no more and no less. I am happy to endorse the publication of Ecodefense. Never was such a book so needed, by so many, for such good reason, as here and now. Tomorrow might well be too late. No good American should ever go into the woods again without this book and, for example, a hammer and a few pounds of penny nails.

Spike a few trees now and then whenever you enter an area condemned to chainsaw massacre by Louisiana Pacific and its affiliated subsidiary the U. Forest Service. My Aunt Emma back in West Virginia has been enjoying this pleasant exercise for years. She swears by it. Spread the word-and carry on! In early summer of , the United States Forest Service began an 18 month-long inventory and evaluation of the remaining roadless and undeveloped areas on the National Forests and Grasslands of the United States.

All in all, there were some 80 million acres on the National Forests in retaining a significant degree of natural diversity and wildness a total area equivalent in size to the state of New Mexico or a square x miles. In their initial Inventory, BLM identified 60 million acres of roadless areas of 5, acres or more a total area approximately the size of Oregon or a square x miles. Along with the National Parks and Monuments, National Wildlife Refuges, existing Wilderness Areas, and some state lands, these Forest Service and BLM roadless areas represent the remaining natural wealth of the United States though much of the roadless acreage inventoried in the s has been butchered.

They are the remnant of natural diversity after the industrial conquest of the most beautiful, diverse, and productive of all the continents of the Earth: North America. Turtle Island. Only years ago, the Great Plains were a vast, waving sea of grass stretching from the Chihuahuan Desert of Mexico to the boreal forest of Canada, from the oak-hickory forests of the Ozarks to the Rocky Mountains.

Bison blanketed the plains — it has been estimated that 60 million of the huge, shaggy beasts moved across the grassy ocean in seasonal migrations. Throngs of Pronghorn and Elk also filled this Pleistocene landscape. Packs of Gray Wolves and numerous Grizzly Bears followed the tremendous herds. In , John James Audubon sat on the banks of the Ohio River for three days as a single flock of Passenger Pigeons darkened the sky from horizon to horizon. He estimated that there were several billion birds in that flock. It has been said that a squirrel could travel from the Atlantic seaboard to the Mississippi River without touching the ground so dense was the deciduous forest of the East.

At the time of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, an estimated , Grizzlies roamed the western half of what is now the United States. The howl of the wolf was ubiquitous. Salmon and sturgeon populated the rivers. Ocelots, Jaguars, and Jaguarundis prowled the Texas brush and Southwestern mountains and mesas. The land was alive. East of the Mississippi, giant Tulip Poplars, American Chestnuts, oaks, hickories, and other trees formed the most diverse temperate deciduous forest in the world.

On the Pacific Coast, redwood, hemlock, Douglas-fir, spruce, cedar, fir, and pine formed the grandest forest on Earth. In the space of a few generations we have laid waste to paradise. The Tall-grass Prairie has been transformed into a corn factory where wildlife means the exotic pheasant. The Shortgrass Prairie is a grid of carefully fenced cow pastures and wheatfields. The Passenger Pigeon is no more; the last one died in the Cincinnati Zoo in The endless forests of the East are tame woodlots. With few exceptions, the only virgin deciduous forest there is in tiny museum pieces of hundreds of acres.

Fewer than one thousand Grizzlies remain. The last three condors left in the wild were captured and imprisoned in the Los Angeles Zoo. An expensive reintroduction effort has since been started. Except in northern Minnesota and northwestern Montana, wolves are known as scattered individuals drifting across the Canadian and Mexican borders. Four percent of the peerless Redwood Forest remains and the ancient forests of Oregon are all but gone. The tropical cats have been shot and poisoned from our Southwestern borderlands.

The subtropical Eden of Florida has been transmogrified into hotels and citrus orchards. Nonetheless, wildness and natural diversity remain. These are the places that hold North America together, that contain the genetic information of life, that represent sanity in a whirlwind of madness. In January of , the Forest Service announced the results of RARE II: Of 80 million acres of undeveloped lands on the National Forests, only 15 million acres were recommended for protection against logging, road building, and other developments.

In the big-tree state of Oregon, for example, only , acres were proposed for Wilderness protection out of 4. Most roadless old-growth forest was allocated to the sawmill. Important Grizzly habitat in the Northern Rockies was tossed to the oil industry and the loggers. Off-road-vehicle dervishes and the landed gentry of the livestock industry won out in the Southwest and Great Basin. More recent figures from the Forest Service are far more disturbing: The agency plans over half a million miles of new road, and up to , miles of this will be in roadless areas!

In most cases, the damaged acreage will be far greater than the acreage stated, because the roads are designed to split undeveloped areas in half, and timber sales are engineered to take place in the center of roadless areas, thereby devastating the biological integrity of the larger area. The great roadless areas so critical to the maintenance of natural diversity will soon be gone. Species dependent on old growth and large wild areas will be shoved to the brink of extinction. It is unlikely that more than 9 million acres will be designated as Wilderness out of the 60 million with which the review began.

Again, it is the more scenic but biologically less rich areas that will be proposed for protection. In the next few years, similar picayune legislation for National Forest Wilderness in the remaining states Montana and Idaho and for BLM Wilderness will probably be enacted. The other roadless areas will be eliminated from consideration. National Forest Management Plans emphasizing industrial logging, grazing, mineral and energy development, road building, and motorized recreation will be implemented. Conventional means of protecting these millions of acres of wild country will largely dissipate.

Judicial and administrative appeals for their protection will be closed off. Congress will turn a deaf ear to requests for additional Wildernesses so soon after disposing of the thorny issue. Political lobbying by conservation groups to protect endangered wildlands will cease to be effective. The battle for wilderness will be over. Perhaps 3 percent of the United States will be more or less protected and it will be open season on the rest. Many of the projects that will destroy roadless areas are economically marginal.

It is expensive to maintain the necessary infrastructure of roads for the exploitation of wildlands. The cost of repairs, the hassle, the delay, and the downtime may just be too much for the bureaucrats and exploiters to accept if a widely-dispersed, unorganized, strategic movement of resistance spreads across the land. It is time for women and men, individually and in small groups, to act heroically in defense of the wild, to put a monkeywrench into the gears of the machine that is destroying natural diversity.

Though illegal, this strategic monkeywrenching can be safe, easy, fun, and — most important — effective in stopping timber cutting, road building, overgrazing, oil and gas exploration, mining, dam building, powerline construction, off-road-vehicle use, trapping, ski area development, and other forms of destruction of the wilderness, as well as cancerous suburban sprawl. But it must be strategic, it must be thoughtful, it must be deliberate in order to succeed.

Such a campaign of resistance would adhere to the following principles:. Monkeywrenching is nonviolent resistance to the destruction of natural diversity and wilderness. It is never directed against human beings or other forms of life. It is aimed at inanimate machines and tools that are destroying life.

Care is always taken to minimize any possible threat to people, including the monkeywrenchers themselves. There should be no central direction or organization to monkeywrenching. Any type of network would invite infiltration, agents provocateurs, and repression. It is truly individual action. Because of this, communication among monkeywrenchers is difficult and dangerous. Anonymous discussion through this book and its future editions seems to be the safest avenue of communication to refine techniques, security procedures, and strategy.

Monkeywrenching is done by individuals or very small groups of people who have known each other for years. Trust and a good working relationship are essential in such groups. The more people involved, the greater the dangers of infiltration or a loose mouth. Ecodefenders pick their targets. Mindless, erratic vandalism is counterproductive as well as unethical. Monkeywrenchers know that they do not stop a specific logging sale by destroying any piece of logging equipment, they come across.

They make sure it belongs to the real culprit. They ask themselves what is the most vulnerable point of a wilderness-destroying project, and strike there. Senseless vandalism leads to loss of popular sympathy. There are proper times and places for monkeywrenching. There are also times when monkeywrenching may be counterproductive. Monkeywrenchers generally should not act when there is a nonviolent civil disobedience action — e. Monkeywrenching may cloud the issue of direct action, and the blockaders could be blamed for the ecotage and be put in danger from the work crew or police.

Blockades and monkeywrenching usually do not mix. Monkeywrenching may also not be appropriate when delicate political negotiations are taking place for the protection of a certain area. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. The Earth warrior always asks, Will monkeywrenching help or hinder the protection of this place? Monkeywrenching is a widespread movement across the United States. Government agencies and wilderness despoilers from Maine to Hawaii know that their destruction of natural diversity may be resisted. Nationwide monkeywrenching will hasten overall industrial retreat from wild areas.

All kinds of people, in all kinds of situations, can be monkeywrenchers. Some pick a large area of wild country, declare it wilderness in their own minds, and resist any intrusion into it. Others specialize against logging or ORVs in a variety of areas. Certain monkeywrenchers may target a specific project, such as a giant powerline, a road under construction, or an oil operation. Some operate in their backyards, while others lie low at home and plan their ecotage a thousand miles away. Some are loners, and others operate in small groups. Even Republicans monkeywrench. Although it is serious and potentially dangerous, monkeywrenching is also fun.

Monkeywrenchers do not aim to overthrow any social, political, or economic system. Monkeywrenching is merely nonviolent self-defense of the wild. It is not major industrial sabotage. Explosives, firearms, and other dangerous tools are usually avoided; they invite greater scrutiny from law enforcement agencies, repression, and loss of public support. The simplest possible tool is used. The safest tactic is employed. Elaborate commando operations are generally avoided. The most effective means for stopping the destruction of the wild are often the simplest.

There are times when more detailed and complicated operations are necessary. But the monkeywrencher asks, What is the simplest way to do this? Monkeywrenchers are very conscious of the gravity of what they do. They are deliberate about taking such a serious step. They are thoughtful, not cavalier. Monkeywrenchers — although nonviolent — are warriors.

They are exposing themselves to possible arrest or injury. It is not a casual or flippant affair. They keep a pure heart and mind about it. They remember that they are engaged in the most moral of all actions: protecting life, defending Earth. A movement based on the above principles could protect millions of acres of wilderness more stringently than could any congressional act, could insure the propagation of the Grizzly and other threatened life forms better than could an army of game wardens, and could lead to the retreat of industrial civilization from large areas of forest, mountain, desert, prairie, seashore, swamp, tundra, and woodland that are better suited to the maintenance of native diversity than to the production of raw materials for over consumptive technological human society.

John Muir said that if it ever came to a war between the races, he would side with the bears. That day has arrived. Events in the years since the above was originally written and revised have underscored its message:. The Forest Service has tried to deep-six its appeals process because forest defenders use it to slow timber sales and road building in roadless areas;.

While public outcry from grass-roots conservationists has turned some of these assaults on due process around, the last wildlands on the public lands are under attack as never before. The final mopping-up action of industrial society against the ecological richness of North America and the world is now occurring. His sense of moral outrage was shared by another public official, Thomas Hutchinson, governor of Massachusetts colony. The indignant governor refused to negotiate with radical colonists whom he associated with numerous attacks on public and private property.

Rebels had attacked his home and trashed the offices of the vice-admiralty courts and the Comptroller of Customs, smashing windows and burning records. Last century, the institution of slavery was only brought down by prolonged and determined protest that, at its core, was lawless and destructive of property. Slaves used work slowdowns and feigned illness to hurt cotton production. Costly supervision was necessary to prevent deliberate trampling of crops and breaking of tools.

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At night, cotton fields, barns, and gins were burned. Runaway slaves formed guerrilla bands with poor whites and dispossessed Indians, staging swift raids against plantations. As with the former British colonial government, the sluggish minds of men in government failed to acknowledge the changing times, and another war was needed to resolve the issues. To the west, the invasion of sacred lands was rarely welcomed by the native tribes of America. Survey markers and telegraph poles were favorite, and vulnerable, targets of sabotage.

Indians attacked the railroad by unbolting the rails, or constructing barriers of stacked ties secured to the rails with freshly cut telegraph wire. Even the peaceful Hopi were not spared the meddling of industrial society. In came a plan to move them out of their clustered mesa-top villages and onto single-family plots of private land. After survey markers were destroyed, government troops were dispatched to arrest the leaders responsible. Faced with a roadblock of warriors armed with bows and arrows, the cavalry officer in charge lured out a Hopi delegation to talk terms. The Indians were seized and marched forward as a human shield.

Soldiers occupied the village, and native religious leaders made the first of many trips into imprisonment. Elsewhere in the West, the introduction of barbed wire in the s saw cat-tlemen attempt to dominate the formerly public grasslands. Sometimes a damaged fence was posted with signs warning against rebuilding. Estimates of fence cutting damage in Texas alone ranged from 20 to 30 million dollars. Typical of government response, it became a more serious crime to cut an illegal fence than to build one.

Even wild animals resisted the destruction of their homelands under the hooves of invading livestock. Whole communities would marshal their resources to kill the last of the wolves. One night they found freedom together by digging from opposite sides of the fence. The collie never returned home, and was killed weeks later by a poison bait. Old Three Toes and her litter of Gray Wolf-collie whelps were discovered shortly thereafter and all were killed. Throughout most of the land, the Gray Wolf has vanished, barbed wire rules, the natives have lost their sacred soil, and we are largely slaves to the industrial culture born in the coal-fired furnaces of Europe.

Is there a future for any of them? Or more to the point, can acts of sabotage really influence events? Most businesses, both large and small, operate to produce a relatively small margin of profit, frequently a single digit percentage of overall gross sales. This small margin of profit is vulnerable to outside tampering, such as a successful consumer boycott which reduces sales. A determined campaign of monkeywrenching affects the other end, by increasing operating costs to the point that they cut into profits.

The random act of sabotage accomplishes little, but when cautiously repeated, striking weak points again and again, monkeywrenching can force an exploitative corporation to expand their security efforts and incur related expenses. Repairs of damages, such as abrasives in lubricating oil, result in several costs, including downtime.

Since many businesses run on tight budgets or borrowed money, loss of production, even on a temporary basis, becomes costly. Interest payments on borrowed funds increase, payrolls for idled workers must be met, and buyers of finished products become impatient with missed deadlines. Reputation, as much as other factors, influences credit; so imagine the chilling effect on banks, finance companies, equipment manufacturers who often extend credit to buyers , and insurance companies who finance anything these days when they realize that a few operators, working in critical wildlands, are more susceptible to delays in repayment.

Production scheduling is so critical to financial planning that most businesses have various contingencies to minimize the impact of mechanical failure, inclement weather, and other factors. They may anticipate losing an average of two weeks to weather when logging in a certain season.

Or they may have plans to rent extra equipment in the event of serious breakdowns. Repeated hits by ecoteurs exhaust the contingencies and cut into the eventual profit. Some ecotage damage is repaired by funds from insurance companies. If the damage is recurrent, the insurer will increase the deductible, thereby forcing the operator into higher out-of-pocket expenses. Insurers will also often increase premiums, insist on higher security expenditures, and may even cancel coverage.

Increases in security costs include pay for guards, guard dog services, security fencing and lighting, and mundane security measures, like driving all heavy equipment to a single secure location resulting in higher operating costs and lost work time. Security expenditures can be increased by including urban targets like warehouses, mills, and offices for ecotage. In addition, if smaller supporting businesses fear the impact of monkey-wrenching against a business to which they sub-contract, they may hesitate to do business, or increase their charges to compensate themselves for also becoming targets.

Ultimately, the entire industry and its financial backers must be made aware that operations in de facto wilderness areas face higher risks and higher costs. Press coverage of monkeywrenching can drive this point home and alert the public in a manner that hurts the corporate image. The charge that monkey-wrenching alienates public opinion stems from an incomplete understanding of propaganda and history.

Scientific studies of propaganda and the press show that the vast majority of the public remembers the news only in vaguest outline. Details rapidly fade from memory. History informs us that direct action engenders as much support as opposition. The American Revolution saw as many colonists enter the Tory ranks as enlisted in the Continental Army. The majority of the public floats noncommittally between the conflicting forces. Industry considers main-line environmentalists to be radical until they get a taste of real radical activism.

Suddenly the soft-sell of the Sierra Club and other white-shirt-and-tie eco-bureaucrats becomes much more attractive and worthy of serious negotiation. These moderate environmentalists must condemn monkeywrenching so as to preserve their own image, but they should take full advantage of the credence it lends to their approach. As for other types of activism, picketing and sit-ins quickly lose their news-worthiness.

In these desperate times, it is difficult to be both close to Earth and optimistic about her future. The hope that remains is found in the minds of those who care, and the hearts of those few who dare to act. Clearcuts springing up in every nook and cranny of the National Forests; high-voltage power lines marching arrogantly across desert valleys and Midwest farms; seismograph crews scarring roadless areas with their bulldozers, thumper trucks, and explosives; survey stakes and their Day-Glo orange flagging warning of who-knows-what awful scheme; and the ubiquitous signs of overgrazing on public lands are the hallmarks of the industrial siege on the wild and open space areas of America.

As Ed Abbey said, it looks like an invasion, an invasion from Mars. As good patriots, lovers of our native land, it is our duty to resist invasion and to defend our planet. The following chapter describes some of the tools for that defense. A hammer and nails to save the forests, a pair of gloves to pull up survey stakes, a socket wrench for power towers The assault on wild nature is on marginal financial ground. By making it cost even more, a few monkeywrenchers can stop the destruction in many places and slow it in others.

As evidence of how effective even a few actions can be, look at the hue and cry being raised by the timber industry, their flunkies in the Forest Service, and their hired politicians over a small number of tree-spiking operations. If they multiply their efforts, wilderness defenders can save significant blocks of wild country. Tree spiking can be an extremely effective method of deterring timber sales , and seems to be growing more and more popular. The Forest Service and timber industry are very nervous about spiking — when they or the media raise the subject of monkeywrenching, this is the form most commonly discussed.

Agency and industry officials are loath, however, to raise the subject. Indeed, the Forest Service FS often fails to publicize incidents of spiking, on the theory that the less the practice is publicized, the less likely it is to spread. When the Freddies FS officials do publicly acknowledge that a spiking has occurred, they often make a considerable effort to find the perpetrators, even to the point of offering substantial cash rewards. No modern-day tree spiker has been caught, however.

There are two basic philosophies of tree-spiking. Some people like to spike the base of each tree, so that the sawyer, in felling the tree, will almost certainly encounter one of the spikes with the chain saw. This would at the very least require the sawyer to stop and sharpen the saw, and might require the replacement of the chain. In this type of spiking, the spiker drives several nails or non-metallic spikes, about which more later at a downward angle into the first two or three feet above ground of each tree.

The nails are spaced so that a sawyer, in felling the tree, is likely to hit at least one of them. There is an objection to this type of spiking — the possibility, however remote, that the sawyer might be injured, either by the kickback of the saw striking the nail, or by the chain, should it break when striking the spike. A friend of ours who worked for many years as a logger in Colorado says that in numerous incidents of striking metal objects with his saw — including one time when the impact was great enough to cause him to swallow his chaw of tobacco — he never once had a broken chain or was otherwise hurt.

Yet the possibility is there. Because of this possibility, we do not recommend this type of spiking. The second philosophy of tree spiking is to place the spikes in the trees well above the area where the fellers will operate — as many feet up the trunk as one can conveniently work.

The object of the spiking in this case is to destroy the blades in the sawmill. Since in large mills the blades are either operated from a control booth some distance from the actual cutting, or are protected by a Plexiglas shield, this method is unlikely to cause anyone physical injury even should a blade shatter upon striking a spike, which is unlikely. Locally owned and operated sawmills are seldom a major threat to wilderness. I anticipate an objection at this point.

If enough trees in roadless areas are spiked, eventually the corporate thugs in the timber company boardrooms, along with their corrupt lackeys who wear the uniform of the Forest Service, will realize that timber sales in our few remaining wild areas will be prohibitively expensive. And since profits are the goal, they will begin to think twice before violating the wilderness. In many cases, people have spiked timber in a threatened area, and then have sent anonymous!

If this is done before the timber has actually been sold, the effect on competitive bidding can be considerable. The Forest Service plans timber sales years in advance, but actual sale of the timber to a logging company is one of the last steps in the process. In fact the sale may be quietly dropped. In cases where the timber has already been sold prior to spiking, the Freddies upon receiving a warning have sent crews into the woods to locate and remove the spikes — at substantial expense in overtime to the agency. If this happens often enough, it can not fail to reduce the total number of timber sales substantially, particularly in this era of federal budget deficits.

First, though, we stress some basic security considerations. Spiking trees is potentially dangerous. The Forest Service has increased its law-enforcement budget considerably in the last few years, and one reason has been the increased incidence of monkeywrenching. Another reason for increased law enforcement has been the stepped-up campaign by the Feds to eliminate marijuana growing from the public lands, but it should be obvious that a cop in the woods looking for dope will arrest any monkeywrenchers he or she might encounter by chance as well.

The Freddies and other Federal land-use agencies as well are becoming increasingly sophisticated in law enforcement, and it is foolish to underestimate them. According to a column by Jack Anderson, these agencies employ such tactics as surveillance of suspicious persons , and mail interception presumably again involving those who have for some reason attracted their suspicions. They may have agents in the woods in plain clothes, posing as hikers, campers, or fishers; and it is even possible that agents might be in the woods at night on stakeouts, equipped with night-vision devices.

If a monkeywrencher is contemplating spiking trees in a remote roadless area long in advance of a timber sale, the chances of encountering cops are relatively slim. Conversely, if a highly controversial timber sale is involved, especially one in which monkeywrenching already has been committed or at least threatened, the danger to the monkeywrencher is very real. For this reason alone it is preferable to spike trees preventively, rather than as a last-ditch effort to save a seemingly doomed grove. Most veteran tree spikers agree that tree spiking should never be done alone.

In addition to the person or persons who are doing the actual spiking, at least one person should have the sole duty of acting as lookout. Some experienced tree spikers recommend three lookouts for both spiking and silent pinning. At the first sign of any other people in the vicinity, spiking should cease and the team should quietly withdraw. The team should use the drop-off and pick-up method of access, and should follow all recommended precautions as to clothing, footwear, and tools see the Security chapter. Some experienced tree spikers, however, argue that it is best to always monkeywrench alone, even with tree spiking, so that you never have to worry about the reliability of your partner.

They argue that careful reconnaissance of the area to be spiked, a planned and scouted escape route, and frequent stopping to listen make solitary tree spiking safe. Spiking is much easier done in daylight than in the dark. A team can work much faster in full light, and in darkness it is all too easy to be sloppy and fail to cover up the signs of your activities.

If a team is spiking in a remote roadless area and takes full security precautions, they can operate securely in daytime. In daylight one is more likely to encounter other humans in the woods, but almost any activity in the woods at night, if detected, will be deemed suspicious and investigated. Assuming that spikers are working in a remote roadless area, and are not working during the hunting season a dangerous time to be out in the woods, since on much of the public lands the highest period of use occurs at this time , the greatest danger will be from casual encounters with Forest Service field personnel — timber markers, survey crews, and the like — who might be working in or near your area.

Try to know where these crews are working at all times. If you have a source within the agency, fine, but you can more safely get this information from continued observation and from knowing your area well. Another type of people you might encounter in the woods, especially if you are working in the area of a timber sale which has already been announced for public bidding, are representatives of logging companies who might be checking out the timber before deciding their bids.

Needless to say, you do not want to fall into the hands of these people. If one spikes several years in advance of a sale, nature has time to disguise the work by growing completely over the spikes. Of course, if the Freddies have already marked the boundaries of the sale area or even the individual trees to be cut , the spiker knows exactly where to work without any guessing. Nevertheless, with proper intelligence monkeywrenchers can have a good idea of where future timber sales will be long before the marking stage.

The Forest Service earmarks specific timber sales five years in advance. Study the data and identify areas of critical interest to you that appear to be threatened. With plenty of advance warning, you can act deliberately and precisely. Since activists may be unable to attend to all timber sales well in advance, much monkeywrenching will occur at the last possible minute; so it is helpful to have a basic knowledge of timber marking practices. Unfortunately, there is no uniform system, and practices may change from time to time. One color will be used to mark the perimeter, while another color will be used to mark individual trees to be cut within the unit.

In a clearcut, only the perimeter is marked, since everything within is to be removed. A given timber sale will usually have several units within it, and they may be widely scattered or close together. You may see numbers painted on some of the trees — these are the unit numbers. At the present time in the Northern Rockies — the region with the most roadless areas threatened by the FS — the Freddies are using red or orange paint to mark unit boundaries, and yellow or blue paint to mark the trees within the units which are to be cut.

But beware — in timber sales in which most but not all of the trees are to be cut, the trees which are to be left may be painted. Because of the many differences in marking practices, you should know the system being used in your area. National Forests list timber sales years in advance. Some even indicate if they are in roadless areas and which roadless areas.

The safest and most effective tree spiking is done in proposed timber sales years in advance. Spiking ideally should occur before any road building or even surveying is under way. Such advance spiking should be announced to prospective timber buyers and the Forest Service, but not the media. The presence of spiked trees in timber sale areas will reduce the commercial value of such sales and turn off potential bidders.

The cost of identifying and removing spikes may make the sale so expensive that even the Forest Service — which habitually sells timber at a loss to US taxpayers — will drop it. Spiking trees many years ahead of their scheduled sale has several advantages. Little money has been invested in surveying, road building, preparing environmental assessments, and the like; so the authorities have less incentive to go ahead with a timber sale. Timber buyers have not committed resources to the area and it may be easier for them to simply not bid on a risky, possibly expensive proposition.

The advantage of advising only the agency and prospective timber buyers and not the general media, is that there will be no public loss of face if the sale is quietly dropped or left without a bid because of the spiking. In some cases, spiked timber has been sold and cut at a considerable financial loss to both the Forest Service and the logging company so that they do not to appear to be intimidated by a widely publicized tree spiking. Basic spiking requires a large hammer and large nails.

Nails should be large, but not extremely large; the larger the nails, the more time and energy are required to drive them. A 60 penny 60d nail is a good size. Larger nails called spikes are sold by their size in inches. Spikes should not be needed in most cases, although they are useful for extremely large trees. Another tool should probably be added to the basic spiking kit: a small pair of bolt cutters, powerful enough to cut the heads off the nails. The reason to add this tool is that in several cases, the Freddies have sent crews into the woods to locate with metal detectors and remove with crowbars as many spikes as possible.

Drive the nail almost all the way into the tree. Cut the head off with the bolt cutters. Then, drive the now headless nail the remainder of the way into the tree. Remember, the more time and money the Freddies expend removing spikes, the fewer trees will be cut and the more wilderness saved. We cannot overestimate the value of removing the heads from the nails. We have heard of at least one case in which the Forest Service has located trees with spikes so treated — and has been unable to remove the nails.

Although the Freddies publicly announced that they had removed all the spikes, the sale was quietly scuttled. Since the more trees spiked, the greater the deterrent factor, one nail per tree ought to suffice. To deter a major timber sale, the spiking of several hundred trees might be a worthy goal, but even a few dozen spiked trees will be of some deterrent value. It might be noted that on Meares Island in British Columbia, opponents of logging, working systematically and in teams, have spiked literally thousands of trees to great effect.

But spiking does not have to be on this scale to be effective. Trees should be spiked at various heights above the ground. While it is acceptable to drive some of the nails in at the height of a standing person — the most convenient place — an effort ought to be made to place them higher. There are a couple of reasons for this. There are a number of ways to place nails high. Climbing spikes metal spurs which attach to boots, used in conjunction with a waist belt work well. Climbing spikes are fairly expensive when purchased from forestry supply houses, but it may be possible to locate an old pair they are used by smoke jumpers and others in forestry work or to improvise a pair.

Or, a spiker can fabricate a light, portable ladder which can be carried from tree to tree. Climbing tree stands, used by archery hunters, are easily carried, quiet, and allow you to climb a tree fairly quickly. The good ones will not harm the tree or leave marks. Practice first! Inexperienced users have been injured when their tree stands collapsed under them. In regions that get considerable snowfall, a good solution would be to spike in the winter, using skis or snowshoes when several feet of snow cover the ground.

Some effort should be made to cover the signs of the work in a spiking operation. Again, the ideal spiking would take place several years before a timber sale, giving nature a chance to hide the evidence by growing over the nails. However, in many cases a spiker will not be able to do the job far enough in advance for bark to grow over the nails. In such cases, after driving the nail in flush, the head of the nail should be covered so as to camouflage all signs of the work. A piece of bark fixed with glue, liquid wood, or cement over the nail is best, but pitch might be used, or in a pinch, paint the color of the bark.

A brown felt marker can also be used to disguise the shiny head of the nail after it is driven into the tree. These spikes cost about 70 cents each and require a stout arm to drive. A heavy hammer small sledge that can be gripped with both hands may be the best tool. Building supply stores sometimes have these large spikes in bins with the rest of the nails.

Be sure to cover the hole with bark liquid wood or some other adhesive can be used to secure the bark. Field experience in using 60d spikes in pine, fir, and spruce shows that they can be de-headed prior to driving them. This eliminates the necessity of carrying bolt cutters in the field. Always bring a punch to drive the de-headed nails below the surface of the tree.

This makes removal nearly impossible. To avoid leaving telltale nail heads around a spiking site, glue a plastic magnet on the top jaw of your bolt cutters. This way, the heads can be collected when cutting off the heads of nails in trees. The distinctive marks left by your particular bolt cutters will be destroyed by pounding in the spikes. The marks on the jaws of the bolt cutters can be removed by simply filing the jaws. Such distinctive marks could constitute evidence if you were charged with the crime. When using bolt cutters to de-head spikes, always wear goggles or other eye protection.

The heads of the nails can really fly. Choose bolt cutters with a slightly larger capacity than your spikes, i. Cutters with greater capacity cut easier and faster and last longer. The type of tree may dictate the size of your spikes and whether or not you de-head them before driving. Pines and cedars are relatively soft, allowing even de-headed 60d nails to be driven in without bending a de-headed 60d nail would likely bend in harder wood.

Old-growth hemlock is extremely hard. Experiment with the various tree species in your area. Some field reports indicate that with large spikes 60d or larger it is possible to employ the following method: 1 Drive the spike half-way into the tree. Avoid imported Korean, Taiwanese, etc. Cheap imports may be softer and bend easier when driving. In spiking a large timber sale, concentrate on the part of the sale closest to the main road as this will tend to dissuade the contractor from cutting the rest of the sale.

The Forest Service has allowed some logging firms to cancel the timber sale contract after encountering spiked trees. For extra effect, combine large and small nails. Use only one large spike per tree, but pound in several smaller nails as well. This is a good job for a partner who cannot drive in large spikes, and it further protects the tree. You can use a fanny pack to carry your spikes.

The weight is easier to carry on the hips than on the back. For a major spiking operation, you may wish to stash a box of spikes in the woods in the summer when access is easier , and then ski in during the winter and do the spiking. Be sure to hide the spikes where you can find them even if they are buried under several feet of snow.

Do not lubricate spikes for easy driving. Most lubricants are petroleum derivatives, all of which are poisonous to trees. Vegetable oils are nearly as toxic. They have the added disadvantage of attracting decomposers bugs and fungi as they go rancid. The bottom line is that nothing belongs in a tree except wood. Some concerned folks have recommended that spikes be sterilized in rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. But medical advisers argue that rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide would be more harmful to the tree than anything on relatively clean spikes.

In addition to the security reasons for wearing gloves, they will protect your hands. A hard day of pounding spikes can blister the hands of the toughest. Besides being painful, blisters might be considered evidence against someone suspected of spiking. Tree spiking is noisy. Some spikers suggest drilling a hole to accommodate the spike — thus reducing the amount of noisy hammering. The problem with this is that it severely limits the number of trees that can be spiked in a given amount of time. Here in the Northwest, security is a major concern. Rain drastically reduces the noise produced by hammering.

Rain also seems to keep the Freddies indoors. One last suggestion: Since metal detectors are the rage of late, I also pound in scores of small standard-type nails.

The Great Divide

They may not stop a saw blade but they will frustrate the piss out of the guy or gal with the detector. It also helps to camouflage where I put the real spikes. The Forest Service is protecting the snags for wildlife habitat. Helix spiral nails are the ultimate in metal spikes — these are the type of nails that were used in large quantities on Meares Island. The spiral makes the nail extremely difficult to remove, and removal is virtually impossible when the head of the nail is clipped off.

Driving these spikes is not easy. You will need to be in shape. You may want to use a heavier hammer. You may have to look around to find helix spikes; not all building supply stores carry them. They are expensive, but much less so if bought by the box. Call around use a pay phone to check on availability and price prices may vary widely. If you need an excuse for buying them, say you are building a bridge to a piece of remote property owned by your uncle.

Use the same pre-cautions to protect your identity in buying helix nails that you would use with any unusual item — never buy such nails in your own community unless it is a large city , never go back to the same store twice, and never leave such things lying around your house or car.


You can easily carry this size bolt cutters in the woods to de-head your spikes after you drive them most of the way into the tree. You can then drive them in the rest of the way without their heads. De-head these spikes at home large bolt-cutters are cumbersome and heavy to carry in the woods.

These larger spikes can be easily driven in without their heads. You may prefer to rent one of these larger bolt cutters for a day or two and de-head an entire box of spikes at home. If you do rent one to save the cost of purchase , do not leave your ID as security. Various exotic methods have been suggested for putting spikes into trees, ranging from crossbows to muzzle-loaders to shotguns to spear guns. None of these seem to be worth the trouble, according to serious tree spikers who have tried them. Stick to the basics. Similarly, suggestions have been made that shooting bullets into trees would have the same effect as spiking.

We discourage this for several reasons: the hydrostatic shock to the surrounding tissue in the tree from a bullet; the possibility of poisoning the tree if copper-jacketed ammo is used; the unlikelihood of bullets in trees being effective saw-dulling agents; the increased legal risk that comes from using firearms; and the security problem of noise from firearms. Resistance to logging should not be restricted to tree spiking. Many of the other techniques described in Ecodefense can be effective against logging. One other tactic is to cut the cable used in skidding logs through steep terrain.

At night the cables are slack. Tape the cable before hacksawing and use cable clamps to secure the cut end to a nearby tree. Keep in mind that metal detectors are not very reliable. After the extensive and intensive spiking of old-growth cedar on Meares Island in British Columbia, MacMillan Bloedel timber company had poor success in locating tree spikes. Most experienced tree spikers argue for keeping tree spiking simple: good old-fashioned plain steel 6 inch spiral spikes driven in with a regular hammer and countersunk one inch below the bark with an industrial punch.

More elabo-rate techniques involve heavier equipment, greater expense, more time. Simple spiking is easier and faster. However, the serious eco-raider might do well to consider some of the alternative methods described by T. Hellenbach later in this chapter. These methods require more specialized equipment, and are therefore more costly to the spiker, but they offer distinct advantages, both in security and effectiveness.

Resist the temptation to use your spiking nails around the house. To avoid exposing oneself in such a situation, minimize contact with the tree you need not hug it! In this age of budgetary restraints, however, the Freddies are not likely to go to this extreme except in special cases. Be cautious when buying large quantities of nails. Although nails are common items and their possession in the absence of other evidence would con-stitute only the barest of circumstantial evidence, it would be wise never to buy them where you are known or might be remembered.

Be careful about leaving fingerprints on spikes. After purchasing them, carefully wipe them clean and place them in a cloth bag or wrap them up to be carried in your pack for field use. Wear gloves while spiking trees see below and do not touch the spikes unless your hands are gloved. This document is well worth perusing despite its pages. One of these added provisions is of interest to monkeywrenchers, for it specifically targets tree spikers who operate on the public lands.

Whoever — 1 with the intent to violate the Controlled Substances Act, 2 with the intent to obstruct or harass the harvesting of timber, or 3 with reckless disregard to the risk that another person will be placed in danger of death or bodily injury The law goes on to specify that if anyone is convicted under this subsection a second time, the minimum penalty shall be imprisonment for up to ten years, regardless of the magnitude of the offense. Some other provisions of this law are also of interest to monkeywrenchers. These drug cops have already been employed to counter protesting conservationists in the woods including those practicing non-violent civil disobedience , and they can be expected to continue doing this.

Anyone contemplating any variety of monkeywrenching should be aware of this increased law enforcement presence on the public lands. The swift passage of anti-spiking legislation is an indication of how effective spiking has become in deterring timber sales. After several years of the Freddies and their friends in the timber industry dismissing spiking as a trivial matter, we have seen in some parts of the country a media blitz during the last couple of years portraying a veritable epidemic of spiking.

Since even before the passage of the recent law adequate legislation albeit not as specific existed under which anyone caught spiking could have been and certainly would have been prosecuted, one might say that the current legislative effort to single out spiking is at least in part propaganda to assure the media and timber industry that the government is acting vigilantly to counter the growing wave of monkeywrenching.

This is not to trivialize the import of the new law. They no doubt see the new law as a tool with which to turn back the clock to those happy days of a decade ago when almost no one seriously challenged their policies. In order to turn back that clock, they will try hard to catch wrenchers in the act, and to impose the maximum penalty on them. Unfortunately for the Forest Service, it is too late to go back to the days when there was no organized dissent.

A case in point is this: In October , the State of California passed two laws Senate Bill and Assembly Bill aimed at deterring tree spikers, even though a law on the books since the s already made spiking a felony. The first of these laws provides graduated penalties for anyone convicted of tree spiking.

For a spiking that results in bodily injury to someone, the penalty is up to six years in prison. Yet if newspaper articles are any indication, several spikings occurred in the state during , despite the new legislation. In part, the California laws were passed due to widespread publicity following the incident earlier in at the Cloverdale, California, sawmill in which a sawyer was seriously injured when a saw in the mill came into contact with a log containing a metal spike.

That spiking was apparently not environmentally motivated, but no matter. Even monkeys fall from trees. English equivalent: It is a good horse that never stumbles. Meaning: Even experts make mistakes. Garrison, Jeff. Kodansha International. ISBN Who chases two rabbits catches neither Italian equivalent: Chi troppo vuole, nulla stringe English equivalent: You must not run after two hares at the same time. Translation: Good medicine is bitter to the mouth. Listen and Learn: Japanese Idioms. ISBN 1. Translation: To kill a bull by straightening its horns. English equivalent: Perfect is the enemy of good.

Manser The Facts on File Dictionary of Proverbs. Infobase Publishing. Translation: To continue is power. Translation: A bat in a village without birds. English equivalent: In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. Martin H. Translation: There are hardships and there are delights.

English equivalent: After rain comes fair weather; March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers. Translation: When poisoned, one might as well swallow the plate. Translation: Early rising benefits you three pence. English equivalent: The early bird gets the worm Martin H. Retrieved on 5 September English equivalent: Putting the cart before the horse. Retrieved on 18 August Translation: The early one wins. English equivalent: First come, first served; the early bird gets the worm see above.

Source for meaning of English equivalent: Martin H. O'Reilly Japan. Translation: Yugong moves a mountain. English equivalent: Faith can move mountains. Manser; David Pickering Retrieved on 25 September Studies in Chinese language, literature and philosophy. Translation: Even a lone mutter in a well is known after three years. Translation: Wisdom gotten from age is better than the shell of a tortoise. English equivalent 1: Years know more than books. English equivalent 2: "Experience is the mother of wisdom. Translation: A ship that you are already partially in. English equivalent: In for a penny, in for a pound.

Translation: One blind man leads the crowd. English equivalent: If the blind leads the blind, they both fall into the ditch. Translation: A fool always finds one still more foolish to admire him. Variant A fool always finds a greater fool to admire him. Paczolay, Gyula European proverbs: in 55 languages, with equivalents in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Chinese and Japanese.