Letters from the issue of Thursday, June 9, 2005

 Range War

No-good crooks: I just got done reading Sarah Fenske's excellent article on the old cowboy who beat the liar environmentalists ("The Rancher's Revenge," May 26). Bravo to that guy, and bravo to New Times for stepping out of its liberal mold and telling the truth for a change about a full-of-shit environmental group!

What this group has done is shot itself -- and every other environmental organization -- in the foot by lying about evidence. Now, people like me who don't much like such groups anyway are going to think they're all no-good crooks.

Is it balancing or an act?
Mike Maas
Is it balancing or an act?

How dare they be holier than thou about their beliefs and then cheat to try to win a case. I guess they fucked with the wrong cowboy this time! One who had the wherewithal to fight back with his own fuck-you money.

It's high time that somebody like him refused to let liberal know-it-alls get away with killing his business for no good reason.

I'm wondering why some people at the Center for Biological Diversity aren't being charged with perjury for what they did. I know rancher Jim Chilton got a lot of money, but somebody at CBD should be taught a bigger lesson in all this. How can people be allowed to waste the court's time and get away with it?
Bettina Tyson, Phoenix

It's all in how you look at it: The article says that the Center for Biological Diversity's lawyers "continue to insist the photos are substantially true, even if a few details were off." It sounds more like the photos were substantially false, even if a few details were correct. Once again, a liberal group seems to believe that the end justifies the means.
Jacqueline Davis, via the Internet

Don't confuse us with the facts: Jeez, am I supposed to feel bad for the folks down there in Tucson at the CBD after losing a court battle and being told to cough up a wad of cash all because they were a little creative with the "facts"?

I say, tough cow shit, [CBD co-founder] Kieran Suckling & Co.! Did you think you were untouchable?

Somebody has come along who can match the CBD dollar for dollar, does the research, and kicks their rump roast a little. The CBD is used to going after the little guy with no financial backing to defend himself. According to my sources, the CBD has assets in the area of $2.4 million, with a projected budget of $2.9 million, so it isn't exactly dealing with an empty wallet.

So rancher Jim Chilton has money? Big deal! It's kind of hard to pick on someone your own size, eh, Suckling? Kieran calls Chilton "a bitter little man with a lot of money." What? Who sounds bitter now?

As far as California Gulch, all the topographical maps I can find show the gulch as an intermittent stream, which means it does not have water running year-round. (Fish living in a dry wash?) It starts in the Santa Rita Mountains at about 5,400 feet and travels east about two miles before it intersects with Empire Gulch. Fence off about two miles' worth? That's pretty much the whole gulch. Sounds like the CBD wants to prevent Chilton from having access to the limited water supply for his cattle.

Eliminating ranching on public lands is a stated goal of the CBD, but what it's really doing is driving people who raise beef out of business.

Chilton wants to live a cowboy lifestyle? Damn him! Yeah, he should be out there spiking trees to prevent logging, causing massive damage to personal property at rallies, releasing farm-raised minks to die in the wild and bringing lawsuits against anyone and everyone at the drop of a hat to save a frog! Instead, he's minding his own business and not trying to force his agenda on anyone else. He's got a lot of nerve! Well, more power to him and the other ranchers, farmers and loggers who need to face down the folks at the CBD.
Larry Gowey, Mesa

Upon further review . . . : What a great article! Thank you for telling this rancher's story. Fortunately for all of us, this gentleman had enough money to fight back. Makes one wonder about the outcome of 90 percent of the cases these "environmentalists" have won. I'm thinking they all need to be reviewed. I hope the judge sees to it that the rancher gets every last cent awarded to him. I love cowboys!
Jan Gardner, via the Internet

We're pleased that you're pleased: It's been years since I last read a news report and had to write and tell you that I am quite pleased. Your reporter actually did the research and wrote "The Rancher's Revenge" in an unbiased, very readable manner. Well done!
Tome Bell, Roanoke, Virginia

Environmental hazard: Somebody should give Sarah Fenske a raise! She has done what I've never seen New Times do before -- criticize a meat-headed (sorry, veggie-headed) environmental group. Can you believe what the CBD did?! I've often thought environmental groups were full of shit, but I never thought they were lying scum before reading "The Rancher's Revenge."

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