Friday, November 04, 2005

Down East, Maine - Environmental vandals possibly affiliated with the Earth Liberation Front targeted the Seattle-based Plum Creek Timber Company, vandalizing two offices, the homes of two managers, and a lawyer who works for the company in four towns all on the same night. The spree of destruction which began late on Halloween night– or Earth Night, damaged tens of thousands of dollars worth of property.

Plum Creek regional manager Jim Lehner, whose company car was targeted in the past, had about $10,000 in damages visited on his home this time. He wishes that environmentalists would distinguish between the company and the private lives of those who run it, and said that this attack "takes it to a different level."

"It's so well-organized that it's scary," said Patrick McGowan, commissioner of the state Department of Conservation, which is overseeing a controversial Plum Creek development plan to build a huge subdivision and luxury resorts around the beautiful Moosehead Lake in the heart of Maine's North Woods.

Since last spring the militant environmental group Maine Earth First! has waged what state lawmakers have exaggeratedly called a "war" against the company. Underground groups have, however, caused quite a bit of damage. Plum Creek's Fairfield office was covered in spray paint last May and again in July, and someone broke into the Greenville office the following month. Given that the police have yet to catch anyone responsible for this or previous anti-Plum Creek actions, or develop any solid leads, more actions are likely to follow.