Three Earth Liberation Front/Earth First Activists Charged

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Three radical environmental activists from both Earth Liberation Front and Earth First were indicted yesterday in Madison, Wisconsin in connection with the vandalization of a U.S. Forest Service research station in the far north of the state back in 2000.

Katherine Christianson of Santa Fe, N.M., Aaron Ellringer of Eau Claire, Wis., and Bryan Rivera of Olympia, Wash., were all charged with conspiring to damage government property and damaging government property. The charges state that the defendants allegedly cut down 500 trees and spray-painted Forest Service vehicles with slogans like "ELF is watching the U.S. Forest Service." The Forest Service estimates they withstood $500,000 in damage, and if the defendants are convicted, they could face up to 15 years in prison.

The ELF attacked the research station in an attempt to halt supposed genetic research performed by the Forest Service on trees, claiming in a statement that it was a blow against bioengineering. Unfortunately, they didn't do their research: Forest Service officials say only traditional plant-breeding techniques were used on the site.

I guess that means that the vandals killed 500 innocent, non-bioengineered trees. That can't look good on your ELF resume.

— Ted Alvarez

Feds indict 3 in Wis. attack on U.S. Forest Service (AP)