Democratic New Mexico senator worked closely with convicted eco-terrorist

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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Democratic New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich founded an environmentalist group with a convicted eco-terrorist in the 1990s.

Heinrich, who will meet with President Obama in the Oval Office Monday to establish the Rio Grande del Norte as a national monument, was elected to the Senate in 2012 with the financial backing of numerous environmentalist groups.

Prior to his political career, Heinrich c0-founded and chaired the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance. David Foreman, a convicted criminal and founder of the radical environmental “warrior society” Earth First!, was among the other co-founders of the group. He also sat on the board during Heinrich’s tenure as chairman.

Foreman pled guilty to conspiring to sabotage a nuclear power plant and has openly advocated for monkey-wrenching and other forms of “environmental espionage,” according to documents.

Other Earth First! members also served on the board Heinrich chaired, including Foreman’s wife Nancy Morton and Todd Schulke, according to a 2001 Wilderness Alliance newsletter.

Foreman pled guilty in 1991 to conspiracy to damage the property of an energy facility in an Earth First! attempt to destroy an electrical transmission line leading to a nuclear power plant, according to a report funded by the U.S. Department of Justice entitled “Pre-Incident Indicators of Terrorist Incidents: The Identification of Behavioral, Geographic, and Temporal Patterns of Preparatory Conduct.”

Foreman’s guilty plea occurred years before the earliest verifiable evidence of his working relationship with Heinrich, who now sits on the Senate Energy Committee. The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance was formed in 1997, according to the groups website.

In his writings, Foreman has said that “World War III has already begun, and that is the war of industrial humans against the Earth.” He has also advocated for “civil disobedience” and “environmental espionage,” and coached his followers in the methods of “conscious lawbreaking.”

New Mexico Wilderness Alliance meetings took place in Foreman’s home, where Heinrich was a frequent guest, according to a source close to the New Mexico environmentalist community.

Foreman’s wife, Morton, made multiple financial contributions to Heinrich’s 2012 Senate campaign, totaling $1,750.

Heinrich wrote an introductory statement for the Winter 2001 edition of the Wilderness Alliance newsletter criticizing Washington lawmakers for exploiting the 9/11 attacks in order to stifle conservationist efforts.

“Unfortunately, there are some folks in Congress who are so wrapped up in partisan politics that they are asking you and I to set aside our morals and goals as conservationists while they use the current crisis to advance an agenda that will have grave consequences for those of us who believe that Wilderness is an essential part of our American fabric, history and landscape. This is evidenced by the repeated attempts in recent weeks to turn the Arctic Refuge into an oil field,” Heinrich wrote in his official capacity as board chair.

“These times are difficult in many ways. There will be attempts to use patriotism to do things that are fundamentally not in this great nation’s best interest and call into question the motives of anyone who would stand in the way. We must stand tall in the face of these challenges, secure in our beliefs. I believe there is no more patriotic act than working to protect this beautiful country of ours, its Wilderness and wildlife included,” Heinrich wrote.

The newsletter also featured an article by Wilderness Alliance staff member Greg Magee entitled “Spirit Guides.” In the article, Magee wrote that his recent encounters with animals in the desert had actually been encounters with animal “spirit guides.”

“On this day in the Wilderness, I met five fellow spirits, and each one had a message for me,” Magee wrote, quoting from conversations he reportedly had with “Coyote,” “Black Bear,” “Owl,” “Hawk” and “Javelina.”

Foreman’s own statements and writings have been even more extreme.

“We aren’t fooled for a minute that we’re engaged in the liberal reform,” Foreman said at a rally captured in the documentary “Earth First!: The Politics of Radical Environmentalism.”

“We’re sticking a wrench in the system, we’re slowing it down, we’re thwarting it, we’re kicking it in the face.”


Foreman also exposed his environmental radicalism in his 1991 book “Confessions of An Eco-Warrior.” His less-than-level headed statements in the book include:

  • “The ecologist Raymond Dasmann says that World War III has already begun, and that it is the war of industrial humans against the Earth. He is correct. All of us are warriors on one side or another in this war; there are no sidelines, there are no civilians.” (page viii)
  • “There are many forms of courage. … It takes courage to say no more growth in your community. It takes courage to say that the wild is more important than jobs.” (page 8)
  • Foreman identified Earth First! as a “warrior society,” and wrote that his group’s founding goals included, “To inspire others to carry out activities straight from the pages of The Monkey Wrench Gang [a novel of environmental sabotage by Edward Abbey].” (page 18)
  • “We believed that new tactics were needed. … Politics in the streets. Civil disobedience. Media stunts. Holding the villains up to ridicule.” (page 20)
  • Foreman defended monkeywrenching, a tactic by which activists damage corporate machinery, as “a legitimate tool for the preservation of natural diversity,” and wrote, “A monkeywrench thrown into the gears of the machine may not stop it. But it might delay it, make it cost more. And it feels good to put it there.” (page 34)
  • “Look at an [Earth First!] T-shirt. The monkeywrench on it is a symbol of resistance, an heir of the sabot – the wooden shoe dropped in the gears to stop the machine, from whence comes the word sabotage. The mystique and lore of ‘night work’ pervades our tribe.” (page 34)
  • “The more one becomes involved in conscious lawbreaking, whether nonviolent civil disobedience or monkeywrenching, the more one needs to be scrupulously deliberate about doing so.” (page 169)
  • “[T]here will be even more anonymous ecodefenders messing around with big yellow machines in the dark of the new moon. … Neither feral adolescents, the co-opting whirlpool of the American mainstream, nor even the Federal Bureau of Investigation can stop us.” (page 220)

The League of Conservation Voters was Heinrich’s largest campaign contributor during the 2012 election cycle, donating $154,374. The Sierra Club spent $2 million on negative advertisements targeting Heinrich’s Republican opponent, Heather Wilson.

Heinrich’s spokesperson did not immediately return The Daily Caller’s request for comment on Sunday.

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