Activist state

“Eco-warrior” and Earth First! co-founder Dave Foreman dies | State News

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (AP) — Dave Foreman, a self-proclaimed eco-warrior who was a prominent member of the radical environmental movement and co-founder of Earth First!, has died. He was 74 years old.

The New Mexico-based Rewilding Institute, which Foreman founded as a think tank to develop long-term land conservation plans, said on its website that he died peacefully at his Albuquerque home on Monday.

A cause of death was not immediately revealed, but friends of Foreman said he battled lung disease for several months.

“There will never be another like him. One of the greatest conservationists of all time,” the institute said. “He is sorely missed as a friend, leader and very dear mentor.”

John Davis, director of the institute and associate of Foreman for 37 years, told the Arizona Daily Star that Foreman had remained involved in conservation issues until his death.

Foreman, who lived in Tucson, Arizona, helped start two groundbreaking environmental movements. One is Earth First!, which was launched in 1979 and uses a direct action approach to bring “attention to the crises facing the natural world”. according to the site of the movement. The other is the “rewilding” movement, which for decades has sought to protect huge swathes of nature for wildlife.

In the 1980s, Foreman was repeatedly accused of engaging in ecoterrorism – including by some mainstream environmentalists – for his advocacy of environmental direct action, going beyond civil disobedience. and tree protests to stake trees, pull down billboards and pour sand into bulldozers’ gas tanks, the Star reported.

Former Earth First! Member Kieran Suckling, who is now director of the Tucson-based Center for Biological Diversity, told the newspaper that Foreman “is extremely serious about the critical importance of wilderness and wildlife to the planet and to human society. , and calling on people to uphold them as the highest calling in life.

Born in Albuquerque in 1947, Foreman worked for the Wilderness Society from 1973 to 1980. Dissatisfactions with environmental groups led him and other activist friends to form Earth First!.

In 1991, Foreman co-founded the Wildlands Network, which seeks to establish a network of protected wilderness areas across North America. He founded the Rewilding Institute in 2003.

Foreman wrote at least five books from 1991 to 2014, beginning with “Confessions of an Eco-Warrior.”

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.