The Center for Biological Diversity states they want to systematically and ambitiously use biological data, legal expertise, and the petition and citizen suit provisions of the powerful Endangered Species Act to obtain sweeping, legally binding new protections for animals, plants, and their habitats. Based on the center’s own website, they’re very proud of their 83 percent lawsuit success rate. We think frivolous lawsuits are simply the wrong approach to environmental stewardship.

Get to know their executive director Kieran Suckling and what he stands for based on his own quotes, which, in our opinion, are not only absolutely absurd but also show his deeply anti-human belief structure, extremism, aggressiveness, and disregard for private property. Yes, he actually said these things.

  • “A loach minnow is more important, than say, Betty and Jim’s ranch-a thousand times more important.” –a 1998 interview with J. Zane Walley in Range Magazine
  • Suckling is ultimately striving for a “decentering and disempowering of the human” in his efforts. – The New Yorker, 1999
  • “We’ve basically crushed the timber industry” in the Southwest – The New Yorker 1999
  • “We’re crazy to sit in trees when there’s this incredible law where we can make people do whatever we want.” — The New Yorker 1999
  • “The trees will make themselves felt.”—Suckling’s new world order in which trees have legal rights, The New Yorker, 1999
  • “If this was done right, the effect of this legislation would vastly surpass the current Endangered Species Act.”—Suckling on a proposal, by the then-Biodiversity Legal Foundation, for a Native Ecosystem Act to supplant the Endangered Species Act.—(Gayle Worland. “He Walks With the Animals; Maybe Jasper Carlton is a radical—or maybe he’s just ahead of his time. Denver Westword, June 17, 1999).
  • “Sometimes, I sit back and I look at how aggressive we are compared with other groups, and I say, yeah, we’re radical.” — Las Vegas City Life, 2000
  • “Psychological warfare is a very underappreciated aspect of environmental campaigning.” — High Country News, 2009
  • “I think the professionalization of the environmental movement has injured it greatly. These kids get degrees in environmental conservation and wildlife management and come looking for jobs in the environmental movement. They’ve bought into resource management values and multiple use by the time they graduate. I’m more interested in hiring philosophers, linguists and poets. The core talent of a successful environmental activist is not science and law. It’s campaigning instinct. That’s not only not taught in the universities, it’s discouraged.” — High Country News, 2009
  • “We need to cut [CO2] emissions to 40 to 50 percent of 1990 levels by 2020. We need a net negative emissions policy by 2050 – less than zero. — High Country News, 2009
  • “They looked at it and said, ‘We aren’t going to sue a school district.’ We didn’t feel like we had a choice.”—Suckling on why CBD sued, when other groups would not, the Amphitheater Public School District in suburban Tucson, Arizona over the district’s plans to construct a much-needed high school in what was alleged habitat for the cactus ferruginous pygmy owl — Tucson Citizen, 2008
  • “Yeah, we go in with guns blazing,” — Outside magazine, 2004
  • Cattle “are the greatest single cause of species loss in the Southwest.” — Outside magazine, 1999
  • “Yes, we are destroying a way of life that goes back 100 years, but ranching is one of the most nihilistic lifestyles this planet has ever seen. Good riddance.” — Outside magazine, 1999
  • “One of the historical and constantly repeated errors of the environmental movement is to think you’re going to get incremental change by negotiating from a position of weakness. We strongly believe that social change does not come without social stress. These agencies are not going to fundamentally change their approach to managing public lands unless they, themselves, recognize they have to change. That’s what the legal train wreck is.” — High Country News, 1998
  • “Peter [Galvin] initiates a lot of this stuff in this chaotic, creative fashion. Peter is always thinking up the next new angle – the new point of attack, to the point where we can’t even keep up. If we could implement everything that Peter could think of, we could bring industrial civilization to its knees.” — High Country News, 1998
  • “Now you’ve got a crisis. Now you’ve got the train wreck. The agency is going “Holy mackerel, if we keep going down this road, we’ll never get anything done. We have to change the way we do business” — High Country News, 1998
  • “I could take the easy way out and give you the BS line, which is, ranching is OK where it’s ‘ecologically sustainable.’ But what is that? That’s just a vague statement designed to keep everybody happy. Show me a national forest grazing allotment in Arizona or New Mexico that is not trashed, and I’ll sit down and talk about sustainable grazing. It doesn’t exist,” — High Country News, 1998
  • “It’s just a question of how many times you’ve got to whack them with the two-by-four before they wake. I guess they’re in various degrees of awakeness now. The timber people are waking up. The grazing managers are still operating in the 19th century.” — High Country News, 1998
  • “People at every agency leak us documents. I’ll get anonymous envelopes. We use their own information against them in court.” – Backpacker magazine, 2003
  • “Child abuse is illegal and so is extinction. You don’t negotiate about either one of them. People don’t sit around and have consensus groups to decide how much child abuse there should be.” — Backpacker magazine, 2003
  • “Public lands should be managed for wildlife habitat, clean water, and low impact recreation, like camping and hiking. “[Consumptive activities] cost the taxpayer, destroy habitat, and trash recreational opportunities.” — Backpacker magazine, 2003
  • “Our modus operandi is to take [opponents] by storm. We don’t let the industry or agencies know what we’re doing because they’ll try and stop us. But once we file a petition or lawsuit, they can’t respond quickly enough. Then we file another. It’s like boxing. We hit them once and before they have a chance to recover we hit them again, and we keep hammering away until they fall down.” — Backpacker magazine, 2003
  • “We’re monitoring the [Buena Vista Lake ornate] shrew and making sure the agribusiness isn’t de-watering the marshes. Sometimes it gets a little dicey because part of the habitat is on private land. But, shit, this species is going extinct! You think we’re not going to climb over a fence?” — Backpacker magazine, 2003