Dave Foreman is a radical American environmentalist. He is one of the founders of Earth First!, a group noted for consisting of ecological saboteurs, or ecoteurs. To defend the environment, members of this group practice various destructive acts
against both humans and machinery.Foreman was born in 1947, the son of a United States Air Force employee. As a young man, he was the chair of Young Americans for Freedom, a conservative organization; in the 1970s, he worked for the Wilderness Society.
Eventually, Foreman developed the idea that, while they are often well-meaning, government agencies, as well moderate
private organizations, could not and would not stand up to the powerful forces attempting to destroying America's environment. Inspired by Edward Abbey's book, The Monkey Wrench Gang, Foreman set about to from a group of radical environmentalists to engage in "monkey-wrenching," including such acts as "spiking" trees so that they could not be cut down, "munching" logging roads by the use of
nails, toppling high-voltage power lines, as well as other subversive practices that resulted in protecting the environment.
Thus Earth First! was born -- along with its motto: "No compromise in defense of Mother Earth." This very unconventional organization operates without rules or officers. As Foreman intended, it is simply a group of people who are passionate about the environment; along with ecotage, members use
self-deprecating humor to mantain sanity and oppose fanaticism.
In 1985, Foreman published Ecodefense; A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching. In this book, he describes the strategies of Earth First!. Foreman also wrote an autobiography, Confessions of an Eco-Warrior, which was published in 1991. Here he defends his tactics for their success in attracting public attention to the cause of the environment.
But along with the public attention came FBI attention as well, and in 1989 Foreman was arrested for supporting his band of ecoteurs and causing potential damage to humans. He denied the felony charges against him, but agreed to plead guilty to lesser charges and was given a suspended sentence. Subsequently, Foreman has continued to work for the protection of the environment.