Raped Environment Led Polluters On, Defense Attorneys Argue

Top Headlines

Recent News

What The Planet Will Look Like In 2100

As scientists try to project the effects of climate change into the future, many of these forecasts only go as far as 2100, a year beyond which the alterations to our environment become much harder to predict. Here is a breakdown of what we can expect our world to look like in 2100

Your Horoscopes – Week of May 1, 2012

ARIES: You will experience unbounded happiness and success in every area of your life this week, unless of course there is something fundamentally and irreversibly wrong with you.

Boss Able To Seamlessly Blend Constructive Criticism With Personal Attacks

SAN JOSE, CA—Marveling at the ease and deftness with which he communicates the two messages simultaneously, employees at local advertising firm Wavelength Solutions told reporters Tuesday that their supervisor Eric Crowell has a unique ability to seamlessly blend constructive criticism with cutting personal attacks.

Roger Federer Stunned By Sheer Amount Of Trash On U.S. Open Courts

NEW YORK—Surveying the piles of wrappers, old newspapers, and empty bottles scattered around the playing surface during his pre-match warmups, world No. 2–ranked tennis player Roger Federer expressed utter disbelief Monday over the sheer amount of trash on the U.S. Open courts.

God Wondering How Far He Could Throw Earth

THE HEAVENS—His gaze shifting from the terrestrial planet out to the expanse of the universe and then back, The Lord Almighty, Our Heavenly Father, reportedly wondered aloud Tuesday just how far He could throw the Earth.
End Of Section
  • More News
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Good Times

Sleep

Raped Environment Led Polluters On, Defense Attorneys Argue

OLYMPIA, WA—In their opening statement before jurors Monday, defense attorneys representing Pacific North Construction & Lumber Corp. argued that their client was not at fault for the July 1997 rape of 30,000 acres of virgin forest, claiming that the forest led the development company on with "an eager and blatant display of its rich, fertile bounty."

According to Dennis Schickle, lead defense attorney for Pacific North Construction & Lumber Corp., his client's rape of 30,000 acres of forest was precipitated by the plaintiff's "flagrant flaunting of its abundant natural resources."

"While, obviously, it is extremely unfortunate that this forest was raped, it should have known better than to show off its lush greenery and tall, strong trees in the presence of my client if it didn't want anything to happen," said lead defense attorney Dennis Schickle, speaking before a courtroom packed with members of the media. "It's only natural for any red-blooded American developer to get ideas in its head when it's presented with that kind of untouched beauty."

"The bottom line is," Schickle continued, "if you're going to tease and encourage like that, openly flaunting your abundant natural resources, don't be surprised by the consequences."

Public opinion regarding the high-profile case, which is being closely watched by timber-industry lobbyists and victims' rights groups across the U.S., is deeply divided. While some contend that the forced ravaging of a piece of land until it is stripped bare is never justifiable under any circumstances, others say that such an action is understandable if the wooded area gives off mixed signals.

"The Pacific North Construction & Lumber Corp. had every reason to believe that that forest wanted it bad," said logger Victor Duffy of Chelan, WA. "Just look at where it was at the time of the incident: It was in a secluded, far-off place, nearly 25 miles from the nearest road. What were those trees doing in that kind of remote spot if they weren't looking for trouble?"

A stretch of raped environment stripped bare by Pacific North loggers in a remote section of northwest Washington state. Defense attorneys have questioned what the trees were doing in such a secluded place.

Those siding with the timber company also cite the forest's history, claiming that it has a reputation for being easily exploited.

"Believe me, this is no virgin forest," said Frank Abbate, owner of the Bellingham-based G&H Consolidated Timber. "It may try to pass itself off as pristine and untouched, but I know for a fact that it has a long history of allowing itself to be used by developers."

In his opening statement, defense attorney Schickle also pointed out that when Pacific North loggers arrived at the forest on the day in question, its floor was covered in alluring, fragrant flowers that were "clearly meant to attract."

"When a forest drapes itself in flora of every color and scent imaginable, it's obviously asking for it," Schickle said. "I'm sure the plaintiff will argue that these radiant flowers were meant to lure pollen-hungry bees, not pulp-hungry loggers. But how was my client supposed to know this? When was it made clear that this colorful display was meant to attract one particular species of fauna but no other? When was it made clear that this forest was looking to satisfy the needs of bees and bees only?"

Russell Belanger, president of the National Timber And Logging Association, agreed. "This forest made it seem like it wanted it, then cried environmental rape when it got it," he said. "At some point, we've got to start asking ourselves who the real victim is in these cases: our nation's promiscuous, manipulative forests, or the good, decent developers out there who are just trying to make an honest living razing the land."