Flashback: CBD loses defamation lawsuit against Arizona rancher

Flashback: CBD loses defamation lawsuit against Arizona rancher
Jim and Sue Chilton

As reported at Liberty Unyielding, one of the environmental groups behind the decades-long attack on the Bundy family in Nevada is notorious for suing the federal government as an advocacy tool.

The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) claims a 93% success rate in their fight against “a growing number of national and worldwide threats to biodiversity, from the overarching global problems of unsustainable human population and climate change to intensifying domestic sources of species endangerment, such as off-road vehicle excess.”

But this story is about a case the CBD lost.

Like Cliven Bundy, fifth-generation rancher Jim Chilton of Arivaca, Arizona was also targeted by the CBD.

In 2010, Cary Blake of the Western Farm Press reported that a jury found that CBD falsely accused Chilton of damaging the public land upon which his cattle grazed.

The author writes,

“Over the last decade Pima County ranchers Jim and Sue Chilton were wrongly attacked by the CBD. The group sued the U.S. Forest Service to end the Chilton’s grazing allotment. The group claimed the area was a habitat for the Sonora chub and the lesser long-nosed bat, and that the Chiltons mismanaged the land.”

The Chiltons were likely furious when they saw that “[T]he CBD took pictures of bare ground on the Chilton’s allotment, alleging poor management and posted the photos on the CBD’s Web site…” The photo was actually a “small camping spot for deer hunters,” which happened to be next to grass which “stood 20 inches tall.”

But the final straw was “[W]hen Chilton saw a CBD news release in his local newspaper with even more allegations…”

The Chiltons’ “filed a $100,000 defamation and libel lawsuit against the CBD.” And won.

Attorney Kraig Marton said,

“They [CBD] were out to do harm, out to stop grazing and out to do whatever they can to prevent the Chiltons and others like them from letting cows on public land.”

The family did not make a penny, as their legal fees cost more than their $600,000. reward. But Chilton said it was worth it. “They lied about a cowboy. By God, it was the best expenditure I’ve ever made,” he said.

The incredible tale can be found here.


Renee Nal

Renee Nal

Renee Nal is a co-founder of TavernKeepers.com, a news and political commentary site founded by former Glenn Beck interns. She is also the National Conservative Examiner. Renee is an associate producer for Trevor Loudon's political documentary, 'The Enemies Within.'

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