Ancient Forest Rescue 
PO Box  7566   Boulder, CO 80306
 
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE	January 24, 1999
 
CONTACTS:					(970) 476-8185 

ANCIENT FOREST RESCUE ACTIVISTS' FIRST AMENDMENT FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND
OTHER CIVIL LIBERTIES TARGETED BY GRAND JURY

Vail, Colorado. Ancient Forest Rescue (AFR) has been an outspoken and
effective critic of Vail Resorts Inc.'s (VRI's) "Category III" ski area
expansion as it would destroy the Two Elk Roadless Area - a critical
wildlife corridor, and is the best, last known home of the elusive lynx.

Even though AFR adheres to a strict code of non-violent protest, its
activists have been harassed by law enforcement agencies and now
subpoenaed to appear in front of a grand jury. Members of AFR say they
are being singled out for "investigation" not because of any wrongdoing,
but because of their political views. 

In response, AFR invited a nationally recognized expert on grand juries
to educate the group. What they learned of past grand juries alarmed
them, clearly indicating a pattern of intimidation intent on undermining
the First Amendment Freedom of Speech and Assembly liberties of American
citizens. 

AFR feels that the current grand jury subpoena of its activists is a
politically motivated investigation intent on defeating AFR's proven
ability to work with the public and high country communities
overwhelmingly opposed to VRI's duplicitous ski area expansion plans at
Vail and elsewhere. 

AFR is fundamentally opposed to the undemocratic methods of grand
juries, including the removal of basic civil liberties guaranteed by the
U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. These include:

 the ability to indict political activists on hearsay and innuendo,
 the removal of the right to have an attorney present,
 the ability to coerce responses from citizens to any questions,
including those about their personal lives or political views.

On October 19, 1998, AFR distributed a press release describing their
strict adherence to a code of non-violence, including repudiation of
damage to persons, property, or wildlife. They ponted out that this code
also includes absolute opposition to any activity that has even the
slightest potential for harm to human beings, their property, or
wildlife. This release is available upon request.

Additional information about case examples of grand jury abuses is also
available upon request.

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