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Environmentalists Suspected in Golf Course Vandalism

August 10, 1991

TELLURIDE, Colo. (AP) _ Vandals who identified themselves with the Earth First 3/8 environmentalist group forced closure of a new golf course after using a chemical to write messages in the greens.

Using a chemical authorities have yet to identify, the vandals wrote, ″Earth First 3/8,″ ″Hayduke lives″ and ″Ron you pig″ on 11 greens and several tees at the course sometime last week, county Undersheriff Sky Walters said Friday.

The 18-hole course, built on wetlands, opened in June as part of a development on a mountain above Telluride. Following the vandalism, it has been closed indefinitely, golf course officials said.

Hayduke was one of a group of eco-terrorists in Edward Abbey’s book ″The Monkey Wrench Gang.″ Ron apparently refers to Ron Allred, president of the Telluride Ski Resort Inc., which owns the course at Telluride Mountain Village.

Allred and his company received other recent threats, Walters said.

Earth First 3/8 in the past has advocated sabotage, such as tree-spiking, in pressing its cause. It also employs peaceful means of protest such as blockading logging roads, picketing sawmills and tree-sitting.

Tree-spiking, in which thick nails are pounded into the trunk, does not kill the tree but makes it difficult to saw safely.

Three weeks ago, the Telluride Times Journal received a letter signed ″Earth First 3/8″ claiming that the the ski area’s high-speed chairlift had been sabotaged. The letter-writer said a welding gas that weakens metal was applied to the lift cable. The ski company is investigating the claim.

The ski company is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the vandals’ arrest.