If you’re looking for a great way to pass the time this week, a new BBC Sounds podcast will certainly intrigue skiers’ and riders’ interests. The new podcast series dives into acts of environmental terrorism. The first episode, which debuted on September 6th, details the infamous October 1998 Vail Ski Resort fire that was set by the Earth Liberation Front. Bill Rodgers, Chelsea Dawn Gerlach, Stanislas Gregory Meyerhoff, and Josephine Sunshine Overaker all took part in some way in setting the Two Elk Lodge on fire, which destroyed multiple buildings. The eco-terrorism was in response to the controversial Blue Sky Basin expansion project at Vail. Chelsea Dawn Gerlach, who was released from prison in 2013, was interviewed for the podcast.
Leslie James Pickering, who was a former spokesperson of the Earth Liberation Front, spoke with Vail Daily on the importance of this new podcast about the incident:
“Part of the reason why the issue of the details of the arson at Two Elk and the other structures feel important to us is because Bill Rodgers died by suicide in prison to completely resist prosecution as much as he could. So it’s kind of an intense personal thing for people who are represented in this movement, and (Gerlach, in the podcast) is not represented as someone who (cooperated with the investigation.)
This is largely reaching a European audience. And they’re concerned about the climate movement right now. So playing up this extremism right now could potentially work in a soft, social way, to prevent people from taking direct action more seriously in the climate movement — it could potentially present this thing as ‘Here are some people who tried this crazy thing way back in the day, and it didn’t work out for them.’ When, in reality, I would disagree with that.”
You can listen to the podcast episode here.
Image Credits: Mark Mobley, Vail Fire Department (Featured Image), BBC Sounds, Vail Ski Resort