Monday, October 16, 2006

In Support Of The Trees Foundation

The Trees Foundation is a highly respected non-profit organization that supports widespread efforts to protect the eco-systems and natural heritage of this region. It is shameful, but not shocking, that Shunka Wakan and Katheryn Miller have mounted an assault against this group through a lawsuit alleging misappropriation of funds. It seems clear to me that Shunkas motivation is one of revenge after his links to financial support from this organization were severed.

As the resident hermit crab occupying the shell of the late North Coast Earth First!, Shunka's actions are a disservice to the greater struggle for forest protection in this county.

The Trees Foundation is a pillar of this community and deserves to be treated as such.


At 10/16/2006 12:14:00 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

I don't know the specifics, and I've heard from many sources that Shunka is a loose canon, but didn't Miller donate the money to begin with? While I may not agree with her as to the best use of that money, I would think that she should have had some say as to where it went.

I heard the interview with Darrel on Thursday evening and while I greatly respect him he does have a tendency to go ad hominem where I was hoping to have some light shed on the merits of the case itself.

The only thing I can figure is that Miller didn't specify where she wanted the money and so the Trees Foundation distributed it according to their usual practices, and then only after the fact did Miller demand that it all go to Shunka. If it was all based on an "oral contract," the Trees should have prepped up something for her to sign that summarized the understanding. It sounds a bit sloppy.

But again, so far, all I've heard is the Shunka/Miller side and personal attacks against Shunka. Anything you can provide from the Trees Foundation in terms of substance would be greatly appreciated.

At 10/16/2006 12:46:00 PM, Blogger saf said...

I believe that Millers request was vague otherwise there would not be a dispute now. You're right that the deal could have been secured better with a written contract. Not being privy to the inner workings of Trees, I would guess that they will be much more carefull next time they recieve such a large donation.

At 10/16/2006 02:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

did you hear the KMUD mews interview with Doug Wallace (from Trees) on Friday? I believe Doug said that Ms. miller indicated that she wanted the money to help the forests of this area. No specifics.

as far as the merits of the case, we will just have to wait and see - you should know that better than anyone. I have read the complaint though. What stood out to me is that it alleges that Ms. Miller's phone agreement with Trees over the $ was "reasonable". What a joke. It is my understanding that Trees had no reason to believe the donation was anything more than general and that there was nothing stopping Ms. Miller from being more specific or putting her wishes in writing.

I think that even if Ms. Miller did specify that the money was directed at North Coast Earth First! Media purposes (as money has been directed in the past) that does not mean Shunka's North Coast Media Center qualified to receive $.Trees stopped funding Shunka's office last winter at the request of Trees' designated NCEF! liaison and after they had some first hand experience with Shunka's behavior. Contrary to what Shunka would have you believe, Shunka is not the only NCEF!er in this county and there are others that do qualify.

I expect that more substance will come out over time. Although, take careful note of the personal attacks on Shunka. people have tried for years to shake themselves of his oppressive behavior and -more recently- unglue him from his position of control. Their stories are just now being heard.

At 10/17/2006 10:01:00 AM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

as far as the merits of the case, we will just have to wait and see - you should know that better than anyone.

Certainly, and I'm not suggesting there aren't merits. If she wasn't clear about what she wanted and they distributed the money with the reasonable assumption of discretion - as they do with most donation, then she can't come back later and complain about it.

What would be a more interesting question from a legal perspective is whether she would have any say in any portion of the funds that might remain. If so, that might be a point for settlement discussions, although I'm sure that the money was all sent out if a fiscal year has passed.

It sounds like Shunka is bad news, and ad hominem is not necessarily bad. But that's all I heard on the Thursday night broadcast from 3 Earthfirst! activists I respect. The case won't be defensed on attacks on Shunka - certainly the judges won't be impressed by them.

If she's right, it seems like she has an uphill battle. It's going to be "she said, whoever said," and in order for her to prevail she has to prove that her version of whatever conversation is "more likely than not." If the judge or jury (this would more likely be a court trial) can't decide which witness is telling the truth - ie. 50-50, she loses.

At 11/20/2006 01:28:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

google "shunka" and "ali g" and you will get an idea of what a loser
Jason Brown, late of Missouri, really is.

At 4/13/2008 08:24:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ummm... I was a treesitter for a long time out there and Shunka was one of the only people who actually supported me. Needless to say, I left the "movement" because I was tired of this bullcrap in fighting. The trees are going to all be cut down and there is nothing anyone is going to do about it because the loggers are more organized and together then the "Forest Defense" movement.

As for the lawsuit, if the freakin' person making the donation is coming out saying that here funds did not go where she wanted, then it's straight messed up that she did not win her case.

I for one am glad that I moved out of Humboldt county and decided to remove myself from Earth First. I love the Redwoods but I hate the Humboldt County mentality.

Shunka is not a loser, he was my friend and he did a lot more then the rest of you fakers that probaly sit in your homes, growing weed and talk talk talking about saving the trees without ever actually helping the trees.


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