PORTLAND, Ore. — One of the eco-saboteurs responsible for the Two Elk fire atop Vail Mountain pleaded guilty in an Oregon court Thursday.
Rebecca Rubin admitted her part in firebombings and vandalism in Oregon, Colorado and California. Among them was the $12 million Two Elk fire that leveled a restaurant at the top of Vail Mountain.
“We are thankful that the various law enforcement agencies have brought closure to this case and that the individuals responsible for this act have been brought to justice,” said Kelly Ladyga, Vail Resorts’ vice president for corporate communications.
On Oct. 19, 1998, Rubin carried fuel onto Vail Mountain to ignite firebombs made from diesel and five-gallon plastic buckets. Vail Resorts quickly rebuilt the lodge.
The Earth Liberation Front told the media that the fire was intended to deter development in Blue Sky Basin, which they said was habitat for the Canada lynx.
‘The E.L.F.s are mad’
ELF committed the most destructive act of eco-terrorism in August 2003 when they burned down a massive condo complex under construction in San Diego.
The arsonists left a sheet on the ground near that crime scene that said, “If you build it, we will burn it. The E.L.F.s are mad.”
Rubin, 40, fled to Canada 12 years ago following the multi-state firebombing spree with the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front. The Vail firebombing was one of 20 in Oregon, Washington, California, Wyoming and Colorado blamed on the group.
She has refused to turn over the names of any of her co-conspirators.
Rubin’s plea agreement asks for five to seven and a half years in prison. Her sentencing is scheduled Jan. 27.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and email@example.com.