Contribute Now
POV | If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front | History & Documentary | WMHT
  • Click to join the WMHT e-news mailing list
  • Click to make a sustaining contribution to WMHT
  • Click to contribute to WMHT
  • In Partnership With:
  • PBS
  • NPR

POV

POV | If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front

Posted by WMHT Web Editor

Preview A documentary that lifts the veil on a radical environmental group.

Watch Friday, August 29, 2014 at 7:30pm on WORLD.

Explore two of America's most pressing issues -- environmentalism and terrorism -- by lifting the veil on a radical environmental group the FBI calls the country's "number one domestic terrorism threat." Daniel McGowan, a former member of the Earth Liberation Front, faces life in prison for two multimillion dollar arsons against Oregon timber companies. What turned this working-class kid from Queens into an eco-warrior? 

In December 2005, Daniel McGowan was arrested by four federal agents in a nationwide sweep of radical environmentalists involved with the ELF. For years, the ELF had launched spectacular acts of arson against dozens of businesses it accused of destroying the environment, including timber companies, wild horse slaughterhouses and a $12 million ski lodge in Vail, Colorado. No one had ever been hurt in any of the fires. After his arrest, McGowan discovered that the arson carried a sentence of life in prison. 

Drawing from archival footage (much of it never before seen), If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front features interviews with ELF members, and with the prosecutor and detective who were chasing them. The film also provides a provocative account that is part coming-of-age story and part cautionary tale, and explores a time when the word "terrorism" had not yet been altered by 9/11.

Learn the story of how Theodore Roosevelt became our nation’s 26th president.

New York NOW: Education & History

Voters will decide education Bond Act this Fall Voters will decide education Bond Act this Fall
Voters in New York will decide in November whether the state should borrow $2 billion dollars for new technology including I-Pads in school classrooms. Teachers and sc...

POV Documentary Blog

The State of Web Video: Awesome But Broken (Part 1) The State of Web Video: Awesome But Broken (Part 1)
Web video technology is advancing rapidly, and it's time for an update on what's possible, what's broken and what's o...
The monumental building that was supposed to last forever was destroyed after 53 years.