Karen Pickett
Key Player

Director, Earth First! Direct Action Fund; former wife of Earth First! co-founder Mike Roselle; employee, Ecology Center, CA; board member, Alliance for Sustainable Jobs and the EnvironmentA long-time Earth First! activist, Karen Pickett argues: “When things that are lifeless are damaged, I think that’s vandalism, and I think when life is lost through violence, that’s terrorism.” Her vandalism caught up with her in 1996, when she and 11 other Earth First! members were ordered to pay $1.15 million to a contractor for damaged equipment and work delays. According to a song by fellow Earth First!er Darryl Cherney, she has been arrested more than 32 times.

Pickett married and later divorced Earth First! co-founder Mike Roselle. As part of the settlement, Pickett won control of the Earth First! Direct Action Fund, the treasury of the extremist group. In addition to funding Earth First!, Pickett directs money to other groups, including the Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters, which she also works for. She writes for the Earth Island Journal, and is a staffer of the Ecology Center in Berkeley, California. As a board member of the Alliance for Sustainable Jobs and the Environment, Pickett has also worked to create alliances between labor groups and environmentalist extremists.