THE ENVIRONMENT REPORT Cracking down on the ELF The Earth Liberation Front is an underground group that attacks institutions it believes harm the environment. During the past five years, its members have caused approximately $40 million in damages. ELF's most notorious acts of destruction include torching a luxury ski resort, destroying the executive offices of a forest-product company, and setting on fire university labs involved in genetically-modified crop research. For some time, environmentalists and others have debated whether this sort of activity was simply a public protest, or acts of terrorism. But since September 11th, that debate has escalated with increased efforts to label those involved in such attacks as terrorists.