Green Gone Wild: Elevating Nature Above Human Rights
M. David Stirling
VP of Pacific Legal Foundation
August 23, 2008
Dave Stirling joined Pacific Legal Foundation as Vice President in 1999, bringing a wealth of
experience and unique perspective to the Foundation. After 10 years of law practice in southern
California, Mr. Stirling was elected and served three terms in the California State Assembly.
Choosing not to seek another legislative term, in 1983, Governor George Deukmejian appointed
him General Counsel of the historically controversial state Agricultural Labor Relations Board, which he reformed into a fair and balanced state agency. Mr. Stirling was later appointed to the Sacramento County Superior Court, where he presided in difficult and emotional family law cases. Judge Stirling resigned from the bench in 1990 and served eight years as Chief Deputy Attorney General at the California Department of Justice, the second largest civil and criminal justice enforcement agency in the United States. He was the Republican candidate for California attorney general in the 1998 general election.
Although he served in high-level positions in all three branches of government, Mr. Stirling is
quick to note Thomas Jefferson’s warning that “the natural progress of things is for liberty to
yield and government to gain ground.” For one who favors less government intrusion in our
lives, livelihoods, and property, working to reduce government growth, power, and cost while in the belly of the beast was a daunting mission. “At PLF, challenging government overreach is what we do every day, and I find that most stimulating,” he says.
Mr. Stirling helped establish PLF’s Endangered Species Act Reform Project, a long-term effort to make one of the nation’s most onerous laws more people-friendly. His book, Green Gone Wild - Elevating Nature Above Human Rights, describes modern environmentalism’s “pro-species – antipeople” ethos, and chronicles numerous real-life cases where enforcement of the federal Endangered Species Act claimed people’s lives and threatened their safety, destroyed their livelihoods and businesses, and trampled their constitutionally-protected property rights. Mr. Stirling was a Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in 2006 during the research and early writing of the book.
An active member of the California Bar since 1966, Mr. Stirling’s primary role at PLF is Public
Affairs. “Informing people of PLF’s mission – Rescuing Liberty From the Grasp of Government
Power – not only educates them about the challenges we face from increasing government
overreach at all levels, but gives them hope in knowing that there is a quality legal organization
working vigorously in the courts to defend their individual and economic freedoms,” he says.
Dave Stirling is a sought-after speaker and a prolific writer, with articles published in
newspapers, online publications and magazines around the country. He is a graduate of Principia
College and the Tulane University Law School. He and his wife and daughter reside in the
Sacramento River Delta community of Walnut Grove. Mr. Stirling also has two adult sons.