The original ELF was founded by John Clark Hanna. who was the only member of the group to be arrested and convicted for the use of explosives on federal property. The ELF conducted armed actions in northern California and Oregon and disbanded in 1978 following Hanna's arrest.
The group claimed that warfare designed pesticides were being used on domestic crops, specifically a chemical banned after its extensive use in Vietnam. A communique to The Independent later provided the group with a frontpage story. They also called for above-ground organizations to initiate a boycott of sprayed food and for the public to criticize the process, with the following claim that.
There was also an article published in Open Road in August 1977 featuring the bombing at a paper publishing company in Oregon City. The target was a company who the ELF claimed were responsible for using a dangerous chemical called Tordon for aerial spraying, used as part of a program in Vietnam and responsible for causing cancer and birth defects.
- "Old ELF Turns on Young 'Eco-Terrorists'". ABC News. Retrieved 2021-08-12.
- "The Threat of Eco-Terrorism". FBI. Retrieved 2021-08-12.
- Vynne, Stacy Jonah (2011). "Earth Liberation Front (ELF)/Animal Liberation Front (ALF)". In Schiffman, Howard S. (ed.). Green Issues and Debates: An A-to-Z Guide. SAGE. p. 154. ISBN 9781412996945.
- ELF declares 'war' on pesticides, The Independent, May 20, 1977, Santa Cruz CA.
- ELF Guerrillas Fight Ecoside, Open Road, vol #4, August 1977, Vancouver, B.C.