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A National Academy of Sciences review panel today announced findings that federal protections for salmon and other fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta are scientifically justified. The determination by the panel comes after months of controversy sparked by the plan’s modest restrictions on massive pumps in the Delta. These huge pumps export water to farms and cities south of the Delta, but also cause Delta rivers to run backwards, pulling large numbers of baby salmon and other fish to their deaths.

When you hear “Wolverine!,” the first thing you think of is:

Right photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/existentialhero/ / CC BY-NC 2.0.

We’re not keeping score, but if we were, we’re guessing that A) Wolverine of the X-Men, and B) the University of Michigan’s mascot would be winning handily over C) Gulo gulo (common name: wolverine).

Some top stories from the past week at Earthjustice…

Earthjustice lawyers took home a big win after the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request to review a case that eliminated industrial facilities' ability to ignore pollution limits whenever they start up, shut down or malfunction

Light pollution can mean lights out for many animals such as seabirds and sea turtles, who often make the fatal mistake of confusing artificial lights with natural cues like the horizon. Last week, Earthjustice shined the light on one particularly disturbing case—a brightly lit luxury Hawaiian resort that is the single greatest cause of deaths and injuries from artificial lights among endangered Newell's shearwater seabirds.

The environmental community mourned the loss of conservation titan Dr. Ed Wayburn, whose efforts inspired thousands of citizen activists, including many Earthjustice staff, board and supporters.

With a $2.8 billion budget shortfall and a generally bleak economic climate, there's a movement growing in Olympia, Wash. to repeal a generous tax break enjoyed by the state's largest polluter, the TransAlta coal plant in Centralia. Earthjustice is pushing for TransAlta to run a cleaner plant that protects public health.
 

Facing a $2.8 billion budget shortfall, there is a movement afoot in Olympia, Washington to repeal a generous tax break enjoyed by the state's largest polluter, the TransAlta coal plant in Centralia.

The tax break was given to the company in the 1990s provided they kept coal mining jobs in the state. In 2006, TransAlta closed the local mine, laid off 600 workers, and began purchasing coal from the Powder River Basin in Montana.

One of the great environmental victories of our time—preserving the Flathead Valley from development—has quickly become a teachable moment for middle school students in British Columbia.

The naturally dazzling Flathead, with its abundance of wildlife and environmental splendors, will not be sacrificed to get at its plentiful oil, gas and coal deposits, the BC government decided last month. This is how the decision is being taught to students:

Former Earthjustice Executive Director Buck Parker offers these thoughts on Dr. Ed Wayburn:

Earthjustice notes with sadness the passing of Dr. Ed Wayburn at age 103 on Friday, March 5. We were privileged to work with Dr. Wayburn during his decades of leadership of the Sierra Club and of many national conservation campaigns to establish and protect national parks, wilderness areas, and the magnificent landscapes of Alaska.

He was also a key supporter for creating Earthjustice, originally the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, and maintained a life-long interest in the organization and its work. The efforts of Ed and his late wife Peggy inspired the work of thousands of citizen activists, including many Earthjustice staff, board and supporters, in protecting our public lands and resources.

For more information about Dr. Wayburn and his monumental contribution to the American conservation movement please visit the web site of the Sierra Club.

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About the Earthjustice Blog

unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders. Learn more about Earthjustice.