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Factory Butte in Utah

For decades, the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has allowed four-wheelers and dirt bikes to carve up Utah’s red rock country—creating a spider’s web of dirt trails—without first ensuring that archaeological sites and artifacts from early Native American communities are identified and protected from damage and looting. As the result of a recent order from the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, this is about to change.

Timber wolf, Josef Pittner/iStock

In 2014, Earthjustice won a major court victory to return wolves in Wyoming to protected status under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). But in mid-2015, members of Congress slipped a policy “rider” into House and Senate spending bills that would have overridden that Wyoming court decision as well as another federal court decision, stripping wolves in Wyoming, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota of ESA protections.

Alberto Restifo/Unsplash

We’re looking ahead to exciting new casework and courtroom battles to protect the wild, improve the health of communities across the U.S. and transition our country to renewable energy. But as we prepare to dive into our 2016 docket, let’s not forget the biggest stories of 2015. Earthjustice has covered events across the environmental spectrum, from the battle to keep Shell’s Arctic drilling rigs out of Seattle to the proliferation of pesticides on GM crops in Hawai‛i.

Don’t miss these in-depth stories from the frontlines of the environmental movement:


Exchanging presents, keeping annual traditions alive, and looking forward to the New Year all make this season a special one. The end-of-year holidays are a perfect time to gather with friends and family and enjoy sumptuous meals. However, many foods we typically enjoy during the holiday season would look strikingly different (and may not exist at all) without the work of honeybees.

Paris climate talks, November 30

When the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, gaveled the Paris Agreement into existence on December 12, he said the day would go down in history. His words rang true. President François Hollande proclaimed it a “revolutionary” moment.

The Paris Agreement delivers a powerful signal to business, investors and communities that the nations of the world are committed to curbing greenhouse gas emissions and accelerating the transition to a low-carbon, clean energy economy.  

Humpback breech

2015 provided no shortage of work for Earthjustice attorneys, who went to bat time and time again for threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, focused on preserving our remaining wild lands and maintained a watchful eye on oil and gas drilling. We documented their trials, tribulations and triumphs throughout the year.

Here’s a round-up of 2015’s most popular Earthjustice blog posts: 

10. Shell’s Battle for Seattle

Shell tried to grease the skids on its way to Arctic drilling through Seattle’s port.

Buck Parker at Crater Lake in southern Oregon.

Vawter “Buck” Parker describes himself as “the kid in the back of the car daydreaming and looking at the passing landscape” as his family took long rides through Oregon, where he grew up. Those years set him on course for a lifetime of protecting the wild, first as a private lawyer, then for 35 years with Earthjustice, which he led for more than a decade. As he retires to his home in Hood River, Buck reflects on how he got involved with Earthjustice and how he helped shape its direction during a time when conservation efforts evolved into the powerful environmental movement.


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.