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In a pioneering decision made last week, the National Marine Fisheries Service finalized a rule to protect dozens of species of small fish and squid that are an important part of the menu for seabirds, whales and bigger fish. The decision marks an important first step in shifting away from the too little, too late approach to fisheries management that too often results in overfishing and collapsed stocks.

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Scientists believe it takes around two million years for a new species to come into existence. Species extinction, on the other hand, can occur in the comparative blink of an eye. Unfortunately, North America’s imperiled flora and fauna aren’t getting the help they need from congressional leaders in Washington, D.C., putting more and more species under threat.

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Communities near the nation’s coal ash disposal facilities have been given new hope thanks to a recent Earthjustice victory. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered the EPA to issue “financial assurance” rules. These rules require companies with toxic waste problems—potentially including coal-fired power plants that produce toxic coal ash—to set aside funds for their own cleanup.

Chevron Molycorp mine

This is a guest blog post by Rachel Conn. Rachel is the Projects Director for Amigos Bravos, a New Mexico water conservation organization. Rachel works to provide hands-on support to impacted New Mexico communities and watershed groups, review and comment on state and federal water policy issues and conduct Clean Water Act trainings.

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In an 85-page opinion, U.S. District Court Judge Dana L. Christensen rejected as illegal a 2014 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to deny the wolverine protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Central to the case is a key, necessary ingredient for wolverine habitat: snow. Scientific research has shown that the famously tough creature relies on snow to survive, but temperature increases associated with climate change mean there is and will be less of it.

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When we enter into legal battles against the chemical industry, we know we are the underdogs. We fight for the underrepresented—farmworkers and children—against an entrenched industry with far greater wealth, power and influence. Despite the odds stacked against us, Earthjustice and other environmental advocates have gotten rid of some of the most dangerous chemicals on the market.


In late 2015, the Food and Drug Administration gave the greenlight to AquaBounty, Inc., a company poised to create, produce and market an entirely new type of salmon. By combining the genes from three different types of fish, AquaBounty has made a salmon that grows unnaturally fast, reaching adult size twice as fast as its wild relative.

Never before has a country allowed any type of genetically engineered animal to be sold as food. The United States is stepping into new terrain, opening Pandora’s box. But are we ready for the consequences?


Early in the morning on Thanksgiving Day in 2012, a father and two sons ventured out for an elk hunt in Grand Teton National Park. Trekking softly through the woods around 7:25 a.m., the trio encountered a 534-pound grizzly bear, which may have been feeding on a nearby elk carcass. During the ensuing confrontation, the hunters raised their rifles and fired at the grizzly, killing it.


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.