Kari Birdseye's Blog Posts

unEARTHED. The Earthjustice Blog

Kari Birdseye's blog


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Everyone has The Right To Breathe clean air. Watch a video featuring Earthjustice Attorney Jim Pew and two Pennsylvanians—Marti Blake and Martin Garrigan—who know firsthand what it means to live in the shadow of a coal plant's smokestack, breathing in daily lungfuls of toxic air for more than two decades.

Coal Ash Contaminates Our Lives. Coal ash is the hazardous waste that remains after coal is burned. Dumped into unlined ponds or mines, the toxins readily leach into drinking water supplies. Watch the video above and take action to support federally enforceable safeguards for coal ash disposal.

ABOUT EARTHJUSTICE'S 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.

Kari Birdseye is Earthjustice's National Press Secretary / Associate Media Director and occasional blogger of topics that demand more than a standard press release. Kari helps get the great work of Earthjustice recognized in the media and elsewhere and is especially intrigued by issues involving climate change, the Keystone Pipeline XL, the Endangered Species Act and anything furry with four paws. She carries her passion for animals and underdogs outside of the walls of Earthjustice and is inspired daily by the natural beauty of her home state of California. Kari also loves to cook, but refuses to press garlic without a glass of nice California wine.

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24 March 2014, 8:10 AM
What we have learned (not much) since the Exxon Valdez oil spill
The Exxon Valdez off the coast of Alaska. (NASA Photo)

Tragedy struck Prince William Sound in Alaska 25 years ago today when the Exxon Valdez ran aground, rupturing its hull and pouring nearly 11 million gallons of oil into the sound’s pristine waters.

The effects of that oil spill haunt the remote region to this day. Oil remains trapped between and under the boulders on beaches in the Gulf of Alaska. And thousands of gallons of Exxon Valdez oil lurk in beach sediments—still toxic and harmful to marine life.

Some 250,000 seabirds, nearly 3,000 sea otters, 300 harbor seals, 250 bald eagles and up to 22 killer whales were killed in the aftermath of the spill. Less than half of the monitored wildlife populations in the region are considered recovered to their pre-oil poisoning numbers.

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14 February 2014, 12:59 PM
Idaho leads the nation in open hatred for wolves, pursuit of wolf killing
A gray wolf peers out from between the birch trees. (Holly Kuchera / Shutterstock)

State officials and some groups in Idaho are continuing their relentless persecution of the gray wolf, with almost 250 wolves killed so far during the 2013-14 season alone. This week, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game released its predator management plan for the Middle Fork area of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness. The plan details IDFG’s intentions to reduce the wolf population in that area by 60 percent through several years of professional hunting and trapping efforts to inflate the local elk population.

In a related action, on Friday Earthjustice was back in court seeking to permanently halt Idaho’s wolf killing program in central Idaho’s Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness.

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23 January 2014, 3:32 PM
Nine wolves already dead as Earthjustice goes to appeals court
Members of the Golden pack in the Frank Church Wilderness Area. (Photo courtesy of Hobbit Hill Films LLC)

Earthjustice took its ongoing fight to stop the killing of two wolf packs in central Idaho’s Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today. Earthjustice filed an emergency motion asking the Ninth Circuit to preserve the wolves and their vital contribution to the wilderness character of the largest forested wilderness in the lower-48 states.

A federal district court judge in Idaho rejected our request for an injunction to stop the program last Friday and we immediately initiated an appeal to the Ninth Circuit. The most recent available information indicates that a hunter-trapper hired by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game has already killed nine wolves from the Golden Creek and Monumental Creek packs. Earthjustice is asking for a court injunction to stop the program before the remaining wolves in these two packs are killed.

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17 January 2014, 2:08 PM
Seven wolves dead as Earthjustice seeks restraining order
Two members of Idaho's Golden wolf pack, which is targeted for extermination. (Hobbit Hill Films LLC)

Despite enacting the world’s first and best endangered species law, our hatred toward the wolf continues to loom large in some parts of this country. Consider Idaho, where the wolf lost its endangered species listing in 2011 and faces hostile measures.

During the past two weeks, Earthjustice has been in court asking a federal judge to halt Idaho's unprecedented program to kill two wolf packs deep within the largest forested wilderness area in the lower-48 states. These wolves live on federal land, miles and miles away from ranches and civilization. As of Friday, seven had been killed by a hunter-trapper hired by the state.

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01 November 2013, 2:48 PM
Moves ahead despite past failures, warnings and a wrecked rig
The conical drilling unit Kulluk sat aground 40 miles southwest of Kodiak City, AK, on the shore of Sitkalidak Island in January 2013. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Travis Marsh.)

Shell Oil told investors this week that—after an embarrassing set of failures last year—it plans to go back into the icy Arctic waters in 2014. The announcement comes as a surprise given that CEOs of other Big Oil companies have been urging caution for month about returning to the area. And in fact, Shell has abandoned efforts to drill in the Beaufort Sea next summer.

At the same time, Shell says, it is seriously considering scrapping the drill rig Kulluk, which sits in a Singapore dry dock nursing battle wounds from a grounding off the coast of Alaska last year.

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16 October 2013, 3:38 PM
As wild bison return to the plains, ranchers target them as livestock
Newborn wild bison at Ft. Peck in the spring of 2012. (Bill Campbell)

Now that the court battles have been won and the wild bison are back on tribal reservations, the anti-bison interests are at it again.

The latest tactic is to get a Montana court to declare that the transplanted bison are “livestock” instead of “wildlife” under state law if they leave the reservations and roam on to public or private lands. Not only would this require treating roaming wild bison just the same as stray cattle, but it would likely put up a major roadblock to additional bison restorations in the future, as wildlife managers would have no authority to transplant animals classified as “livestock” under the law.

Earthjustice filed a brief today in response to this new effort to prevent bison restoration.

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24 September 2013, 11:58 AM
IPCC report to address the latest physical science of sooty pollutant

Black carbon is the sooty, particulate pollution that reaches deep into your lungs and causes asthma and other respiratory and heart diseases.

Black carbon also plays a major role in global warming—second to only carbon dioxide.

Here’s a great introduction to black carbon that may spur you to action, and even make you smile.

Termed a “short-lived climate pollutant” because it only stays in the atmosphere for days or weeks (unlike CO2 which sticks around for 100 years or more) reducing soot is one of the most effective ways of addressing global warming. That’s why this noxious air pollutant will be receiving some attention this week.

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12 September 2013, 4:17 PM
$1.1 million fine for polluting the Arctic air
The climate impacts of drilling in the Arctic are enormous. (Florian Schulz / visionsofthewild.com)

The Environmental Protection Agency slapped Shell with a substantial $1.1 million fine for polluting the pristine air of the Arctic while exploring for oil during 2012.

That’s when Shell could NOT stay out of the news, making headlines with its drill ship breaking towing lines and slamming into rocky beaches. That’s when their oil containment/spill response equipment was “crushed like a beer can” according to officials, during testing before heading to the Arctic. That season was filled with mishap after mishap and it turns out that they weren’t just hurting their own reputation. They were fouling the air and risking damage to America’s Arctic.

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09 September 2013, 12:41 PM
California on verge of giving in to Nevada pro-development forces
Lake Tahoe's famed clarity has been clouded by increased human activity and urban development. (Geoff Stearns)

Any day now, the fate of Lake Tahoe’s famed blue waters could be drastically compromised.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and California Gov. Jerry Brown could seal a bi-state deal that will encourage the agency created to protect the lake from pollution and over-development to place economic development front and center. The California Senate recently passed SB 630 to approve the deal that caves in to Nevada’s threats to dissolve a more-than-four-decades-long “marriage” to protect Lake Tahoe.

But what is California getting out of this deal?

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23 August 2013, 1:13 PM
Native Americans welcome animals back to where they once belonged
Two of the first wild bison born last spring. (Bill Campbell)

Some extra thunder rumbled into north central Montana this week when wild bison finally set hooves on the ground at Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. The return was the culmination of legal efforts to restore the animals to their historic prairie habitat. Members of the Assiniboine and Gros Ventre tribes were eager to receive them.

Montana’s Supreme Court recently cleared the way for the return—thanks in large part to Earthjustice legal efforts—rejecting challenges to a new state policy allowing wild bison room to roam outside the northern boundary of Yellowstone National Park. Said Earthjustice attorney Tim Preso:

The return of wild bison to the plains of northern Montana offers us a vision of the way things used to be—and also the way things can be in the future if we act boldly to restore native wildlife in appropriate places. That's why we fought all the way to the Montana Supreme Court to help make it happen.