Posts tagged: Wildlife and Places

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Wildlife and Places


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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.

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View Kari Birdseye's blog posts
14 September 2012, 4:17 PM
Mass of sea ice forces drilling to halt, raises doubts about spill cleanup
Chukchi Sea, Alaska. (Florian Schulz / visionsofthewild.com)

Shell’s vice president of Alaska operations was quoted last Saturday as saying "Happy, happy, happy." Then the ice showed up.

Hours after Shell began drilling in the Artic, operations were forced to shut down to accommodate a drifting 30-mile by 12-mile hunk of sea ice, moving at a rate of a mile every 30 minutes. That’s what ice does in the Arctic—it is unpredictable, unforgiving and moves in with the high winds just in time to ruin a happy day.

A week ago, the Department of the Interior approved drilling in “non-oil-bearing zones” and Shell immediately began drilling its first exploration well in the Chukchi Sea, off the coast of Northern Alaska in the early morning hours of Sunday. The drilling lasted only a few hours before the company took a “precautionary” move and disconnected the drilling rig from the seafloor anchors and temporarily moved the vessel off the well site. One wonders what would happen if such an ice mass moved in while Shell was trying to respond to a major oil spill.

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View David Guest's blog posts
14 September 2012, 12:35 PM
It's an old story, but 'Sugar Daddy' governor offers new hope
National Park Service Photo

For decades, U.S. sugar barons have been dumping their polluted runoff into the Florida Everglades. Day after day, these politically powerful corporations send chemical fertilizers and pesticides into the great marsh—wrecking America’s only subtropical wilderness in the process.

It’s clearly wrong for sugar plantations to use our public natural resources as their private dumping grounds, and we here at the Florida office of Earthjustice fight many legal battles to stop it.

Recently, we got some curious news. A sugar plantation pollution scheme which was supposedly shelved 24 years ago is now rearing its ugly head again.

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View Maria Beloborodova's blog posts
14 September 2012, 8:40 AM
Earthjustice files notice of intent to sue
The loss of federal protection for the wolves is a death sentence for at least 56 wolves now occupying areas of the state are now a shoot-on-sight zone. (Shutterstock / CritterBiz)

The tragic delisting of Wyoming’s gray wolves from the Endangered Species List has many wildlife defenders up in arms, and with sound reason: the removal of protections for the wolves marks an end to many years of successful recovery efforts of a species that was once on the verge of extinction.

To hand over the “wolf management plan” to a state that intends to eradicate wolves from most of its territory seems at odds with the idea of protecting and recovering an endangered species, yet that is exactly what Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has done.

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View Liz Judge's blog posts
13 September 2012, 11:28 PM
Live updates from Washington, D.C.

Today's the day that we deliver our Mountain Heroes photo petition to the Obama administration! This massive photo petition is historic—it includes photos and personal messages and stories from more than 13,500 people across the country who wrote to President Obama and his administration for an end to mountaintop removal mining. It's the largest photo petition ever to be delivered to the president, and it's all about ending the nation's most destructive mining practice, protecting Appalachian families and communities, and standing up for clean water, healthy communities, environmental justice, and beautiful mountains and wildlife. (See a photo slideshow of the petition delivery event.)

I can't tell you all how honored I feel in delivering your inspiring and touching messages and images today to our nation's leaders. When I look at this petition and see all your photos and messages, I am moved to my very core. You all have created as powerful and beautiful of a solidarity display as I can imagine.

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View Ted Zukoski's blog posts
13 September 2012, 8:54 PM
Appeals court will hear arguments Wednesday in state's war on wildlands
Salt Creek, Canyonlands National Park. The state of Utah hopes to turn the creek into a highway. Ted Zukoski photo.

Canyonlands National Park—which contains some of the planet's most fantastic desert scenery and, paradoxically, two of the West's mightiest rivers—just celebrated its 48th birthday.

The state of Utah is working to drive a knife into the heart of the park before it reaches 49.

The state and its ally, San Juan County, Utah, contend that Salt Creek, one of the few permanent streams in the park, is a "constructed highway" that the state—not the Park Service—can manage.

They plan to manage this stream not to protect its rich habitat for wildlife, but instead as a playground for Jeeps and SUVs, relying on a repealed, 19th Century law known as "R.S. 2477."

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View Joan Mulhern's blog posts
10 September 2012, 3:43 PM
Larry Gibson fought to the end against abuse of people, mountains

On December 28, 2012, Earthjustice lost its original Mountain Hero, Senior Legislative Counsel Joan Mulhern, who passed away after a long illness. Joan will be greatly missed.
Read Marty Hayden's tribute and a memorial to Joan from the Earthjustice Quarterly Magazine.

 

The fight to end mountaintop removal will not stop until mountaintop removal stops, but yesterday we lost one of the most beloved heroes and leaders of the movement. Larry Gibson, the Keeper of the Mountains, died on Kayford Mountain, a sacred place he fought for three decades to save. He recalled how, 30 years ago, some people told him that the destruction caused by mountaintop removal and strip mining would be “fixed” in six months.

I first met Larry in 1999 after just joining Earthjustice when Judge Haden in West Virginia ruled, for the first time ever by a federal court, that mountaintop removal was illegal. A huge political and Congressional fight ensued, especially over the Clean Water Act. Larry's effort in Appalachia and around the country—reaching out to young people, members of Congress, non-profit groups and others—was an inspiration. He never gave up.

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View Liz Judge's blog posts
10 September 2012, 9:40 AM
Larry Gibson, Keeper of the Mountains, Rests in Power
Larry Gibson, watching the sun set over decimated Kayford Mountain.

Last night we got devastating news. Larry Gibson, our close friend, partner, ally and comrade in the work to end mountaintop removal mining and secure justice for communities across Appalachia, had passed away of a heart attack. Larry was more than a friend and partner, he was our hero and our inspiration.

Like so many others, I was so inspired and humbled by Larry's tireless work to end mountaintop removal mining and protect all Appalachian people from this destructive mining practice. I wanted to share his story to inspire others and to show more people the hero so many of us saw in him.

He agreed to do this little video with Earthjustice. He asked me to make sure it got out to many people. I heard what he was saying. I felt the weight of his work and a responsibility to him. I knew he fought 30 years for his homeland and for his Appalachian brothers and sisters.

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View Kari Birdseye's blog posts
31 August 2012, 2:11 PM
Shoot-on-sight killing of endangered wolves allowed in 30 days

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service chose a blue moon to announce the delisting of the gray wolf in Wyoming, which will take effect in one month. Is it because a blue moon is also called the “betrayer moon,” or perhaps it’s just before a holiday weekend and they are hoping most won’t notice?

By eliminating federal protections and handing wolf management over to Wyoming, the Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision will allow hunters, ranchers, wolf haters and anyone living or visiting Wyoming to commence unconditional wolf killing—without a license and by virtually any means in nearly 85 percent of the state. In the rest of the state, Wyoming will open up a hunting season on wolves immediately after it gains control.

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View Liz Judge's blog posts
24 August 2012, 1:30 PM
Warren Haynes, My Morning Jacket oppose mountaintop removal mining
Guitarist Warren Haynes has joined the Mountain Heroes campaign.

John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High” is one song that immediately comes to mind when you think of how music and mountains just naturally go hand in hand. Musicians are been well known for their stances on environmental issues, and artists such as Pearl Jam, The Roots, Jack Johnson, Willie Nelson, Guster, Sheryl Crow, and Moby are all outspoken advocates.

As part of Earthjustice’s Mountain Heroes campaign, two more prolific artists are joining us to stand up against mountaintop removal mining. The first is Rolling Stone’s 23rd greatest guitarist of all time: Warren Haynes. Warren has recorded with artists from every genre, and is best known for his work playing with The Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers, Phil Lesh & Friends, and his own group, Gov’t Mule. Why has Warren joined us? “I want to save mountains because mountains are majestic!”

Mountain Heroes: Warren Hayes, My Morning Jacket.

View John McManus's blog posts
17 August 2012, 12:27 PM
Wyoming gray wolves may lose endangered species protection
Many of those responsible for the anti-wolf policies in Wyoming today basically wish for the return of the days when virtually no wolves occupied the northern Rockies landscape. (U.S. FWS)

The Associated Press reports that the federal government will abandon its protections for Wyoming wolves by August 31—if not sooner—leaving the wolf’s fate in the hands of the “Cowboy State.”

This has wolf supporters worried.

The state plans to immediately allow wolves to be killed at any time by most any means in about 85 percent of the state, no license required … and they can kill as many wolves as they want. The other 15 percent of the state won’t be much friendlier. There, hunters will need a license to kill wolves, unless they plan to kill wolves on the pretense of protecting property. Again, such killing is unlimited.

January catch of Forest Service hunter T.B. Bledsaw, Kaibab National Forest, circa 1914. (Arizona Historical Society)

January catch of Forest Service hunter T.B. Bledsaw, Kaibab National Forest, circa 1914.
The Obama Administration is finalizing a plan that throws most of Wyoming back to the days when wolf massacres nearly wiped out wolves in the lower-48 states. Don’t let history be repeated. Take action today!
(Arizona Historical Society)
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