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
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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View Ted Zukoski's blog posts
17 August 2012, 8:33 AM
Forest Service prefers protecting wildlands, chooses bulldozers anyway
The Sunset roadless area. Ted Zukoski photo (c).

The Forest Service finally admitted it.

It took the agency two environmental assessment drafts and a draft and final environmental impact statement, but they admitted it.

The agency finally admitted that it would be “environmentally preferred” to protect the wildest, most pristine part of the Sunset roadless area in western Colorado from bulldozing for road construction and for scraping well pads to benefit Arch Coal, the nation’s second largest coal company.

The construction of a spider-web of industrial facilities that will take decades to heal will devastate that part of the roadless area the Forest Service itself concluded meets all of the criteria for designation as wilderness—the most protective designation on public lands.

But while the Forest Service concluded it was “environmentally preferred” to protect this remote natural area of ponds and streams, elk and black bear habitat, with its huge spruce and large stands of aspen, the agency also decided on August 10 to approve the most aggressive coal mine expansion for Arch Coal’s West Elk Mine, paving the way for the roadless area’s destruction.

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View Liz Judge's blog posts
08 August 2012, 1:00 PM
Some love stories captured on video

She said, “Do you cheat on me?”
He said, “Sure I do.”

“Do I know her?"
“Sure you do.”

“Is she pretty?”
“Most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.”

“What’s her name?”
He said, “Kayford Mountain, prettiest lady I ever met.”

This is the story of a man who fell in love with a mountain and his struggle to keep it and all mountains from being destroyed by coal mining.

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View David Lawlor's blog posts
06 August 2012, 1:32 PM
Will the eco-conscious Pacific Northwest become a coal-shipping hub?
Author Wendell Berry has examined the relationship of rural America with the nation’s urban centers.

(Editor's Note: This is the fourth blog post in an ongoing series about proposed coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest. Upcoming blog posts will examine the potential impact coal export terminals could have on the region's health and environment.)

The television comedy program Portlandia likes to poke fun at the culture of the Pacific Northwest. According to the show, the region is home to bicycle-riding, dumpster-diving, organic-free range-grass fed-biodynamic tree-huggers. And while Portlandia promotes a well-hewn stereotype of the region, there’s something to be said for its portrayal.

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View Doug Honnold's blog posts
03 August 2012, 2:59 PM
Wyoming wants gray wolves off the endangered species list

The anti-wolf crowd in Wyoming has this irrational fear of wolves, and no amount of evidence can calm them. These are the folks who want to turn back the clock to the Wild West days where they could kill every wolf they see—and, unfortunately, the Interior Department is going to let them do just that in most of the state.

It’s hard to believe that, in this day and age, recklessly killing wolf pups would be encouraged by a state government, but that is what we are facing. The state of Wyoming is openly discussing taking dogs from a dog pound to the backcountry, staking them dead or alive until wolves arrive, and then killing the wolves on sight. The sad part is that this would be perfectly legal in most of the state.

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View Kelsey Oliver's blog posts
03 August 2012, 2:02 PM
Cousteau legacy aids fight against mountaintop removal mining
Alexandra Cousteau.

One of the biggest threats to water in Appalachia is mountaintop removal. Entire communities have had their water poisoned by runoff from mountaintop removal sites. Says Alexandra Cousteau:

For this reason, I unequivocally extend my support to promoting the discussion on the dangers of mountaintop removal and raising awareness of its devastating impacts not only on the environment—but also the communities downstream.

Mountaintop removal has gained notoriety for contaminating precious water resources. Mountain Hero Junior Walk has talked about how the blasting of mountains contaminated his family’s water; we also saw Amber Whittington write in her story, “I didn’t fully comprehend the effects of mountaintop removal until it got to the water in our home. I would open up the tap, and I would see the water. It would have an orange tint and a horrible smell, like rotten eggs.”

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View Jessica Knoblauch's blog posts
27 July 2012, 1:18 AM
Plus: London smog, EPA’s petrified politics, grocery bill blues
Greenland's ice melt from July 8th (left image) to July 12 (right image). Photo courtesy of NASA

Greenland's record ice melt blows scientists’ beakers
The ice melt happening in Greenland right now is one for the record books, reports the UK Guardian. In fact, it’s so dramatic that even the scientists who have been staring at Greenland’s ice melt for decades were so surprised at just how fast the ice is melting that they thought they made a mistake in their data. They didn't. One group of researchers even had to rebuild their research camp after the snow and ice melted beneath their feet. Within a four-day period, the area of melting ice in Greenland increased from approximately 40 percent of the ice sheet surface to 97 percent. Typically, only about half of Greenland’s ice sheet melts during the summer. The unprecedented ice melt doesn’t bode well for those living near sea level, like, say, the almost four million Americans that live within just a few feet of high tide

London smog may send athletes sprinting for inhalers
As the Olympics in London heats up, the world’s best athletes are gearing up with top-notch running shoes, high-performance energy drinks...and their best inhalers, reports the UK Guardian. Health experts are warning that London’s forecast temperature of hot weather and easterly winds this week may result in a deadly combination that spikes smog pollution in the area, triggering breathing problems and scratchy throats. Also known as ground level ozone, smog is formed when sunlight reacts with oxygen and pollutants like nitrogen dioxide, which spews out of vehicle tailpipes and industry smokestacks. Though physicians often recommend that people reduce physical activity during really smoggy days, that’s not really an option for speedy, air-sucking Olympic athletes. Last fall, President Obama withdrew the EPA’s new smog standard, which would have tightened air toxics regulations and saved thousands of lives each year. Though the president cited economic concerns as the reason for his decision, it’s unclear whether he considered the economic impact of putting a smog-filled damper on the Olympics. As for the non-athletes attending the games this year who’d like to know when air pollution spikes, don’t worry. There’s an app for that.
 

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View Liz Judge's blog posts
24 July 2012, 11:01 AM
Star adds her face and message to stop mountaintop removal mining
Daryl Hannah speaks out against mountaintop removal mining. (Pake Salmon)

Daryl Hannah is best known as an actor in films such as Splash, Blade Runner, Roxanne, Wall Street, and Kill Bill Volumes 1 and 2. But outside of the studio, she is a vocal environmental activist who dedicates herself to raising awareness of climate change, sustainable farming energy solutions, and of course, mountaintop removal.

For Earthjustice's Mountain Heroes photo petition, Daryl writes, “I believe if people in this country truly understood that we are allowing private companies to blow up our oldest mountain range and decimate our ecosystems, water and communities—it would not be legal.”

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