Posts tagged: Wildlife and Places

unEARTHED. The Earthjustice Blog

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.


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 Terry Winckler's blog posts
29 April 2010, 11:08 AM
Administration backs legislation by state's senators
View of Glacier National Park

This is quite a week for the unmatchable Flathead River Valley in Montana. First, ConocoPhillips said it was relinquishing oil and gas leases on 169,000 acres near the Glacier National Park, and now, the Obama administration is backing efforts to preserve nearly 300,000 acres in the valley near the park.

The administration said it supports legislation by Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) that would ban oil/gas drilling and mining in the area.

2 Comments   /  
View Terry Winckler's blog posts
28 April 2010, 3:23 PM
Action by ConocoPhillips preserves 169,000 acres

Last February, after Canada banned mining and mineral development in its portion of the Flathead River Valley, Earthjustice attorney Tim Preso described the area as "a treasure more precious than coal or gold."

Today—thanks to a decision by ConocoPhillips—you can expand Preso's description to include oil and gas in Montana's portion of the Flathead Valley. Conoco announced that it was giving up its oil and gas leases on 169,000 acres near Glacier National Park.

The lease withdrawal follows a request from Montana's U.S. senators, and is part of the senators' larger strategy to ban all mineral development in the U.S. portion of the valley.

1 Comment   /  
View Liz Judge's blog posts
28 April 2010, 10:25 AM
Oil rig spill moving toward Louisiana coast, leaving a wake of loss
NASA image of the oil slick as it approaches Louisiana's ecologically fragile coast

As a crude oil spill bigger than West Virginia wreaks havoc on the Gulf of Mexico’s underwater ecosystems and makes its way to the U.S. shore, a rescue task force continues unsuccessfully to contain the pipes and seal off the leak caused by a giant oil rig explosion last week which took 11 lives.

News reports say that officials—who are about to set the slick on fire in an effort to contain it before it hits shore and devastates the fragile ecosystems there—fear that this could become one of the worst oil spills in U.S. history.

“If this oil reaches the coast, there will be some pretty severe impacts to these habitats,” said Tom Minello, a Galveston-based ecologist for the National Marine Fisheries Service, in a Houston Chronicle report on the spill’s impact on endangered species and prized fisheries yesterday.

7 Comments   /  
View Ted Zukoski's blog posts
26 April 2010, 10:19 AM
Beetle-killed forests not the problem some officials think
Pine beetles killed these Colorado trees

In a hearing room on Capitol Hill last week, science met politics. And science appears to have come out on the short end.

The hearing heard testimony on a bill from Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) whose stated purpose is to lessen fire risk supposedly caused by millions of dead trees killed by pine beetles. The bill is intended to protect homes and watersheds in forested areas of the West. It would require the Forest Service to identify areas where beetle kill was causing a "current or future increased risk of catastrophic wildland fire," and would exempt logging in those areas from some environmental protection laws.

The problem, though, is that the science shows this bill is a solution in search of a problem.

1 Comment   /  
View Liz Judge's blog posts
22 April 2010, 9:41 AM
Thanks for all you've done

“The battle to restore a proper relationship between man and his environment, and between man and other living creatures, will require a long sustained political, moral, ethical, and financial commitment far beyond any commitment ever made by any society in the history of man. Are we able? Yes. Are we willing? That’s the unanswered question.” – Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day.

When Earth Day was born 40 years ago, there were “spumes of pollution pouring out of smokestacks, people spraying children in parking lots and at picnics with DDT, air pollution in major cities that was basically unbreathable, rivers catching on fire, lakes dying,” says one of Earth Day’s original organizers, Denis Hayes, in this Washington Post video. “It was just deteriorating very rapidly, but what addressed those problems was a wave of legislation immediately after Earth Day.” (For more on Earth Day’s storied history, read this.)

As we celebrate 40 years of Earth Day, we’re also celebrating 40 years of Earthjustice victories – check out 40 of our favorite victories along with stunning photos in this new slideshow made for Earth Day 2010.

We're also celebrating our army of supporters, activist members, and concerned citizens. We have you to thank for each of these major victories, and the many victories and wins in between.

1 Comment   /  
View Jared Saylor's blog posts
21 April 2010, 11:24 AM
New bill is a compromise from earlier versions, but a good start

It's raining here in Washington DC, but there's no way this gray day is going to put a damper on my spirits. We got some great news from the House of Representatives this morning, announcing important clean water legislation has finally been intrdouced!

Here's the gist: the U.S. Supreme Court made some supremely bad decisions over the last few years that essentially call into question whether up to 60 percent of our rivers, lakes, streams, wetlands and coastal areas are protected by the Clean Water Act.

The word in question is "navigable." And for the last few years, government agencies have been exempting clean water protections for streams that feed communities with drinking waters, rivers where fishers wade, lakes for boating and swimming holes for summer fun. This means polluters can dump pollution into waters where we drink, fish, swim and play.

1 Comment   /  
View Terry Winckler's blog posts
19 April 2010, 2:21 PM
Activists hope this court ruling puts final end to Rock Creek Mine
Rock Creek Mine proposed for this area in Montana

In a victory for imperiled native trout and grizzly bears, a court has stopped a proposed silver and copper mine that would have tunneled beneath a remote wilderness in northwest Montana

The proposed Rock Creek Mine would have smothered bull trout spawning grounds under tons of sediment and disrupted thousands of acres of habitat for the region's small grizzly bear population, all while threatening to drain the water out of scenic alpine lakes in the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness.

2 Comments   /  
View John McManus's blog posts
19 April 2010, 11:27 AM
This is the critical time of year for the future of salmon populations

This time of year is when young salmon in California hitch a ride on the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers out to the ocean—if they escape the massive pumps in the Delta. These pumps redirect the water and send it south to huge agricultural operations in the San Joaquin Valley - in the process the sucking in and killing salmon.

Earthjustice attorneys successfully challenged this practice and water managers were forced to limit water deliveries in order to reduce the destruction of salmon runs. The junior water rights holders in the valley filed lawsuits seeking to block the salmon protections.

5 Comments   /  
View David Guest's blog posts
19 April 2010, 6:59 AM
Judge's order creates twists, turns - and opportunities

Since a recent judicial order in Florida's efforts to restore the Everglades hit the news, many people are asking: What does it mean?

The short answer is that it creates both risks and opportunities.

The twists and turns of this case are pretty complex, so let me explain what Federal Judge Mareno's order does. The judge granted a motion to force the South Florida Water Management District to spend $700 million to build a reservoir in the southern Everglades Agricultural Area.

3 Comments   /  
View Sam Edmondson's blog posts
12 April 2010, 3:31 PM
The icy architects of Glacier’s stunning scenery may soon disappear
Overview of Hidden Lake in Glacier National Park. Photo: Mark Wagner

Glacier National Park is commemorating its centennial this year. Hoping to celebrate the park's tremendous beauty in person, I recently submitted a request to camp in Glacier's high country later this summer. If I'm lucky enough to obtain the permits, I will find myself hiking high trails in the home of grizzly bears, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, moose, Canadian lynx, bald eagles, and more than 1,000 plant species, to name just a few.

But even more than Glacier's remarkable diversity of wildlife, the park's namesake attractions are what help to draw 2 million visitors annually to its trails and vistas. Unfortunately, Glacier's glaciers are disappearing at an alarming rate due to warmer temperatures brought on by climate change.

This sad fact means that I'll be hiking this summer to do more than just celebrate Glacier's beauty. I'll be paying last respects.

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