Posts tagged: Wildlife and Places

unEARTHED. The Earthjustice Blog

Wildlife and Places


    SIGN-UP for our latest news and action alerts:
   Please leave this field empty

Facebook Fans

Featured Campaigns

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.

View Molly Woodward's blog posts
29 January 2010, 11:16 AM
Coal industry and park preservation
Bighorn sheep headbutting in Glacier National Park. Photo: USGS

Some top stories from the past week at Earthjustice…

One result of burning coal is lots and lots of toxic coal ash. It's stored in hundreds of ponds across the U.S., and it can flood and devastate entire communities. Yesterday, Earthjustice joined more than 100 environmental groups in a Day of Action, urging the White House to finally call coal ash what it is: hazardous waste.

A heated debate over mountaintop removal coal mining last week drew huge crowds. The competitors: Don Blankenship, CEO of coal giant Massey Energy, and Waterkeeper founder Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. The reporter: Earthjustice Campaigns Director, Jared Saylor. The victor: Decide for yourself!

The same Massey Energy is one of several industry groups asking a federal appeals court to review (aka do away with) the EPA Clean Air Act endangerment finding. In defense of the finding, 16 states and New York City filed a motion last week to intervene in the case.

Glacier National Park is nearly 100 years old, and Monday Reads introduces us to a truly incredible photography project in celebration of its centennial birthday. Right next door on the U.S.-Canadian border lives the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, now threatened by mining plans in the nearby Flathead Valley. But there was hopeful news last week: Earthjustice encouraged an investigation that has resulted in a recommendation of a moratorium on mining and a conservation plan for this essential region.

View Brian Smith's blog posts
28 January 2010, 3:54 PM
Canadian mining projects should not proceed
The Flathead River.

Last week, we got a bit of good news.

Earthjustice and our allies in British Columbia and Montana convinced a UN committee in 2009 to come investigate serious environmental threats facing the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park which lies on both sides of the U.S and Canadian border.

After sending a team to investigate last fall, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee will recommend a moratorium on mining in the Flathead Valley of southeastern British Columbia and the development of a conservation and wildlife management plan for the region. (Video after the jump.)

2 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Shirley Hao's blog posts
22 January 2010, 6:11 PM
One hundred years of national park goodness
Beargrass, a lily native to Glacier National Park, blooms along the Iceberg Lake trail in Montana. Photo: NPS.

Happy Birthday, Glacier National Park!

Okay, so we’re a few months early…but when you’re coming up on one hundred, you clearly deserve a more grandiose and extended celebration.

The birthday star is one half of the dynamic duo making up Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. North of Glacier National Park lies its companion, Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park. Together, these parks represent a corridor of nearly unparalleled pristine wilderness, where almost all of the historical flora and fauna still exist.

In honor of Glacier’s centennial, Glacier Park Magazine editor Chris Peterson set about to photograph the park for a hundred consecutive days. The results are nothing short of thrilling. Chris’s images and insightful commentary bring alive the beauty, diversity, and wonder of this amazing place.

A sampling of Chris’s work:

6 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Molly Woodward's blog posts
21 January 2010, 5:04 PM
Salmon, false killer whales, mercury, water pollution
Scene from the San Francisco Bay Delta

Some top stories from the past week at Earthjustice…

It’s a rainy week here in Oakland, as a storm system bestows California with some much-needed H2O. Our short supply of water has meant trouble for salmon. A new video by Salmon Water Now illuminates startling alliances between big agribusiness and the political interests controlling water and the fate of salmon in the San Francisco Bay Delta.

A wholly different marine creature in peril will get some help at last. The NMFS announced it will take measures to protect false killer whales from the commercial longline fishing industry, following years of Earthjustice litigation. Rarely seen by humans, false killer whales are close relations of dolphins.

Mercury pollution is a big problem for aquatic life (and people who eat fish), and a lot of it comes from medical waste incinerators. In September, the EPA set groundbreaking rules that significantly reduce air pollution from this source, but now these rules are being challenged in court. Earthjustice has intervened in the lawsuit.

And, the toxic green slime clogging Florida’s waterways might finally loosen its hold, thanks to a historic first step by the EPA to limit fertilizer, animal waste and sewage pollution in the state. While the proposed limits aren’t as stringent as they could be, they’re a big improvement.

View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
21 January 2010, 12:25 PM
Focus is on clean energy, natural heritage, and health

Last year, the U.S. government started taking environmental protection seriously again, but as 2010 dawns, we continue to see political and economic interests preventing or stalling critical environmental solutions.

In the face of this opposition, this year Earthjustice is targeting key issues with our legal and advocacy work. Our focus is on three core priorities: building a clean energy future, protecting our natural heritage, and safeguarding our health.

To avoid global warming's worst impacts, we must build a clean energy future. Reducing demand through efficiency and increasing supply from renewable sources of power are cornerstones of the foundation. But these steps are obstructed by the political stranglehold of the fossil fuel industry. Earthjustice is using the law to help break our national reliance on fossil fuels, which we continue to extract, burn, and subsidize heavily with taxpayer money, despite the destructive impact on people and the planet.

8 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Ted Zukoski's blog posts
20 January 2010, 10:22 AM
Oil shale boosters' claims still don't hold water
Wyoming badlands on the block for oil shale. (c) Erik Molvar. Used with permission.

Why should we develop oil shale? Or, more precisely, what are the best arguments for scraping tens of thousands of acres of public land and using billions of gallons of scarce water and uncounted gigawatts of electricity to bake oil from rocks? 

Jeremy Boak, of the Colorado School of Mines, has two answers. Both are wrong. 

Some background on Mr. Boak. He's director of Mines' Center for Oil Shale Technology and Research, cutely known as "COSTAR." As the school proudly announced when COSTAR was born, the center "is funded by three major oil companies, Total Exploration and Production, Shell Exploration and Production, and ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company." So you see who he has to please.

7 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Shirley Hao's blog posts
19 January 2010, 5:48 PM
Ligers, tigons, prizzly bears! Oh my! Also: False killer whales
A second generation wholphin. Photo: Mark Interrante.

Monday Reads was on hiatus yesterday in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth day.

Animal hybrids are generally not unheard of in the natural world, but they are almost always guaranteed to come with awesome names. Ligers? Zorses? Beefalo? The Toast of Botswana? (Okay, that last one is cheating a bit.)

Interspecific hybrids have also brought us the wholphin, who may sound like a Dr. Seuss-ian fantasy but is just another wonderfully named hybrid. See diagram below:

8 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Jim McCarthy's blog posts
19 January 2010, 12:03 PM
New video looks at political threats to Sac. River salmon

Salmon Water Now, a collaboration between fishermen and media professionals, works to raise awareness of the plight of wild salmon, salmon fishermen, and coastal communities dependent on healthy freshwater flows in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay-Delta.

The partnership's latest video, "Science, Politics, and Salmon," describes how a toxic mix of big agribusiness money and politics is working in an unholy alliance to reverse a federal salmon restoration plan won in a court order by Earthjustice. The unholy alliance covets the water needed to support the abundant Sacramento River salmon runs that once formed the backbone of the fishing industry in California and Oregon.

It's worth seeing. You can watch it after the jump.

2 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Molly Woodward's blog posts
15 January 2010, 10:54 AM
Clean Air Act, public lands drilling, efficiency standards, Pacific fisher

Some top stories from the last week at Earthjustice...

Sen. Lisa Murkowski seems determined to undermine the Clean Air Act, and has enlisted industry lobbyists in her quest. Earthjustice President Trip Van Noppen discussed why it's critical to take action now to protect this important environmental law.

The days of rampant, indiscriminant oil and gas drilling on public lands are over, according to an announcement from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. The BLM will develop and extend the environmental review processes for public lands drilling plans, something Earthjustice attorneys have advocated for years. 

The DOE just released new efficiency standards for Laundromat washing machines, but unfortunately they won't do enough to weed the least efficient from the market. Next time you take a trip to the Laundromat, try to find a front-loading machine, as these tend to waste less water and energy than top-loaders.

If you haven't heard much about the rare Pacific fisher, it might be its rarity after centuries of fur-trapping and logging in the Pacific northwest. Now, an Earthjustice lawsuit has helped make sure it's still eligible for protection under the Endangered Species Act. Find out more about this mighty porcupine hunter in Monday Reads.

View Shirley Hao's blog posts
11 January 2010, 7:04 PM
A quick primer on the Pacific fisher, and a photo mystery
Porcupines, beware. Photo: John Jacobson, Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife.

Question: What animal combines perseverance and tenacity with pro-wrestling moves to dine on porcupines?

Answer: Read on…

Last Thursday, we heard from Earthjustice’s California regional office on their success in protecting the rare Pacific fisher. Monday Reads was wondering, just what might be a Pacific fisher? Though its name may conjure up images of kingfishers and the like, this fisher doesn’t fish: it’s a close relative of the otter and the mink.

20 Comments   /   Read more >>