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.

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 Sam Edmondson's blog posts
28 October 2009, 4:51 PM
Mountaintop removal mining begins at Coal River Mountain
Coal River Mountain as seen from nearby Kayford Mountain. Photo: Coal River Mountain Watch.

The halls of Congress are echoing this week with debate over proposed legislation to fight global warming—a fight that can't be won without addressing a primary cause of global warming: our dependence on coal. As the rumpus goes on there, a real-life battle between coal and the future of American energy has reached a pivotal moment in Appalachia.

In an effort to protect their familial homes and water resources, residents of West Virginia's Coal River Valley have long fought to prevent Coal River Mountain from being blown apart for the coal beneath it. Local groups like Coal River Mountain Watch, an Earthjustice client, have argued compellingly that the mountain is an ideal site for a wind power facility, which could make the region a model for sustainable, green economic growth.

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View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
22 October 2009, 11:42 AM
Obama administration must stop proposed logging of old-growth stands
Advertisement in Washington, D.C. publications

Regional officials with Alaska's Tongass National Forest, the crown jewel of our national forest system, recently announced plans to log nearly 1,500 acres of old-growth forest in two roadless areas. The Central Kupreanof and Sue timber sales jeopardize intact blocks of old-growth habitat within one of the last remaining temperate rainforests in the world.

The logging projects contradict President Barack Obama's pledge, made as a presidential candidate, to support full protection of 58.5 million acres of our nation's roadless forests, which include 9.5 million acres in the Tongass. These roadless areas are some of our nation's last truly wild places.

Fortunately, the administration now has a tremendous opportunity to make good on Obama's promise. Sec. of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has taken on the responsibility of personally reviewing all proposed timber sales in roadless areas and can stop these projects with a pen stroke. In addition to blocking these timber sales, Sec. Vilsack needs to restore full protections to the Tongass under the Roadless Rule, because only then will old-growth stands in the Tongass truly be safe. Earthjustice and other groups are asking Sec. Vilsack to do exactly that in an ad that started running today in some Washington, D.C. publications.

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View Kathleen Sutcliffe's blog posts
16 October 2009, 3:20 PM
Watching a gripping documentary about gas drilling, of course!

Be honest. Instead of party-hopping Saturday night, wouldn't you rather stay in? Yes? Okay then, grab some popcorn and your Slanket, tune in to Planet Green at 8 EDT, and settle in for the television premiere of Split Estate.

This important new film chronicles the consequences of the gas drilling boom in the Rocky Mountain West. It also presents a cautionary tale for those in the East, who are facing the fight of their lives as industry clamors for access to gas reserves buried in the Marcellus Shale deposit.

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View Brian Smith's blog posts
12 October 2009, 3:56 PM
Regional forester out on a limb

Earthjustice was more than a little surprised to hear that a regional office of the Tongass National Forest is moving ahead with plans to open a roadless area in America's largest temperate rainforest to logging. The Central Kupreanof timber sale project, would carve 15 miles of new roads and log 1,339 acres of old growth forest.

But this is not a done deal. As the press release from the regional national forest office admits…

"The Final EIS is being released without an accompanying Record of Decision (ROD) in light of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary's memorandum dated May 28, 2009, which stated the Secretary reserved decision-making authority over construction and reconstruction of roads and the cutting, sale or removal of timber in Inventoried Roadless Areas (IRA)."

Earthjustice attorney, Tom Waldo called the news, "a reckless action by local officials in the Tongass National Forest…The Secretary of Agriculture should just say no to this project."

The final decision now sits on the desk of Agriculture secretary, Tom Vilsack.

View Terry Winckler's blog posts
09 October 2009, 1:30 PM
Savage Rapids dam comes tumbling down today
Drift boat shoots whitewater created by removal of Savage Rapids Dam

Today, the Savage Rapids dam—reputedly the worst killer of Rogue River salmon—died a well-deserved death at the hands of those who spent decades seeking its removal. Heavy equipment removed the last barriers, fully opening a channel for river and fish to flow through.

For Earthjustice attorney Mike Sherwood, who watched today's demolition, this is a sweet day. He spent years litigating its removal on behalf of WaterWatch of Oregon. "This is a great day for the Rogue River, and for its coho and steelhead," Sherwood said.

Here's an eyewitness report on the demolition.

 

View Brian Smith's blog posts
07 October 2009, 10:59 AM
Restoration is reviving rivers from the West Coast to Hawai'i
David Brower

In his final years of life, David Brower spoke of the need for Global CPR (conservation, preservation and restoration). What a shame Dave is not around to witness a few major river and stream restoration projects that are upon us.

Last week, stretches of the San Joaquin River that had been dry for more than 60 years began to flow once again. The eventual goal is to reintroduce salmon to the river in 2012. Our hats are off to all the organizations that fought so hard to make this dream a reality.

Earthjustice has been hard at work on restoration projects as well.

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View Tim Preso's blog posts
24 September 2009, 3:53 PM
Protections urged for Flathead basin, rich in wildlife and water resources
Flathead River. Photo: Garth Lenz

A United Nations investigation is focusing much-needed international attention on mining and drilling threats to the Flathead River basin, home to the highest density of grizzly bears in the Rocky Mountains, and to bull trout, bald eagle, bighorn sheep, elk, moose, deer, mountain lion, lynx, wolves, and wolverines.

The Flathead River stretches from southern Canada into Montana and along the way flanks Montana's stunning Glacier National Park. The region comprising Glacier N.P. and Waterton Lakes—Glacier's Canadian sister park—is a World Heritage site and Biosphere Reserve known as Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.

"The world has a stake in what happens here at Waterton-Glacier," declared Kishore Rao, deputy director of the World Heritage Centre for the United Nations' Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), upon beginning a week-long inquiry into mining and drilling on lands adjacent to Glacier N.P. and Waterton Lakes.

View Terry Winckler's blog posts
22 September 2009, 1:42 PM
Agreeing with Earthjustice, court restores Endangered Species protections

Yellowstone's grizzly bears are back under the protection of the Endangered Species Act, thanks to a federal court decision overturning Bush-era directives.

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View Bill Walker's blog posts
22 September 2009, 10:51 AM
275,000 Americans urge administration to scrap Bush plans
Costumed demonstrators ask for a time out on Arctic drilling (AP)

More than 400 scientists from around the world have signed a letter urging the Obama administration to call a time out on offshore oil and gas drilling in America's Arctic until research can assess the risks to the region's oceans, wildlife and people.

The scientists urged Interior Sec. Ken Salazar to cancel Bush-era plans for selling oil and gas leases in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas and for a sale in the Chukchi that failed to comply with federal environmental laws. The scientists say the decision was made without sufficient scientific understanding of the environmental consequences and lacked full consultation with indigenous residents:

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View Brian Smith's blog posts
21 September 2009, 11:54 AM
Fox News opines on California water, facts be damned

Fox News' Sean Hannity and his crew came to California's Central Valley last week to hold a rally that lambasted environmental protections for the delta smelt, Sacramento River winter-run chinook salmon, Central Valley spring-run chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, green sturgeon, and southern resident killer whales.

According to recent biological opinions by federal government scientists, all these species depend on a healthy San Francisco Bay-Delta for their survival. Earthjustice lawyers led the team that overturned Bush administration rules that imperiled the Delta by allowing excessive water exports to industrial agriculture in the Valley.