Posts tagged: Endangered Species Act

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Endangered Species Act

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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
11 October 2010, 2:56 PM
BP spill happened at peak of bluefin spawning season

It ain't easy being an Atlantic bluefin tuna—the tastiest, priciest and perhaps unluckiest tuna of them all. A good specimen can bring $100,000, so it's hunted relentlessly by Atlantic fishing fleets. More damage is done in the Gulf of Mexico, where longline fishermen inadvertently pillage tuna stock while seeking other species.

Until last April, the beleaguered fish could at least count on a spot in the Gulf to spawn, but—if you remember—April is when the BP oil well exploded, gushing hundreds of millions of gallons of oil directly into the tuna's boudoir, at the height of their spawning season.

It's anybody's guess how this year's tuna spawn was affected by all that oil, mixed with nearly 200,000 gallons of toxic dispersant, but now a government agency has announced its intent to take away the guesswork. In direct response to pressure from environmental groups.

View Shirley Hao's blog posts
04 October 2010, 9:33 PM
"Bear also drinks from fishbowl"
The zucchini. Image provided by the Missoula County Sheriff's Office

Bears, you’ve had it tough this past year.

Out in Yellowstone, the grizzly members of the family are being thwarted by voracious mountain pine beetles, who are depriving the bears of one of their key food sources (fatty and delicious whitebark pine seeds). A year ago, Earthjustice won ESA protections for the bears, but the federal government has appealed the court’s decision. The fight continues.

Meanwhile, in the lush Arctic, oil and gas drilling leases in the Chukchi Sea (key habitat for the threatened polar bear) have been halted for now—but are not yet canceled.

If all that wasn’t bad enough, last month, a black bear in Montana was defeated by a zucchini. Yes, a zucchini.

View Ted Zukoski's blog posts
27 September 2010, 12:40 PM
Canyon’s imperiled fish left high and dry by Obama
The Grand Canyon - home of the humpback chub. National Park Service photo.

First impressions can be deceiving.

In 1861, as America entered its first year of civil war, the Government Printing Office published the report of Lieutenant Joseph Ives on his expedition up the Colorado River from the Gulf of California.

Chapter VIII of his report describes an area he called "Big Canyon." While he proclaimed the scene from the Canyon’s south rim "marvellous," he wrote off the area as a worthless wasteland, unlikely to be visited again except by the Indians who lived there:

The region last explored is, of course, altogether valueless. It can be approached only from the south, and after entering it there is nothing to do but to leave. Ours has been the first, and will doubtless be the last, party of whites to visit this profitless locality. It seems intended by nature that the Colorado river, along the greater portion of its lonely and majestic way, shall be forever unvisited and undisturbed… Excepting when the melting snows send their annual torrents through the avenues to the Colorado, conveying with them sound and motion, these dismal abysses, and the arid table-lands that enclose them, are left, as they have been for ages, in unbroken solitude and silence.

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View Jim McCarthy's blog posts
03 September 2010, 3:04 PM
Have fun and help keep California's salmon swimming wild

September is Salmon Month at San Francisco's Aquarium of the Bay. Sponsored by the SalmonAID coalition - of which Earthjustice is a member - Salmon Month brings together more than two dozen conservation, commercial and sportfishing organizations, as well as the West Coast's best restaurants in order to educate the public about wild salmon and the perils they face across our coast. This wide-ranging coalition motivates citizens to take actions that protect our amazing wild salmon and the rivers they call home.

Salmon Month will feature fun and informative exhibits every day—including an Earthjustice video on the importance of wild salmon - as well as the following special events:

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View John McManus's blog posts
02 September 2010, 1:00 PM
Grizzly protected, but not its food source

In September 2009 Earthjustice attorneys succeeded in winning a court case that forced the federal government to reinstate Endangered Species Act protections for grizzly bears living in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem.

The bears lost federal protection in 2007 in spite of a rapid decline in one of their main food sources, the seeds of whitebark pine trees. Whitebark pines are in decline due to warming temperature in the high altitudes of the Rocky Mountains where they grow.

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View John McManus's blog posts
20 July 2010, 12:30 PM
Montana more than doubles number of wolves that may be killed

The state of Montana is planning to greatly increase the number of wolves hunters will be allowed to kill this fall. That is unless a federal judge rules in favor of an Earthjustice lawsuit intended to protect wolves.

Montana recently approved plans to allow hunters to kill 186 wolves, up from the 75 wolves allowed in last year's hunt. <Check out what the New York Times has to say!>

But hunters' plans may be stopped if U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy rules before the Sept. 4 start of the hunt and finds the federal government illegally removed wolves from the Endangered Species Act list in Montana and Idaho.

25 Comments   /  
View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
15 July 2010, 9:54 AM
Report from agency's Inspector General exposes unlawful delay

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fallen far behind in one of its most important responsibilities: to protect the American public from toxic air pollutants. The New York Times recently reported on a new study from the agency's Inspector General which found that the EPA is currently violating federal law by failing to put these protections in place. Because of the EPA's failures to set vital clean air standards, millions of Americans still face appallingly high risks of cancer, birth defects and other devastating illness—all because of exposure to toxic air pollution that can and should be controlled.

This grim news does not result from an oversight or an accident. As the EPA recognized in its response to the report, the Bush administration intentionally cut the agency's budget for controlling toxic air emissions by 70 percent. Time was spent instead on reducing protections: a federal court observed in 2006 that the EPA under Bush was "devot[ing] substantial resources to discretionary rulemakings, many of which make existing regulations more congenial to industry, and several of which since have been found unlawful."

It is hardly surprising that when the Bush administration cut the budget for reducing toxic air emissions by more than half, the staff could not do their job. As a result, health protections that Congress required the EPA to issue years ago have never been put in place, the toxic pollution continues unabated, and people go on suffering unnecessarily. One key statistic on that suffering: the Inspector General reports that "1 in every 28,000 people could develop cancer from air toxics exposure."

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View Shirley Hao's blog posts
21 May 2010, 4:17 PM
Happy Belated Endangered Species Day

Last week marked the 5th appearance of Endangered Species Day. Although young as annual commemoration days go, Endangered Species Day draws attention to an age-old countdown that has been accelerated by human development at a frightening rate. In the U.S. alone, more than 500 species have gone extinct since the Mayflower docked.

Nearly 2,000 plants and animal species are listed under the Endangered Species Act, granting them varying levels of protection. From American Alligator to Mountain Zebra, from San Diego Ambrosia to Suisun Thistle, too many flora and fauna are facing the end of the line due to habitat loss, invasive species, pollution, and more—and these are only the ones we know about.

National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore features 68 endangered species in his book Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species. Several of those also tried out their acting chops, as evidenced in this video:

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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.

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View Terry Winckler's blog posts
02 April 2010, 12:07 PM
Earthjustice aims legal efforts at restoring ESA protections

This week, after seven months of dodging bullets, Idaho's wolves got a reprieve: the statewide hunt that left 188 of them dead is over.

The actual number of wolves killed since hunting was legalized last year is more than 500—including those shot during the Montana season and others killed by governmental agents protecting livestock.

Wolves became fair game in Idaho and Montana last year after losing the protection of the Endangered Species Act—a move initiated by the Bush administration and ultimately endorsed by the Obama administration. Almost immediately after Sec. of Interior Ken Salazar agreed to the delisting, the states of Idaho and Montana announced fall hunting seasons.

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