Posts tagged: public lands

unEARTHED. The Earthjustice Blog

public lands


    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 Michael Freeman's blog posts
06 November 2013, 3:00 PM
Strong support across the northern Front Range for halting fracking
Colorado residents have opposed the industrialization of their communities. (DOI)

TAKE ACTION, COLORADO! This week, the citizens of Longmont, Boulder, Fort Collins, Lafayette and Broomfield told the Governor to stand up to the oil & gas industry and protect our communities. Now, as state health officials are drafting new rules to regulate oil & gas emissions state-wide, you can join the call for stronger clean air rules.

Send a message to Governor Hickenlooper and tell him oil & gas emission rules should clamp down on leaks and keep smog-forming chemicals and methane—a powerful global warming pollutant—out of our air.


Residents of large and small communities across the northern Front Range area of Colorado voted Tuesday to halt fracking in their backyards.

These defeats for the oil and gas industry came after a campaign in which the industry outspent supporters of the measures by a 30–1 margin.

4 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Charles McPhedran's blog posts
30 October 2013, 2:06 PM
Agency has an April deadline to rework standard
Little Stoney Man at Shenandoah National Park. (NPS)

On Tuesday, Oct, 22, the federal appeals court in Philadelphia gave the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency an April deadline for reworking its rule to limit haze pollution from Pennsylvania sources. This pollution reduces visibility and causes bad health effects at parks and wilderness areas.

Earthjustice, on behalf of the Sierra Club, National Parks Conservation Association, and Clean Air Council, had sued the EPA over the Pennsylvania haze plan. Inadequate air pollution requirements for big polluters, including coal-fired power plants, degrade air quality at the Brigantine National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, Dolly Sods Wilderness in West Virginia, and other treasured public lands. This pollution harms human health, with children, pregnant women and seniors most vulnerable.

View Doug Pflugh's blog posts
18 October 2013, 1:37 PM
Action prevents development leases in Utah's red rock country
Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, Utah. The park is known for its impressive geological wonders. (Darren J. Bradley / Shutterstock)

It is rewarding to successfully wrap-up a case. This can be especially true when our work protects special places, preserving them for future generations. It is a pleasure to be able to point at a map and say, “Those are the places that were saved.”

149 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Kari Birdseye's blog posts
16 October 2013, 3:38 PM
As wild bison return to the plains, ranchers target them as livestock
Newborn wild bison at Ft. Peck in the spring of 2012. (Bill Campbell)

Now that the court battles have been won and the wild bison are back on tribal reservations, the anti-bison interests are at it again.

The latest tactic is to get a Montana court to declare that the transplanted bison are “livestock” instead of “wildlife” under state law if they leave the reservations and roam on to public or private lands. Not only would this require treating roaming wild bison just the same as stray cattle, but it would likely put up a major roadblock to additional bison restorations in the future, as wildlife managers would have no authority to transplant animals classified as “livestock” under the law.

Earthjustice filed a brief today in response to this new effort to prevent bison restoration.

9 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Terry Winckler's blog posts
03 October 2013, 9:39 AM
Brilliant lawyer, fierce defender of Earth, man of great wit

(UPDATE: A memorial for Phillip Berry will be held at 1 p.m., Friday, Oct. 11 at Shiloh Church, 3295 School St., Oakland, CA.)

The Earth has lost one of its greatest defenders, Phillip Berry, a founder of Earthjustice and former president of The Sierra Club. He died early Sunday.

Berry joined the club in 1950 when he was only 13 and the club had but 5,000 members. He came of age along with the environmental movement and played a guiding role as the club grew to its current membership of 2.3 million supporters.

It was Berry who saw the growing potential for using the law in environmental defense and helped start the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, which later became Earthjustice, recalled Fred Fisher, a co-founder of the defense fund and its chair for many years.

7 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Terry Winckler's blog posts
01 October 2013, 10:09 AM
National wildlife refuges closed until funding is restored
National parks, like refuges and other public lands, are closed during the government shutdown. (National Parks Conservation Association)

(Editor's note: What does the federal government shutdown, starting today, mean to you? Tell us in the comments, and check out this news release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.)

Because of the shutdown of the federal government caused by the lapse in appropriations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will suspend most programs and operations, including public access to all National Wildlife Refuges and all activities on refuge lands including hunting and fishing.

"Closing off public access to our national wildlife refuges and public lands is the last thing we want to do, but is consistent with operations called for during a government shutdown” said Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Dan Ashe. “This is difficult news for the families, birdwatchers, hunters and anglers, and recreationists who enjoy the great outdoors on the refuges—as well as for the many local businesses who depend on the tourism and outdoor recreation economy they generate. I think it’s most difficult for the thousands of furloughed Service employees who are impacted in carrying out their mission to protect our nation’s resources and providing for their families.”

View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
11 September 2013, 12:19 PM
High above this great nation, you can see the struggles we face
An airplane passes over Desolation Canyon, UT. (Ecoflight)

“If you want to see the places we’ve helped protect, ask for a window seat.”

So reads my favorite Earthjustice message, decorating airports across the country. It’s true: 35,000 feet is a great vantage to see the forests, mountains and river canyons that are intact, unroaded and resilient thanks to our legal work with many allies.

But on a recent flight, I also saw a different, far more disturbing picture: the ravages of fossil fuel extraction and burning. I took off from San Francisco bound for D.C. As we climbed over California, one of my favorite sights, the majestic Sierra Nevada mountains, was obscured by thick smoke—the result of massive fires brought on by drought and rising temperatures, increasingly common as fossil-fueled global warming settles in.

22 Comments   /   Read more >>
View Kari Birdseye's blog posts
23 August 2013, 1:13 PM
Native Americans welcome animals back to where they once belonged
Two of the first wild bison born last spring. (Bill Campbell)

Some extra thunder rumbled into north central Montana this week when wild bison finally set hooves on the ground at Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. The return was the culmination of legal efforts to restore the animals to their historic prairie habitat. Members of the Assiniboine and Gros Ventre tribes were eager to receive them.

Montana’s Supreme Court recently cleared the way for the return—thanks in large part to Earthjustice legal efforts—rejecting challenges to a new state policy allowing wild bison room to roam outside the northern boundary of Yellowstone National Park. Said Earthjustice attorney Tim Preso:

The return of wild bison to the plains of northern Montana offers us a vision of the way things used to be—and also the way things can be in the future if we act boldly to restore native wildlife in appropriate places. That's why we fought all the way to the Montana Supreme Court to help make it happen.

View Patti Goldman's blog posts
19 July 2013, 11:28 AM
The song and sights of nature evoke pride for the work of Earthjustice
Paddling down the Colorado River. (Richard Kirst)

This is my first day back in the office after a week rafting and hiking in the Grand Canyon, a week spent marveling at the canyon’s majesty and trying to grasp its lessons of the earth’s history. The canyon wren serenaded us each day, and cicadas and fluttering bats each night. We floated through layers of time, eventually reaching Pre-Cambrian schist and granite, the bowels of the earth. As we climbed out and heard a cacophony of languages spoken, it gave meaning to Ken Burns’ depiction of our national parks as our Louvre, our contribution to civilization.

The vistas are awe-inspiring. Helped by the monsoon rains and Grand Canyon winds, we could see rock layers on the opposite rim. Earthjustice is working to keep it that way.

The Grand Canyon is 1 mile deep and up to 18 miles wide. (Richard Kirst)

The Grand Canyon is 1 mile deep and up to 18 miles wide. (Richard Kirst)
View David Guest's blog posts
18 July 2013, 10:16 AM
Ag giant Lykes Brothers snubbed in attempt to fill creek, ban public access
A swimming hole at Fisheating Creek. (B A Bowen Photography / Flickr CC)

I’m happy to announce that we won the latest legal skirmish in our 23-year quest to keep one of South Florida’s wildest waterways open to the public.

On July 5, an administrative law judge in Tallahassee upheld the public’s right to boat, fish and picnic on the wonderful Fisheating Creek in Glades County, south of Lake Okeechobee. That right was imperiled by agribusiness giant Lykes Brothers, which owns most of the land on both sides of the creek. Lykes planned to provide the state with 3,300 truckloads of free sand, and had proposed that the state use the sand to close off the creek to ordinary folks.

2 Comments   /   Read more >>