Looking every bit as comfortable in hiking gear as he might be in courtroom attire, attorney Ted Zukoski of the conservation group Earthjustice led a group of environmentalists deep into the Gunnison National Forest east of Paonia on a sunny late-June day.
Colorado is now the 11th U.S. state to commit to the Paris climate agreement in a repudiation of the Trump administration’s decision to walk away from the deal.
Tania Galloni, Managing Attorney, Earthjustice: We are starting to see the effects of when you gut budgets and get rid of expertise in these institutions. Lo and behold, it makes these districts not function the way they are supposed to. Our waters statewide are in peril, and the water management districts are supposed to be the stewards of these resources but, there's no question, they're breaking down.
Seth Johnson, Attorney, Earthjustice: "Every state in the country did what they were supposed to do. Now, it's time for EPA to do what it's supposed to do, and that is to issue designations under the statute and start the implementation process. ... EPA's independent science advisers unanimously said that the 2008 standard was too weak to satisfy the statutory requirements."
Earthjustice is working to defeat a bill recently introduced in Congress called the “Resilient Forest Act of 2017” (H.R. 2936). Far from a forest protection act, the proposed law is a gift to the timber industry.
Congress is trying to swiftly move this bill forward—it already passed the House Natural Resources Committee and will soon be headed to the House floor for a vote.