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Our Cases

Earthjustice attorneys represent public-interest clients concerned about threats to the environment and hold accountable those who jeopardize the health of our planet. Thanks to the generosity of our many supporters, we provide expert legal support free of charge to groups large and small. Several of the most important legal battles for this year can be found at the 2014 Legal Docket.

Our complete legal docket includes about 300 active cases. Learn about some of our recent and historical cases:

Defending Alaska's Tongass National Forest from the Big Thorne Timber Sale

The Tongass National Forest is the ‘crown jewel’ of our forest system, but it has suffered as a result of the decades of unsustainable clear-cutting of old-growth trees. Stopping industrial-scale old-growth logging and preserving wildlife habitat is essential for those wanting to experience the majesty of the country’s most iconic rainforest, as well as those pursuing the Tongass’ unparalleled hunting and fishing opportunities.

Protecting Montana's Smith River

Proposed mining exploration activities at the headwaters of Montana’s famed Smith River threaten to degrade water and further strain already low stream flows, according to a formal legal complaint filed in Montana District Court by Earthjustice, on behalf of the Montana Environmental Information Center and Earthworks.

Protecting the Ecology and Economy of Salish Tribes

Coast Salish peoples on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border vowed to oppose Kinder Morgan’s TransMountain proposed pipeline project as intervenors before Canada’s National Energy Board. Coast Salish intervenors include the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, Tulalip Tribes, Lummi Nation, and Suquamish Tribe in Washington state, and the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations in British Columbia.

Defending the Adirondack Park Forest Preserve from Mining

As the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation prepares for exploratory mining in the Adirondack Park Forest Preserve, four environmental organizations, represented by Earthjustice, are asking for confirmation that the agency will not authorize sampling until laws prohibiting the mining are changed.

Protecting the Bristol Bay Watershed from Pebble Mine

The Bristol Bay watershed in Alaska is an area rich with salmon, wildlife and salmon-based Alaska Native cultures and is home to the largest sockeye salmon run in the world. A large-scale gold and copper mine, called the Pebble Mine, has been proposed for the area. Between 24 and 94 miles of streams would be lost due to the mine footprint alone, spills into the remaining streams are likely, and the resulting toxic mine waste will pose a threat to the area in perpetuity.

Defending Wolves in Idaho's Frank Church Wilderness Area

A coalition of conservationists, represented by Earthjustice, have asked a federal judge in Idaho to halt an unprecedented program by the U.S. Forest Service and Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) to exterminate two wolf packs deep within the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness, the largest forested wilderness area in the lower-48 states.

Reducing Harm to Marine Mammals from Navy Sonar in Pacific

Earthjustice is representing Conservation Council for Hawaiʻi, the Animal Welfare Institute, Center for Biological Diversity and Ocean Mammal Institute in a lawsuit challenging the National Marine Fisheries Service’s approval of a 5-year plan by the U.S. Navy for testing and training activities off Hawaiʻi and Southern California. The Navy and Fisheries Service estimate this training will cause 9.6 million instances of harm to whales, dolphins and other marine mammals. The operations will include active sonar and explosives, which are known to cause permanent injuries and deaths to marine mammals.

Keeping Lake Tahoe Blue: Tahoe Regional Plan Update

Two Tahoe conservation groups, the Sierra Club and Friends of the West Shore, represented by Earthjustice, have filed a federal lawsuit challenging new rules for Lake Tahoe that seriously reduce protections for the treasured mountain lake. The new Tahoe Regional Plan Update shifts authority over future development decisions to local jurisdictions and allows those towns and counties to adopt weakened pollution controls that do not meet the minimum environmental requirements established by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

Bison: Born to be Wild

Earthjustice, representing conservation groups, asked the Montana Supreme Court to allow state wildlife officials to move ahead with a plan to transfer to north-central Montana’s Fort Belknap Reservation approximately 30 wild bison originally moved from Yellowstone National Park.

Supporting Suspension of Drilling in Badger-Two Medicine

Cowboys, hunters, outdoor recreationalists and members of the Blackfeet Nation, represented by Earthjustice, are seeking to intervene in opposition to a Louisiana oilman’s lawsuit demanding immediate approval to drill adjacent to Glacier National Park.

Defending EPA Rule Reducing Large Ship Pollution

A coalition of environmental groups, represented by Earthjustice, has moved to intervene in a court case to support a low-sulfur fuel requirement for ships in most U.S. waters, including southern Alaska.

Protecting Marine Mammals from Navy Sonar in the Pacific Northwest

A coalition of conservation and American Indian groups, represented by Earthjustice, have sued the National Marine Fisheries Service for failing to protect thousands of whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, and sea lions from U.S. Navy warfare training exercises along the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington.

Protecting the Deep Creek WSA

The Deep Creek Mountains, located west of Salt Lake City and just east of the Nevada border, are western Utah’s highest mountains, an isolated “island” overlooking the Great Salt Lake Desert dominated by 12,087-foot Ibapah Peak. This unique range rises 7,800 feet above the surrounding desert lands and is known for its rich biodiversity, perennial streams, and opportunities for solitude. Nearly 70,000-acres in the heart of the range have been designated as the Deep Creek Mountains Wilderness Study Area and are managed for their wilderness qualities. Recreational activities include hunting, wildlife viewing and hiking.

Challenging Unlawful Approval of Motorized Routes in Pike and San Isabel National Forests

Earthjustice, representing recreation and conservation groups, have moved to protect wildlife, air and water quality and opportunities for quiet recreation in Colorado in a legal challenge to the U.S. Forest Service’s official okay of hundreds of miles of routes for motorized vehicle use on the Pike and San Isabel National Forests.

Defending the Clean Water Act Against Agricultural Pollution

Earthjustice, with a coalition of local and national public interest organizations, is supporting the Environmental Protection Agency’s long-held authority under the Clean Water Act to regulate waste from commercial animal farms and seeking to confirm that a large West Virginia poultry operation should comply with all applicable regulations.