Earthjustice: Because the earth needs a good lawyer.
Mineral King: The Foundation of Modern Environmental Law

Connected Ecosystems

In countless myths, parables and folklore, people sought wisdom on a mountain. Anyone who's experienced the panoramic privilege of a summit should hardly wonder why. Such views are a source of inspiration and vitality.

But some who seek the summit are running for their lives. The American pika, vulnerable to heat, is climbing ever higher in a warming world to find suitable habitat—an indicator of shifts still unfolding. More familiar knocks are still at the door.

Our nation's great ranges—the Rockies, the Sierra, the Appalachians and many others—remain imperiled by the unsustainable plundering of resources.

Earthjustice At Work, Featured Cases

Mountain Protection

Mountaintop Removal Mining
Protecting the Pika
Northern Rockies:
Crown of the Continent
More at

Momentum is building, after years of legal pressure by Earthjustice and allies, to greatly restrict mountaintop removal mining—a destructive form of coal mining that blows apart entire mountain ranges in Appalachia, burying streams and poisoning nearby communities with waste and debris. Earthjustice has been in the courts and in Congress on behalf of other local and national environmental and community groups to stop this destructive practice and protect Appalachia for future generations.

The American Pika is a small mountain-dwelling creature that can die in less than an hour when temperatures climb above 75°F. As warmer temperatures cause these animals to move to higher elevation, they're running out of habitat and could become extinct in California soon unless we curtail global warming. In 2011, the pika was designated as a candidate for protection under the California ESA, the first step towards full protection for the species in California.

The Crown of the Continent encompasses some of the largest blocks of wilderness in the contiguous U.S. Though there have been many successes in preserving this ecosystem in years past, the Crown remains a living artifact of glacial activity, and as a result is particularly vulnerable to the changes wrought by warming climate. Earthjustice is working to preserve its natural legacy by protecting the wild places and species within it, like wolverines.

… And More: From stopping oil and gas leases in the Rocky Mountain Front to cleaning up dirty air in national parks, visit our website to learn about the diversity and breadth of Earthjustice's work to protect mountain ecosystems:

See Also:

How The Earth Got A Lawyer

The forging of law and nature that saved Mineral King Valley and created Earthjustice.

Photo of Mineral King valley. > Read Feature

The Early Days of Environmental Law

Jim Moorman, first executive director of the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, discusses environmental law.

Photo of Jim Moorman. > Read Environmental Law Q&A

Breaking Down The Courthouse Door

Don Harris, one of Earthjustice's founders, tells the story of how it all started, more than forty years ago.

Photo of the U.S. Supreme Court. > Read First Person Feature
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