Earthjustice Announces New Vice President of Litigation

Drew Caputo takes helm of national leader’s litigation on lands, wildlife, and oceans


Liz Judge, Earthjustice, (415) 217-2007

Earthjustice is very pleased to announce Drew Caputo as its first Vice President of Litigation for Lands, Wildlife, and Oceans. In this capacity, Caputo will lead Earthjustice’s expansive docket of litigation to protect the nation’s public lands and cherished wild places, irreplaceable species, and ocean fisheries and habitats. Through its pioneering legal work, Earthjustice has protected hundreds of species of wildlife, including endangered species such as the grizzly bear, and stopped destructive fossil fuel development on millions of acres of public lands.

Caputo served from 2006 until February 2014 as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in San Francisco, where he investigated and prosecuted crimes involving public corruption, civil rights violations, national security matters, and other crimes. He began his legal career as an associate attorney in Earthjustice’s Denver office, working on cases to protect the public lands, rivers, and endangered species of the Rocky Mountain West. He then worked for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) for 13 years, first in Washington, D.C., and then in San Francisco, litigating a wide range of federal environmental cases. He led the development of an oceans litigation program in NRDC’s San Francisco office.

Caputo has been the force behind numerous monumental victories for the environment. Among many other successes, his litigation won protections for overfished Pacific rockfish and led to population increases for rockfish species; stopped the extension of a set of oil and gas leases off the California coast; and ended the use of Nationwide Permit 26, an abusive regulation of the Army Corps of Engineers that was the single biggest source of permitted wetlands destruction in the United States.

In his role as Vice President of Litigation for Lands, Wildlife, and Oceans at Earthjustice, Caputo leads a program that has been at the forefront of the United States’ most significant legal decisions protecting public lands, oceans, watersheds, and wildlife. Through precedent-setting litigation, Earthjustice has saved the Yellowstone River and the wildest part of Yellowstone National Park from the Noranda gold and silver mine and protected 50 million acres of pristine national forestlands and the wildlife habitat through a decade-long defense of the Roadless Rule. Earthjustice litigation also established legal precedent to reduce overfishing, and through a series of Northwest old-growth litigation victories, spurred the nation’s first and best ecosystem management plan, which reduced logging by more than 80 percent over 24 million acres of public lands and changed the paradigm for national forest management nationwide.

Caputo takes the helm of the Earthjustice Lands, Wildlife, Oceans Program at a critical time for the future of wild places and wild creatures. In an era of rapid climate change and massive species extinction, Earthjustice’s work to protect biodiversity, safeguard our nation’s largest intact ecosystems, and build resilience to climate change has never been more crucial. Climate change comes on top of a host of other threats: oil and gas development, drilling, mining, logging, unmanaged off-road recreation, and industrial pollution, all of which exacerbate the impacts of climate change. Responding to these challenges has been a hallmark of Earthjustice.

On oceans issues specifically, Caputo will lead the expansion of Earthjustice’s growing body of legal advocacy and litigation on behalf of conservation and fishing groups to reduce overfishing, tackle ocean acidification, and build marine resilience in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic Oceans.

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We take on the biggest, most precedent-setting cases across the country. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health; to preserve magnificent places and wildlife; to advance clean energy; and to combat climate change. We partner with thousands of groups, supporters and citizens to engage the critical environmental issues of our time, and bring about positive change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.

Founded in 1971, Earthjustice has a distinguished track record of achieving significant, lasting environmental protections. We achieve this by hiring the best and brightest who share a passion for justice and a healthy environment. Our headquarters are in San Francisco with nine offices across the U.S.

Because the earth needs a good lawyer.

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About Earthjustice

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people's health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.