Mono Lake at 20: Past, Present and Future

Symposium in Sacramento, November 17

Please join us as the UC Berkeley School of Law, with stakeholders in the Mono Lake Cases, convenes a symposium in Sacramento on November 17, 2014, to mark the 20th anniversary of the State Water Resources Control Board’s Decision 1631. Panel presentations feature an cast of thought leaders, including: Marty Adams (Los Angeles Department of Water […]

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What Is An “Environmental” Lawyer?

No side of the profession should have a monopoly on the term

My post last week on renaming “environmental” law to “resources” law greatly peeved a number of private bar attorneys, who thought I was impugning their entire side of the practice. My post clearly played into some longstanding tension and defensiveness (no pun intended) about this issue. These attorneys believe that even though they may represent […]

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Happy Birthday, Yosemite–and California’s State Parks System

The Core of Yosemite National Park, & California's First State Park, Were Created 150 Years Ago

2014 marks the 150th anniversary of the creation of what we now know as Yosemite National Park.  It’s also the sesquicentennial anniversary of California’s State Parks System.  The two events are, in fact, inextricably related.  And how they occurred is a noteworthy and truly inspirational story. In 1864, in the midst of the Civil War, […]

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Time To Rename “Environmental” Law

John Dato pumps gas at a 76 station in West Covina, Calif.

The label is misleading and inaccurate

Every year in October, the California State Bar Environmental Law Section hosts a three-day conference on the outskirts of Yosemite, attracting prominent lawyers, advocates, and public officials from all over the state. This past weekend, at the traditional Saturday night banquet, famed climate activist Bill McKibben was the speaker. Unfortunately at the last minute he […]

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The Ebola Panic

Some politicians encourage panic about a small outbreak in Texas, while thousands in Africa are dying.

The National Lampoon once put out a mock edition of a newspaper from the fictional city of Dacron, Ohio.  There was a screaming headline reading: TWO DACRON WOMEN MISSING.  A much smaller subheading read: Japan destroyed by tidal wave.  We are now seeing something similar in the U.S. reaction to Ebola.  So far, only three cases […]

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After November, the Deluge?

State Capitol, Sacramento, California

What will the Republicans do if they take control of the Senate? Will this be Armageddon for Obama’s environmental policies, as both Democrats and Republicans insist?  The truth is likely to be less dramatic, though still bad from an environmental perspective. Greenwire had a very interesting piece about that on Friday. Both Republican and Democratic […]

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Should Environmental News Coverage Be In The Science Section?

A whiles back I wrote about how the New York Times’ environmental coverage had been in decline. The public editor at the Times has a new article stating that environmental coverage has recently increased substantially. I think that is a great thing. But I want to focus on another element of the public editor’s article. […]

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California’s New Groundwater Law: An Interactive Timeline

Groundwater irrigation

What are the major deadlines for local groundwater management agencies, and when can—or must—state agencies act?

Many (including Legal Planet’s own Rick Frank) have examined the pros and cons of California’s new locally-focused groundwater management law.  Such analyses will continue to be critically important as state and local players move forward with the nitty-gritty of actual implementation, and the legislation’s practical, on-the-ground (and under-the-ground) implications become clearer. In this post, however, my goal […]

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Political systems and environmental law

The other day I posted about Australia’s repeal of its carbon tax. Australia is not the only country that is going through some retrenchment in environmental law. In Canada, the government made some substantial alterations to the requirements for environmental review for government projects (reducing the scope of the requirement and limiting it to certain […]

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Lessons From an Epidemic

CDC image

Ebola’s natural reservoirs are animals, if only because human hosts die to too quickly. Outbreaks tend to occur in locations where changes in landscapes have brought animals and humans into closer contact.  Thus, there is considerable speculation about whether ecological factors might be related to the current outbreak. (See here).  At this point, at least, we […]

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