For endangered species, don’t think Alaska or Montana. Think Hawaii and California. And Alabama.
When we think about preserving nature in the United States, we tend to think of the country’s great wilderness areas in places like Alaska and the Rockies. We don’t think about Alabama or Puerto Rico, for instance. But in terms of biodiversity protection, this is almost the opposite of the truth. By and large, the …CONTINUE READING
The GOP favors the Old West of ranching, logging, mining, and oil. The Democrats have a different view.
The Democratic and Republican parties have very different ideas about the 640 million acres of land owned by the federal government, mostly in the West. It’s not just that the party platforms disagree about the balance between preservation and resource exploitation. It’s also that Democrats have a much different vision of the future of the American …CONTINUE READING
Will a proposed ballot initiative on recreational marijuana legalization in California help the environment
In the wake of the enactment by the legislature of a regulatory structure for medical marijuana, it looks like voters in 2016 will probably be able to decide whether to legalize recreational use as well. Leading advocates for legalization of recreational marijuana have submitted a language for a ballot initiative to the California Secretary of …CONTINUE READING
New state law to regulate medical marijuana makes important environmental progress, still much to be done
California is moving towards marijuana legalization. This is a good and important thing for a whole host of reasons, but one important reason is the environmental impact of unregulated and illegal marijuana cultivation on the environment – something that has been discussed both in the news and here on Legal Planet. Those impacts include diversion …CONTINUE READING
Despite it’s depressing subject, Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction is a great read. She travels around the world, from a “hotel” for endangered frogs in Panama to an outdoor biodiversity experiment in the Peruvian rainforest to an endangered rhino’s rectal exam in Cincinnati. Yet, there’s no denying that the topic is a downer. The title implies that we …CONTINUE READING
Congress conference committee considers Farm Bill, including numerous provisions with serious environmental consequences
Finally. There is a Farm Bill conference committee, and it began meeting last week. The Farm Bill is the vehicle for our major federal farm and food policy, including commodity subsidies, crop insurance, food assistance, and farm conservation. Congress let the 2008 Farm Bill expire on September 30, 2012, and we have been living on extensions ever since. Although the most …CONTINUE READING
If you aren’t reading Dave Owen’s blog posts over at Environmental Law Prof Blog, you should be. His most recent post is about a recent Endangered Species Act (ESA) case in Texas: Environmental plaintiffs sued, arguing that the state of Texas had allowed too many water withdrawals upstream from the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, a critical breeding …CONTINUE READING
The folks over at Pacific Legal Foundation’s (PLF) blog have been nice enough to post about an article that I co-authored with Berry Brosi at Emory University (paywall protected, unfortunately!). The article investigates the role that citizen petitions and citizen suits play in the process of listing species for protection under the Endangered Species Act …CONTINUE READING
For many years, I didn’t really believe in climate change. Not in the sense of skeptics or deniers. It’s not like I didn’t intellectually understand the science behind climate change, and didn’t understand in my head that greenhouse gases were contributing to significant alterations in global climate systems, and that those alterations have the potential …CONTINUE READING
Regular readers know that we try to report good news when we can. This positive report caught my eye because I recently returned from an extended stay in the islands, where I had the opportunity to see these beautiful birds. Conservation magazine reports on a recent study showing that populations of three endangered Hawaiian wetland …CONTINUE READING