endangered species

St. Paddy Meets Modern Environmental Law

It’s not a match made in heaven.

Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications An tAire Comhshaoil, Aeráide agus Cumarsáide Irish Republic March 17, 470 AD. Dear Mr. Saint Patrick, According to credible reports that have reached this office, you have been involved in the export (“banishing”) of snakes (reptiles of the suborder Serpentes) from Ireland.  We are unable to find an …

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Reforming the California Endangered Species Act

Updating the state’s landmark biodiversity law for the twenty-first century

California has a rich heritage of biodiversity, with many species found nowhere else in the world (including the iconic giant sequoia trees).  But California’s biodiversity faces grave threats – pressures from development that eliminates habitat; water shortages that harm aquatic species in California’s rivers; and climate change impacts that are shifting and altering habitats, among …

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Resuscitating Obama’s Environmental Legacy

Trump has had a single-minded focus on eliminating any traces of Obama’s presidency. But it’s not too late to turn the tide.

We’ve now had nearly four years of Trump’s all-out war on environmental protection. Trump has single-mindedly tried  to wipe out every trace of Obama’s legacy.  It’s time to see what’s left of Obama’s achievements. And what could a new President do to revive his legacy? In a Legal Planet post a week before the last …

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Where the Wild Things Are

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 …

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Conflicting Visions of the Future of the American West

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 …

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Recreational marijuana legalization in California

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 …

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Mixed results in CA medical marijuana legislation

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 …

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Going, Going, Gone

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 …

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Congress Moves Forward on the Farm Bill

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 …

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Good environmental data matters for environmental litigation

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 …

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