endangered species

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 …


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 …


On “pretextual” listings of species for protection under the Endangered Species Act

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 …


Believing in Climate Change

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 …


Good news for Hawaiian wetland birds

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 …


A Risky FWS Proposal to Limit ESA Petitions

The Endangered Species Act has long been a lightning-rod for controversy.  The last administration tried to significantly circumscribe the scope of the ESA in a wide range of ways (see, e.g, here).  The Obama Administration up to this point in time has in general sharply contrasted with its predecessor in ESA management, including listing a …


The BP Deepwater Horizon Blowout and the Social and Environmental Erosion of the Louisiana Coast

  In a lecture that I gave last week at the University of Minnesota, I discussed how the Louisiana Coast was under grave threat from erosion, rising seas, and pollution even before the explosion on the British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon platform. Whole communities have vanished under the rising water, and the livelihoods and communities of …