In a forgotten incident, Congress set aside Hot Springs in 190 years ago.
The origins of the national park system is usually traced back Lincoln’s 1864 signature of the Yosemite Grant Act. But Congress had actually had the idea of protecting extraordinary places over thirty years earlier, in Arkansas of all places. Hot Springs isn’t high on the list of American places to see, which may be one …CONTINUE READING
Ted Lamm and Sean Hecht Co-Author Amicus Brief on Behalf of National Parks Groups
Last week, Sean Hecht and I filed an amicus brief with the DC Circuit in the legal challenge to the Trump Administration’s attempt to eliminate California’s authority to apply its own automobile emission standards under the Clean Air Act. (We filed the brief in our individual capacities and not on behalf of our respective institutions.) …CONTINUE READING
How to Use Textualism to Evade Statutory Texts
The Supreme Court’s decision in Cowpasture case allows gas pipelines to cross the Appalachian trial. The ruling didn’t get much attention because of its timing. It came down the same day as Bostock, which outlawed employment discrimination against gays and transsexuals. Bostock featured a big battle over the meaning of textualism. But Cowpasture was also …CONTINUE READING
The Senator’s policy proposals have a lot of good points, but could be even better
Senator Elizabeth Warren has become famous for her policy plan documents as she runs for President. A few months ago, she released a new one focusing on public lands. The key points in her plan include: A moratorium on all new fossil fuel leasing on federal public lands Providing 10% of US renewable energy from …CONTINUE READING
Legislation in Congress would expand parks, permanently authorize conservation fund
This blog post was drafted by Jamie T. Martinez. On February 12, the Senate passed the Natural Resources Management Act (NRMA), 92-8. What does the NRMA do? Simply put: a lot. If passed by the House of Representatives and signed by the President, the NRMA will protect approximately 1.3 million acres as wilderness areas, expand …CONTINUE READING
Park Service proposes to more than double fees at popular parks for peak times
On October 24, the National Park Service published a proposal to hike entrance fees in 17 of the most popular parks—including Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon—during peak visitation seasons. The per-vehicle fee during peak season would rise to $70 from the current range of $25 to $30. The plan would also raise the per-person …CONTINUE READING
The potential impact of a Trump Administration on our federal public lands.
The federal government owns almost one-third of the land in the United States, primarily concentrated in the Western states. In addition, the federal government is the primary manager of the oceans off the coast of the United States (with the exception of oceans within three miles of the coastline, which are primarily under state authority). …CONTINUE READING
Keeping track of what is happening with our federal public lands
There is a lot of discussion about possible changes in environmental law post-election. One area that has received some attention is public lands. The federal government owns a little less than one-third of the lands of the United States – many of those lands are ecologically valuable, and are components of our priceless national park …CONTINUE READING
It’s Time to Celebrate–and Re-Commit to–“America’s Best Idea”
This week the National Park Service celebrates its 100th birthday. On August 25, 1916, Congress enacted legislation proposed by President Woodrow Wilson to create the Park Service. To this date, creation of the Service remains one of the nation’s most important actions to protect America’s environment. (Documentarian Ken Burns–himself a national treasure–famously called the national …CONTINUE READING
Does the agency have the legal tools to respond to climate change?
This past weekend President Obama visited Yosemite, helping the National Park Service celebrate its 100th anniversary. As part of his remarks, the President noted that climate change is already causing major impacts on the resources in National Parks around the country—for instance, causing the disappearance of the glaciers in Yosemite and increasing fire risks in …CONTINUE READING