Biodiversity & Species
Brazil’s New Environmental Crisis Raises Crucial Constitutional and Advocacy Issues
As Dan noted last week, and as E & E News reports today, Brazil’s President-Elect, Jair Bolsonaro, is not only an authoritarian quasi-fascist (no exaggeration in those terms), but is also horrific for the environment. And that, in turn, is not simply bad for Brazil and South America, but for everyone on the planet. In …CONTINUE READING
An election next Sunday has implications for the entire planet.
I hate to give you something else to freak out about in our current Age of Anxiety, but there’s a very worrisome presidential election next Sunday. No, I haven’t completely lost it – the presidential race isn’t here, it’s in Brazil. The election pits a dangerous populist against a highly competent but colorless Establishment candidate. …CONTINUE READING
Law professors submit detailed comments on proposed changes to regulations that implement the Endangered Species Act
I’ve posted earlier about proposals by the Trump Administration to make significant changes to the regulations implementing the Endangered Species Act, some of the most substantial revisions to those regulations since they were overhauled in the early 1980s. A group of environmental law professors (including me) submitted comments on those proposed rules last month, with …CONTINUE READING
The Endangered Species Act in the Supreme Court: Oral Argument Today in Weyerhaeuser v. US Fish & Wildlife Service
Post-Argument Panel at Georgetown Law Will Feature Advocates
Oral argument in Weyerhaeuser v. U.S, Fish & Wildlife Service is this morning, the first day (and first argument) of the new Supreme Court term. The Court will be short-handed, with only eight Justices hearing the case. I’ll be attending the argument and speaking on a post-argument panel at Georgetown Law School, along with other advocates …CONTINUE READING
EPA needs to take a hand to keep the restoration plan on track. We’ll see how that goes soon.
The effort to restore Chesapeake Bay is something I knew vaguely about but had never looked into. A new on-line dashboard of relevant material inspired me to take a deeper dive. The restoration plan is definitely worth a closer look., It’s the U.S. leading effort to reduce“nonpoint source” water pollution such as agricultural runoff. It …CONTINUE READING
Secretary of Interior’s Op-Ed Ignores Science and Land-Use Planning to Falsely Blame Wildfire Risk on “Radical Environmentalists”
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke published an op-ed today calling for “active management” of our federal public lands to reduce wildfire risk, and blaming “radical environmentalists who would rather see forests and communities burn than see a logger in the woods” for the prevalance and lethality of wildfires in the American West. Zinke’s op-ed is disingenuous, …CONTINUE READING
Administration proposes subsantial revisions to the regulations that implement the Endangered Species Act
One of the most important statutes for management of federal public lands is the Endangered Species Act (ESA). It’s important because it requires all federal agencies to avoid jeopardizing the existence of listed endangered and threatened species through their actions, and also to avoid adversely modifying critical habitat for those species. That means when the …CONTINUE READING
UCLA Law Wells Environmental Law Clinic Files U.S. Supreme Court Brief on Behalf of Scientists in Endangered Species Act Case
Scientists’ Brief Argues Federal Agencies and Courts Must Use Science in Interpreting “Habitat” Under the Endangered Species Act; Clinic Clients Include Profs. Stuart Pimm & E.O. Wilson, Along With Three MacArthur “Genius” Award Recipients & Ten Other Esteemed Scientists
Congress enacted the Endangered Species Act in 1973 to protect species at risk of extinction. Congress viewed species extinction as an urgent threat requiring urgent, decisive action. The result was a bipartisan law designed to apply scientific knowledge and expertise to managing the threats to U.S. species. While the Act has been controversial, and characterized …CONTINUE READING
BLM and Forest Service produce draft environmental impact statements for plan revisions
I wrote in the fall about the Trump Administration’s efforts to weaken protections for sage grouse on federal public lands. The next step in that process is currently ongoing – draft environmental impact statements (EIS) for revisions to land management plans for BLM and Forest Service lands. Those EISs are required by the National Environmental …CONTINUE READING
Breakthroughs in gene editing might open the door to improved environmental protections. Or maybe not.
CRISPR is a breakthrough gene editing method. (I can’t refrain from noting that a key role in the discovery was played Jennifer Doudna at Berkeley.) There are potential risks from gene editing to the environment, similar to other types of GMOs. But there may be environmental benefits too. Here are a few that have been …CONTINUE READING