EcoPerspectives Blog

Muddy Clarity for Farming: EPA’s Proposed “Waters of the United States” Definition


Summary: This EcoPerspective discusses the EPA’s and Army Corps of Engineers’ attempt at redefining the meaning of  “waters of the United States.” Since the Supreme Court decision in Rapanos v. United States, the jurisdictional reach of those agencies over waters with a significant nexus to navigable waters has been somewhat unclear. However, the agencies’ new… Read more »

Of Plastic and Playgrounds: Re-Thinking the Relationship Between Work, Recreation, and the Environment

Bouldering_JDbend 2

Summary: This EcoPerspective takes a critical look at the indirect effects of outdoor recreation on the environment. Large numbers of people are inspired through recreation and related activities to protect the wild and untrammeled places left in the world. But recreation, in itself, has its own environmental consequences. The desire alone to protect these natural… Read more »

Climate Inaction Plan: Obama’s Methane Strategy and its Perilous Path

Summary:   The Obama Administration published an ambitious plan this spring to reduce the nation’s methane emissions. Despite its lofty goals, the Methane Strategy is on course for political pitfalls and delays with regulating the largest source of emissions: the oil and gas sector. For an administration that has already faced difficulties meeting its own regulatory… Read more »

Working Group II releases contribution to the Fifth IPCC Assessment Report

Summary: At the end of last month, the IPCC released the next component of the Fifth Assessment Report. Working Group II’s addition follows the updated scientific analysis of Working Group I and provides information of the impacts of climate change, vulnerability to climate change, and adaptation suggestions. While some argue that the report goes too far… Read more »

Indigenous Peoples Seek a Voice in Natural Resource Management

Duthu Brothers

Summary: Recently, at Vermont Law School’s annual Solutions Conference, a panel discussion highlighted the need for a stronger indigenous voice in natural resource management. The three speakers came from vastly different cultural and professional backgrounds, but all three agreed that local, state, and federal resource managers have repeatedly ignored indigenous concerns. Currently, indigenous peoples are… Read more »

Lawyers Create A Tribute to Abused Animals

  Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it. Mark Twain (1885-1910) ________________________________________ By Judith Needham, Esq. Lawyer jokes perk up dull parties. We have all heard this one . . . Q: Why won’t sharks attack lawyers? A: Professional courtesy. But,… Read more »

Campaign Finance: An Unsuitable and Unsustainable Vehicle for Environmental Change

Summary:  On the rise on the political front is an effort by some wealthy Americans to fund climate-change ads and invest in politicians willing to support climate-change initiatives. While this may seem like a feasible and much-needed effort in the current political climate, other means of advancing the environmental movement, such as continued advocacy, are… Read more »

Fighting Big Coal––Washington Judge Allows Novel Clean Water Act Citizens’ Suit to Proceed

Summary:  Recently, federal courts in Washington State ruled in favor of environmental organizations and allowed a novel citizens’ suit against the Railroad to proceed on the merits for coal dust emissions from trains into state waterways.  If proven, this would constitute violations of the federal Clean Water Act. ________________________________________ By Kelly Nokes A Washington Federal District… Read more »

No Taxation with Conservation: State Tax Credits for Conservation Easements and the Health of the Chesapeake Bay

By Will Kirk ________________________________________ Heaven and earth never agreed better to frame a place for man’s habitation. –Captain John Smith There is arguably no area of land and water that is more important to this Nation’s history and beginning than the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed. From Jamestown and Yorktown, to the founding of the capital… Read more »

An Open Letter to President Obama

March 7, 2014  Dear Mr. President,  I am writing you this letter to ask you one simple question, will you please oppose TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline? I am not a list of nine Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. I am only myself. I am an Oklahoman. I am a scientist. I am a soon to be… Read more »