WELC Blog: Join us at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference this weekend in Eugene, OR!

In 1983, the oldest and largest public interest environmental law conference was born. Now in its 31st incarnation, the conference held at the University of Oregon—which starts this Thursday, February 28th and will run through Sunday, March 3rd—brings together more than 3,000 activists, attorneys, students, scientists, and concerned citizens from over 50 countries around the world. At WELC, we’ve always loved the conference as an opportunity to celebrate our great work and to share and strategize with others about the work we hope to do. It’s my hope that you can join us at this wonderful event!

This year, WELC attorneys will present on a host of issues—from coal mining in the interior West to liquefied natural gas export ports in the Northwest to wild salmon, wolverine, lynx, and wolf protections across the West—that demonstrate the strength, range, and importance of our mission and work:

Shiloh Hernandez, one of our Helena, Montana attorneys, will present on the ability of citizens to obtain standing in federal court—a critical, threshold issue in litigation—to seek redress for government action that contributes to climate change. When/Where: Thursday, February 28th at 4:00pm in the Fir room at the EMU.

Susan Jane Brown, one of our attorneys out of Portland, Oregon, will speak about WELC’s efforts to prevent the use of Oregon’s magnificent coast and wildlands to export natural gas produced through fracking from the U.S. to Asia. When/Where: Friday, March 1st at 9:00am in the Umpqua room at the EMU.

Susan Jane will also discuss WELC’s emerging engagement in the field of collaborative law, exploring its strengths and weaknesses. When/Where: Friday, March 1st at 2:30 pm in room 243 of the Law School.

Susan Jane—who loves speaking at panels!—will also address WELC’s engagement in National Forest management issues through two separate panels. 

First, Susan Jane will talk about recent rule changes and proposed revisions to the Northwest Forest Plan. When/Where: Saturday, March 1st at 4:00 in room 175 of the Law School. 

And second, Susan Jane will talk about the Obama Administration’s 2012 National Forest Management Planning Rule—a rule that will guide forest and other natural resource management on more than 193 million acres of National Forests across the country. When/Where: Saturday, March 2nd at 2:30 in room 175 of the Law School. 

Megan Anderson, the Director of our Climate and Energy program out of our Taos, New Mexico office, will address WELC’s work to stop the ravages caused by coal mining in the West, much of which is being mined not only to fuel our aging coal-fired power fleet, but for export out of the Northwest to Asia. When/Where: Friday, March 1st at 2:30 pm in the Ben Linder room at the EMU.

Matt Bishop, an attorney out of our Helena, Montana Office, will discuss WELC’s efforts to ensure the long-term survival and recovery of the iconic Canada lynx throughout the species’ historic range in the West. When/Where: Friday, March 1st at 2:30 pm in the Maple room at the EMU.

John Mellgren, one of our Eugene, Oregon attorneys, will talk about WELC’s efforts to conserve the elusive, incredible wolverine, including issues arising from the Fish and Wildlife Service’s recent proposal to protect this species pursuant to the Endangered Species Act. When/Where: Friday, March 1st at 4:00pm in the Fir room at the EMU.

John will also present on the WELC’s work to stop the serious harm caused by suction dredge mining in rivers and streams to endangered salmon and other aquatic life. When/Where: Saturday, March 2nd at 2:30pm in the Metolius room at the EMU.

Pete Frost, the Director of our Wildlands Program out of our Eugene office, will present on WELC’s many efforts to conserve wild salmon by confronting serious problems caused by fish hatcheries. When/Where: Friday, March 1st at 4:00pm in the Many Nations Longhouse.

Greg Costello, one of our attorneys working in Seattle, Washington, will take a hard look at the science and policy implicated by ocean acidification—the ‘evil sister of climate change’ that threatens the Northwest and its seafood industry. When/Where: Saturday, March 2nd at 2:30pm in room 110 of the Law School.

Greg will also present on WELC’s intensifying work on alternatives to litigation, including collaboration, to identify new solution-oriented pathways to conservation. When/Where: Saturday, March 2nd at 4:00pm in room 141 of the Law School.

And last but not least, Greg will present on WELC’s efforts to help recover wolf populations and habitat in the Pacific Northwest, taking a look at wolves through both a biological and legal lens. When/Where: Sunday, March 3rd at 10:30am in room 110 of the Law School.

Again, please join us!


Recordings, transcripts or other media coverage of PIELC?

I'm not able to make it to a few of the keynote speeches that I'd really like to hear. Are there any recordings or (one can hope!) live coverage? Your commentary on last year's conference is a very good read. I hope there are some good resources you can direct me to for this year's event. It's a great thing that happens here every year. Thank you!
Willow Hill
Eugene, OR

PIELC recording

Hello Willow,
In past years there have been some recordings.
I suggest you contact the Conference organizers at askpielc@uoregon.edu

Blog Profile

Erik Schlenker-Goodrich

Erik was appointed Executive Director in 2012. He joined WELC as an attorney in 2003 and has worked to safeguard our climate from dirty fossil fuels, promote our transition to the efficient use of carbon free, renewable energy, and protect the American West’s rivers and wildlands. Before taking over the reins, Erik served as both the director of the Southwest office (Taos, N.M.) and of WELC's Climate & Energy Program. Prior to joining WELC, he worked for The Wilderness Society as an attorney on public lands issues. Erik is a graduate of Cornell University with a B.S. in Natural Resources, and earned his law degree and an Environmental and Natural Resources Law Certificate from the University of Oregon School of Law. Erik works from our Southwest Office, 575-751-0351 x 137.

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This blog explores inside information from WELC's smart, dedicated attorneys, scientists and policy experts who have committed their lives to defending the American West. Our experts take their unique knowledge, mix it with long hours of reflection in the saddle of a bicycle, hiking a long & winding trail, paddling a river, or skiing the mountains and share with you their insights and perspectives. We hope you enjoy the results!