Clean Free-Flowing Rivers

We focus on protecting and restoring rivers and watersheds that provide unique values in the West, including supporting wild salmon runs, providing clean drinking water, and supporting community recreation.

Environmental groups challenge new dairy discharge permit

2/22/2017

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Neither environmentalists nor the dairy industry are satisfied with the final version of a proposed discharge permit for dairies and other concentrated animal feeding operations known as CAFOs.

As expected, several environmental groups have filed an appeal to challenge the permit. But the Washington State Dairy Federation and the Washington Farm Bureau also have issued an appeal.

The appeals were filed Friday to the state Pollution Control Hearings Board.

Environmental groups challenge Ecology’s new permits for industrial dairies (News Release 2/21/17)

2/21/2017

On Feb. 17, 2017, a coalition of environmental groups filed an appeal with the Washington state Pollution Control Hearings Board (PCHB) challenging the Department of Ecology’s waste discharge permits for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).  

Lawsuit Spurs Forest Service to Ensure Safe Passage for Bull Trout (News Release 2/10/17)

2/10/2017
Payette National Forest will assess how to protect bull trout critical habitat from motorized use

In response to a lawsuit filed by WildEarth Guardians, represented by the Western Environmental Law Center, the Payette National Forest in west central Idaho is reconsidering how it manages roads and motorized trails to better protect bull trout. The complaint, filed September 21, 2016, challenged the U.S. Forest Service’s and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s failure to ensure protection for bull trout critical habitat from roads and motorized trails.

Ecology's CAFO Water Quality Permit Sacrifices Public Health, Drinking Water, Shellfish Beds (News Release 1/19/17)

1/19/2017

Today, a coalition environmental, public health, social justice and public interest advocates and organizations representing tens of thousands of Washingtonians responded to the Washington State Department of Ecology’s issuance of a revised concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) general discharge permit, five years after the former permit expired.

Advocacy in action: Decades-long effort earns 20-year mining ban in Kalmiopsis Wild Rivers (News Release 1/13/17)

1/13/2017
Administration acts to protect steelhead, wild salmon for decades

This week, the Obama Administration took strong administrative action to protect an area in southwest Oregon's Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest with the highest concentration of designated Wild Rivers in the contiguous U.S. The action safeguards the area's wild salmon and steelhead habitat, and preserves a mecca for aquatic recreationalists such as paddlers, boaters, and fishermen, for 20 years.

WA industrial dairy installs court-ordered manure lagoon liners to protect groundwater (News Release 12/12/16)

12/12/2016
Department of Ecology poised to allow continued industrial ag pollution throughout state with new permit

Last week, Cow Palace Dairy, a large Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) in Zillah, Wash., began installation of state-of-the-art synthetic liners for the facility’s earthen manure storage lagoons to prevent ongoing leakage of contaminants to groundwater. This comes as the Washington State Department of Ecology is set to finalize a CAFO General Permit that forgoes this proven, cost-effective protective measure in favor of knowingly contaminating drinking water for thousands of Washingtonians.

Agreement in Principle requires study of coal train covers, $1 million in environmental restoration and coal cleanup (News Release 11/15/16)

11/15/2016

A coalition of environmental organizations and BNSF Railway (BNSF) have reached an agreement in principle that will ensure that BNSF starts to clean up and prevent pollution from their coal trains.

Lawsuit Filed to Protect Critical Bull Trout Habitat on Payette National Forest (News Release 9/21/16)

9/21/2016

WildEarth Guardians, with representation by the Western Environmental Law Center, filed a lawsuit today in federal court challenging the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s failure to ensure protection for bull trout critical habitat on the Payette National Forest from roads and motorized trails under the Endangered Species Act. Bull trout, threatened with extinction, currently occupy less than half their historic range.

Montana Supreme Court Orders State To Close Loophole To Protect Water Rights (News Release 9/14/16)

9/14/2016
Developers abused loophole for new subdivisions, threatening water availability for family ranches, wildlife, instream flows

Late yesterday, the Supreme Court of the State of Montana upheld an Oct. 2014 district court ruling that ordered the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) to close a loophole in the state’s water well permit rules that developers and other large water users were using to avoid the permitting process when drilling thousands of water wells for new subdivisions.

BLM Finalizes Oregon Timber Plan Over Stakeholder Objections (News Release 8/5/16)

8/05/2016
Despite Protest, Final Plan Sacrifices Clean Water, Healthy Fish, Carbon Sequestration, Recreation Economy

Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) signed a management plan for western Oregon, largely ignoring a formal protest from 22 conservation and fishing groups. On a BLM media call, the agency conveyed that it did not appreciably change the plan from the proposed draft. The BLM plan eliminates protections for streamside forests, increases clearcutting, and removes 2.6 million acres of federally managed public forests from the 1994 Northwest Forest Plan.

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