Multiple Use Forestry in the Anthropocene


WELC attorney Susan Jane Brown wrote an article in the current issue of the Western Forester, a publication by the Society of American Foresters Northwest Office.

Her article is about the new frontier for multiple-use forestry.

Click here to read the publication. This article is on page 12.

Kid ninjas save the world (MSNBC News 7/1/15)


Zoe Foster is 13 years old. She likes going to the beach. When not busy with homework, she also enjoys suing Washington State in King County Superior Court.

The story of Zoe’s lawsuit sounds like a bad movie, something from the same shelf as kid-ninjas save the world: a clique of teenagers, convinced their government is not doing enough to slow global warming, uses the courts to protect their future.

Yet that’s exactly what’s happening in Washington State.

Teens 'shocked' to win lawsuit against government (King5 NBC Video 7/1/15)


Click here to view the news video.

A group of teenagers has convinced a King County superior court judge to order the Washington State Department of Ecology to consider statewide reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.

They say they're shocked but also excited.

Europe braces for more climate litigation (News 7/1/15)

Dutch order to cut emissions opens door for citizens' lawsuits elsewhere

A group of Dutch citizens weary of ineffectual climate diplomacy are celebrating after forcing change through legal action. Last week, following a lawsuit filed by a citizens’ climate-change platform called the Urgenda Foundation, a court in The Hague ordered the government of the Netherlands to cut greenhouse-gas emissions to at least 25% below 1990 levels by 2020 — substantially greater cuts than are required under the small country’s European Union (EU) obligations.

Judge: Students’ petition on carbon emissions should be reconsidered (Seattle Times 6/24/15)

A King County Superior Court judge has ruled that the state Department of Ecology must reconsider a petition from young climate activists seeking a crackdown on state emissions of greenhouse gases.

Eight students who unsuccessfully petitioned the state Department of Ecology to crack down on carbon emissions gained an initial legal victory in King County Superior Court.

Citing what she called the “historical lack of political will to respond adequately to the urgent and dire acceleration of global warming,” Judge Hollis Hill ruled the petition must be reconsidered.

She set a July 8 deadline for the department to report back to the court.

Judge rules for teens in climate change case (KING 5 NBC News 6/24/15)


A group of teenagers has convinced a King County superior court judge to order the Washington State Department of Ecology (ECY) to consider statewide reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.

Judge Hollis Hill issued the ruling Tuesday. It will require ECY to reconsider the petition filed by eight teens last year. The petition asked for officials to develop policy-limiting carbon dioxide emissions based on best available science.

Dairy farmers must supply neighbors clean water (KING 5 News Seattle 6/20/15)


A 79-year old grandmother in central Washington may have changed the way dairies operate across the country.

In a landmark agriculture ruling, a federal judge defined cow manure and urine as "solid waste," rather than a nutrient as it's often referred to in the industry.

Helen Reddout noticed a change in the valley when dairies started growing in the 1980s.

"You just opened the door and there was a constant barrage of flies," she said.

New maps show dairy pollution threat to Puget Sound (Press Release 6/17/15)


The ground and surface waters that feed Puget Sound currently suffer from pollution related in large part to leaking manure lagoons used by industrial dairies known as concentrated animal feeding operations. As part of its advocacy for a strong discharge permit that protects Puget Sound and Washington's waterways from harmful nutrient, nitrate and fecal coliform pollution, the Western Environmental Law Center today published three illuminating maps of Puget Sound area dairy manure lagoons.

Yakima Valley Private Well Test Results Revealed (KNDO NBC 5/19/15)


Clean water is vital to our health and the Lower Valley's agriculture-based economy. That's why dozens of landowners there agreed to have their wells tested for Nitrates.

Water is definitely something we all need. Back in 2014 there was a well water test done in the Lower Yakima Valley. To see what the Nitrate levels were.

172 households volunteered to have the test conducted on their wells. It took several months for the results to come back. I was able to speak with Yakima County Commissioner Rand Elliott, who told us some of the results of the test.

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