Our Work

Public Health and Environmental Groups Move to Defend Standards to Reduce Waste of Natural Gas on Public Lands (News Release 12/2/16)

12/02/2016
Groups Seek to Join Lawsuit to Oppose Challenges to the Standards

Fifteen national, regional, tribal and local public health and environmental groups representing millions of Americans took legal steps today to defend new standards that will reduce natural gas waste on public and tribal lands, protect public health, and guard against climate change.

Terry Tempest Williams & Brooke Williams appeal to Interior Board of Land Appeals over oil and gas lease purchase (News Release 11/17/16)

11/17/2016
Famed author and husband punished for common industry practice

Today, on behalf of Terry Tempest Williams and Brooke Williams, the Western Environmental Law Center administratively challenged the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) rejection of the Tempest Exploration Company's October 2016 bids on oil and gas leases in Utah. WELC filed the appeal with the Interior Board of Land Appeals, which reviews appeals from bureau decisions relating to the use and disposition of public lands and their resources.

Obama Administration finalizes rule to protect public health, taxpayers, environment from methane waste on public lands (News Release 11/15/16)

11/15/2016

After years of advocacy by a broad coalition of partner groups across the West and in Washington, D.C., we are proud to announce that today the Obama Administration released new rules that will reduce the wholesale waste of natural gas by the oil and gas industry–the nation's largest methane emitter–on our public lands. These rules are long overdue, modernizing outdated and ineffective waste guidance adopted 36 years ago. We applaud the administration for taking this essential step in stopping the wanton waste of America’s natural gas resources.

Northwest Forest Plan science synthesis review begins (News Release 11/10/16)

11/10/2016
Will help inform forest management efforts in Pacific Northwest

Today, the U.S. Forest Service released for public and heightened peer review its anticipated science synthesis, which will inform the need to revise the renowned Northwest Forest Plan. The Forest Service is currently taking public comment on the synthesis through January 6, 2017, and credentialed peer reviewers expect to complete their review by mid-February 2017. 

Groups Call on Obama to Align Public Lands Management in Western CO with U.S. Climate Goals (News Release 11/1/16)

11/01/2016
Conservation groups today called on the Obama Administration to align public lands management with U.S. climate goals, in response to a draft proposal that would intensify fossil fuel extraction on one million acres of public land and mineral rights in western Colorado. Local groups want to shift their economy away from coal, oil, and gas, and toward sustainable organic agriculture and recreational tourism.

Court allows continued intensive, unstudied fracking in Greater Chaco (News Release 10/27/16)

10/27/2016
Northwest New Mexico oil drilling will continue despite risks to communities, cultural resources and environment

Hopes for a respite from a fracking boom plaguing Navajo and public lands in New Mexico’s Greater Chaco area were thwarted Thursday when the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a federal judge's decision to deny a temporary halt to drilling until a full decision on the merits can be reached. Despite the lack of environmental review or a comprehensive plan for fracking in the area, the Bureau of Land Management will be allowed to continue to grant hundreds or even thousands of new permits to drill and frack the area.

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.

Inslee Administration Finalizes Feckless Clean Air Rule (News Release 9/16/16)

9/16/2016

Yesterday afternoon at a media-only event excluding the general public, the Inslee administration released a final Clean Air Rule that legalizes dangerous levels of greenhouse gas emissions in Washington state.

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.

Court Orders Fish & Wildlife Service to Reexamine Lynx Critical Habitat (News Release 9/7/16)

9/07/2016
Feds Failed to Protect Key Habitat in Colorado

Today the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana ordered the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) to reconsider its decision to exclude the Canada lynx’s entire southern Rocky Mountain range, essential for the wildcat’s recovery, from designation as critical habitat. 

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