Our Work

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 These rules are long overdue, modernizing outdated and ineffective waste guidance adopted 36 years ago.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. 

My View: Finally, a smoking gun in New Mexico’s methane ‘hot spot’

8/27/2016

In 2014, New Mexico made national headlines when scientists discovered an atmospheric anomaly above the Four Corners: a 2,500-square-mile cloud of methane (natural gas) — the largest such plume in the nation. At the time, industry data showed that oil and gas development was responsible for 90 percent of the known methane emissions. Nonetheless, for the next two years, the oil and gas industry blamed every other imaginable methane source, refusing to take responsibility for the "hot spot" and its associated health and climate threats.

Environmentalists sue feds to block oil, gas lease sales

8/25/2016

A Santa Fe-based environmental group filed a federal lawsuit against the Obama administration Thursday, seeking a moratorium on all oil and gas lease sales on public land until the completion of an analysis showing how drilling impacts climate change.

WildEarth Guardians and Washington, D.C.-based Physicians for Social Responsibility claim in the suit that nearly 400 drilling leases were sold across 380,000 acres of public land in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming without any analysis of the environmental or public health effects.

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