Our Work

Reducing Risk of Climate Change from BLM actions

The threat of global warming and climate change presents us with a defining moment. We believe that the federal stewards of our public lands – the U.S. Bureau of Land Management – are part of this defining moment. We’ve taken action to ensure that BLM addresses the significant emissions of greenhouse gases from oil and gas leasing and development, reduces these emissions by implementing proven, cost-effective measures, and ensures the resiliency our wildlands in the face of climate change impacts.

Conservationists Defend Wildlife and Natural Solitude in the Lewis and Clark National Forest (press release)

12/09/2008
WELC assists the Montana Wilderness Association in a lawsuit to defend the U.S. Forest Service’s travel plan for Lewis and Clark National Forest

The Montana Wilderness Association (“MWA”) filed to intervene in a lawsuit to defend the U.S. Forest Service’s travel management plan for the Little Belt, Castle, and north half of the Crazy Mountains in the Lewis and Clark National Forest. Matt Bishop of the Western Environmental Law Center is representing MWA in this matter.

Protecting California Red-Legged Frog From Motor Vehicle Impacts

In 2008, the Eldorado National Forest in Northern California issued a plan designating motor vehicle use on the Forest. This plan relies upon inadequate NEPA analysis and violates the Endangered Species Act by allowing motorized route crossings in protected meadows and riparian areas, home to the California Red-legged frog (Rana aurora draytoii), protected under the ESA.

Second Suit In 2 Days Targets Wolf Program

5/02/2008

LAS CRUCES -- For the second time in two days, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's management of the Mexican gray wolf recovery program was targeted by a federal lawsuit filed by conservation groups.

Eleven conservation groups filed a lawsuit in Tucson on Thursday, seeking a court order to overturn the recovery program's management by an interagency oversight committee.

U.S. Wildlife Officials Failing to Conserve Mexican Wolf (press release 4.30.08)

4/30/2008
11 Conservation Groups Intervening to Ensure Wolf Recovery Is Agency’s Priority

With only 52 Mexican gray wolves left in the wild, a number of conservation organizations are asking an Arizona federal court to direct the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to take back their leadership responsibilities for the  Mexican wolf reintroduction effort and make wolf conservation a priority.

Drilling the Climate (press release)

4/23/2008
Colorado Oil and Gas Auction to Fuel Global Warming, BLM Ignoring its Responsibility to Protect Colorado’s Climate

A coalition of local, regional, and national citizens groups today challenged the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s decision to open up more than 174,000 acres of Colorado to oil and gas drilling without taking action to protect Colorado’s climate. Despite the growing dangers of climate change to Colorado, the agency is ignoring the natural gas industry’s global warming pollution as it feverishly promotes a runaway drilling boom.

Conservation Groups Win Reconsideration of the “Village” at Wolf Creek Development (press release 2.19.08)

2/19/2008

Conservationists concerned about detrimental impacts to the environment and wildlife with the proposed “Village at Wolf Creek” development celebrated a monumental victory today. Culminating 16 months of legal wrangling, the U.S. Forest Service and developer Red McCombs agreed to go back to the drawing board and complete a fair and unbiased Environmental Impact Statement for the controversial development proposed at the top of Wolf Creek Pass in southern Colorado.

Feds Asked to Include Lynx in New Mexico (press release 6.11.07)

6/11/2007
Comments on 5 year status review argue that the wildcat’s habitat extends

Santa Fe, New Mexico  – Conservation groups argued today that the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) must update classification and status for the threatened Canada lynx to include its habitat in northern New Mexico. The FWS maintains that lynx have no “Endangered Species Act (ESA) status” in New Mexico. The Southern Rocky Mountains do not abruptly end at the Colorado State line.

Defending the Land

8/27/2007
Western Environmental Law Center takes a stand for our environment.

Confronted with seemingly insurmountable odds, superheroes overwhelm their enemies, saving countless lives from inevitable death. In much the same way, Western Environmental Law Center’s staff takes on corporations, government agencies and even the Bush administration to save or otherwise protect the environment,wildlife and communities in the western United States.

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