The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is well known for protecting plants and animals. Yet as it defends wildlife and habitat from global warming it also helps humans. The ESA helps protect critical natural functions, including cleaning air and water, that directly impact human communities, not to mention recreational opportunities that support many local economies.
In mid-August the Bush Administration proposed dangerous changes that would undermine the act's protective powers.
While Congress and the Administration continue to disagree on a national plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions, more states have taken the historic step of doing it themselves.
Ten Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont) that are part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), took the unique first step forward by holding an online carbon auction.
If a court ruling protects roadless forests can anyone hear it? There’s a bright spot in the legal struggle that started almost a year and a half ago to protect national forests in northern Minnesota. A federal district court recently decided that the Forest Service violated a major national environmental law (National Environmental Policy Act) by failing to evaluate the effects of logging on water quality in the Echo Trail area adjacent to the Boundary Waters Wilderness.
A vast area of glistening lagoons and wetlands punctuated by jagged mountains and volcanic peaks, Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska is critical habitat for hundreds of thousands of migratory birds, as well as marine mammals, grizzlies and caribou. But Congress is considering a bill that would result in a road being built through the heart of this refuge, destroying the intact watershed the animals depend on for survival.
Twelve recently released land management plans for Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming are getting quite a reaction. They exclude an opportunity for the public to protest, in order to speed the development of oil shale.