Nov 11 2011

Twitter Link Round-Up: The Health Tab for Climate Change Reaches $14 Billion and Australia Passes Landmark Carbon Tax

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Photo by Kelci Block

Afraid you missed something interesting in the world of environmental law?  Read on for a (non-comprehensive) list of articles posted on our Twitter feed @WMELSBlog.

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Jul 22 2011

Twitter Link Round-Up: Whitebark Pine Turned Down for ESA Protection and BP has Another Spill, this time in Alaska

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Photo by Kelci Block

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Apr 01 2011

Twitter Link Round-Up: Courts Rule on Endangered Species Act and Who Can Possess Eagle Feathers

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Photo by Kelci Block

Afraid you missed something interesting in the world of environmental law?  Read on for a (non-comprehensive) list of articles posted on our Twitter feed @WMELSBlog.

– NYT: @nytimesgreen US Senators push agency officials on storage for spent nuclear fuel in wake of #Japan crisis http://bit.ly/dTaRqs

– HP: @HuffPostGreen GoDaddy CEO’s elephant slaughter video sparks outrage http://huff.to/fhDE8c (RT)

– Legal Planet: Ninth Circuit follows other circuits and rejects a commerce clause challenge of the ESA http://bit.ly/h8EJrG

– NYT: @nytimes The fight over Alaska’s resources, both animal and mineral, is heating up http://nyti.ms/eQOWwW

– NYT: @nytenvironment Dot Earth: Academy: U.S. Lulled on Need for Earthquake Resilience http://nyti.ms/fXlmlv (RT) Continue Reading »

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Nov 01 2010

Hot Topics This Week

The black-footed ferret hunts prairie dogs

A judge’s ruling stops a town from poisoning a colony of prairie dogs because they’re a food source for the black-footed ferret.

In 2006, a rancher named Larry Haverfield refused to poison the prairie dogs on the 10,000 acre ranch he owns in Logan County, Kansas.  He also refused to allow county workers onto his land to let them poison the prairie dogs, despite his neighbors’ anger.  His reasons were that even though he didn’t like the prairie dogs personally, he knew they were food for animals like the black-footed ferret, the most endangered animals in North America, a colony of which were released on Mr. Haverfield’s property.  In 2008, Logan County sued Mr. Haverfield, invoking a law from 1901 that allowed them to enter private property to poison the prairie dogs without the owner’s permission.  Now, a district judge has ruled against Logan County and found that the Endangered Species Act takes precedence over the 1901 state law the County was referring to.  Judge Lively stated that the exterminating all the prairie dogs on the property would also exterminate all the black-footed ferrets on the property, thus violating the ESA.  The ferrets, which were thought to be extinct in the 1970s, both live in the prairie dogs’ burrows and eat the prairie dogs themselves.  Therefore, areas with high prairie dog populations are ideal places to reintroduce the ferrets into the wild.  Prairie dogs, however, are considered a nuisance because they clear the tall grass that ranchers would use to graze their cattle on.  Poisoning and shooting the dogs are considered common means of controlling their population and the vast majority of ranchers employ these methods to keep the “pests” off of their property.  With Mr. Haverfield’s decision, conservationists have truly gained a unusual and invaluable ally. Continue Reading »

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