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Wielding the Law to Safeguard the Land – April 17, 2016

Goldman Environmental Prize winners use legal strategy, grassroots organizing to defend human health and Indigenous land rights

Legal work isn’t usually glamorous. In movies, lawsuits are portrayed as epic, exciting battles — in practice, legal work can be a slow and arduous process. Thankfully, as two of the 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize recipients well know, it can also bring unparalleled results. 

photo of Goldman Environmental Prize WinnerPhoto courtesy of Goldman Environmental Prize Zuzana Caputova took on two landfills in her small town of Pezinok, Slovakia.

Zuzana Caputova has seen such results first hand. For years, she has been fighting an unpermitted landfill just outside of her small town of Pezinok, Slovakia. Built in the 1960s, the landfill sits a… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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Head in the Clouds – April 6, 2016

Communing with nature high up in a redwood canopy

I grew up among the redwoods. My parents’ house is nestled in a unique Bay Area neighborhood built among these giant trees. Redwood roots burst through the concrete roads and sidewalks, and branches shade the narrow streets that have been paved around their trunks.

photo of redwood climbPhoto by Steve LillegrenUp in the redwood canopy.

Yet for all the time I’ve spent among these bold, towering trees, the idea of scaling up to the top of one never crossed my mind. That changed a few weeks ago when I found myself climbing a 200-plus foot redwood in the Santa Cruz mountains, and… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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In Death Valley, A Carpet of Colorful Life – March 10, 2016

A last minute trip to see rare wildflower super bloom was well worth the long haul

Years ago, when I first read about the desert “super blooms” that explode some of the world’s most arid places into riots of colorful flowers, catching a glimpse of the rare phenomenon immediately jumped to the top of my bucket-list. The contrast between a stark desert landscape and fields of wildflowers seemed too amazing to miss. So, two weeks ago, when I learned that Death Valley National Park was abloom with more than 20 species of wildflowers, I knew I had to see it.

Photo of Death Valley Super BloomPhoto by Zoe Loftus-Farren Desert gold wildflowers blanket rocky field in Death Valley National Park… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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Freeing the Klamath – February 25, 2016

Water rights issues remain to be resolved in largest dam removal project ever in the US

Update: On April 6, representatives from California, Oregon, the federal government, dam-owner PacifiCorp, tribes, conservation groups, and agricultural interests signed an amendment to the Klamath Hydropower Settlement Agreement. Pending approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commissions, the amendment provides a path toward removal of four dams on the lower Klamath River.   

After more than a decade of negotiating, and waiting, and negotiating again, it looks like four dams on the lower Klamath River may finally be removed. On February 2, a coalition of state governments, the US Department of the Interior, and dam-owner PacifiCorp reached a tentative agreement to demolish the dams, which are located in Oregon and Northern California.… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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‘I Consider Myself to Be a Fossil Fuel Abolitionist’ – January 26, 2016

A conversation with climate activist Tim DeChristopher

In 2008, climate activist Tim DeChristopher arrived at a BLM oil and gas lease auction in Utah with the intention of disrupting it. He was thinking along the lines of making an impassioned speech, but when he was offered the chance to register as a bidder in the auction, he saw an opportunity he couldn’t pass up, and made a choice he knew would likely land him in prison.

DeChristopher Photo by Stephen Melkisethian

As bidder number 70, DeChristopher won nearly $1.8 million in bids for some 22,000 acres of public land — bids that he had no intention of paying for — before he… more

by: Zoe Loftus-Farren

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