Earthjustice

Earthjustice brings about far-reaching change by enforcing and strengthening environmental laws on behalf of hundreds of organizations and communities. Earthjustice fills a key niche in the conservation movement by providing expert legal representation, at no charge, to local, regional, and national organizations working to protect our natural heritage, safeguard our health, and promote a clean, sustainable energy future.

Earthjustice has been a Brainerd Foundation grantee since 2001.

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Earthjustice Photo gallery

Photo courtesy of Earthjustice.

Photo courtesy of Earthjustice.

Photo courtesy of Earthjustice.

Earthjustice Grant history

2017

$150,000 - A two-year grant to implement its strategies to protect human health and the environment across the nation. Place-based conservation

2015

$100,000 - A two-year grant to protect the Northwest's ecosystems and landscapes. Conservation capacity

2013

$100,000 - To enforce and strengthen critical environmental laws and policies on behalf of conservation and citizen groups and communities. Conservation capacity

2011

$250,000 - To support legal and communications efforts to protect bedrock environmental laws and policies. Place-based conservation

2010

$3,000 - To host a meeting of scientists to help advise the US Forest Service to develop national forest plan regulations to protect forest watersheds in the face of climate change. Opportunity fund

2009

$100,000 - To provide strategic legal services and advice to the Northwest conservation community. Conservation capacity

2007

$100,000 - To provide strategic legal services and advice to the conservation community to ensure a rich, sustainable and diverse natural heritage in the Northwest. Conservation capacity

2007

$400,000 - To use values-based research to build broader public support for conservation in the Northwest. Conservation capacity

2005

$110,000 - To protect bedrock national environmental laws and regulations and critically threatened wildlife and fisheries habitat in the Pacific Northwest. Place-based conservation

2003

$100,000 - To protect and defend the nation's bedrock environmental laws and regulations and the public resources of the Pacific Northwest while ensuring the nation's judicial selection process provides fair and proper respect for the rights of average Americans and Congress' ability to enact environmental safeguards. Place-based conservation

2003

$40,000 - For communications research regarding endangered species issues. Conservation capacity

2002

$15,000 - For general support of their legal and educational efforts to protect natural resources and human health. Conservation capacity

2001

$60,000 - To defend the gains made in environmental protection over the past year, and to build a judicial wall of defense against anti-environmental initiatives. Place-based conservation

Earthjustice Successes

Court orders more water for endangered salmon

Court orders more water for endangered salmon

A federal court has ruled that operators at 8 federal dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers must increase water releases over spillways to improve survival rates for juvenile salmon migrating to the ocean starting in 2018. The judge found that current operation is causing continued irreparable harm to imperiled salmon and steelhead and that increased spill indisputably provides safer passage for juvenile salmon navigating the heavily dammed Columbia-Snake River Basin. The Brainerd Foundation supports the work of Earthjustice on this issue.

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Obama bans drilling in parts of the Arctic Ocean

Obama bans drilling in parts of the Arctic Ocean

President Barack Obama announced that he is withdrawing most of the Arctic Ocean from future oil and gas leasing under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to protect critical habitat from oil spills, to aid the transition to a clean energy future, and to help the United States meet the carbon reduction goals necessary to avert the worst effects of global climate change. Brainerd grantees Earthjustice, the Alaska Wilderness League, and Trustees for Alaska deserve much credit for this win.

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Victory for Standing Rock: easement not granted

Victory for Standing Rock: easement not granted

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it would not be granting an easement under Lake Oahe for the Dakota Access pipeline to cross the Missouri River a half mile upstream of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation. The decision is major victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all who stood in solidarity over the last few months, including Brainerd grantee Earthjustice.

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Oil and Gas Leases canceled on Blackfeet sacred lands

Oil and Gas Leases canceled on Blackfeet sacred lands

The US Department of the Interior and Devon Energy announced retirement of more than 32,000 acres of oil and gas leases from the Badger-Two Medicine roadless area. The move comes on the heels of a previous lease cancelation by the Department of the Interior, and echoes the call by many that the Badger-Two Medicine region – a vital wildland link connecting the Bob Marshall Wilderness with Glacier National Park, and an indispensable stronghold of Blackfeet culture – should not be industrialized by roads, bridges and drill rigs. Brainerd grantee Earthjustice has worked hard on this issue.

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Gold mining moratorium near Yellowstone National Park

Gold mining moratorium near Yellowstone National Park

The two-year pause on more than 30,000 acres of public land occurred through a proposed mineral withdrawal, which will provide longer-term protection (up to 20 years) if finalized. Although roll-backs of many of the Obama Administration’s conservation achievements are expected under the Trump administration, local advocates for the mineral withdrawal expect it to proceed because of its bi-partisan support and importance to the local economy. Brainerd grantees Earthjustice and National Parks Conservation Association worked hard on this issue.

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Judge to EPA: protect people from weak water pollution standards

Judge to EPA: protect people from weak water pollution standards

In a win for clean water, a federal judge recently imposed a tight deadline on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to finalize new anti-pollution water quality rules that must ensure fish caught and eaten from Washington State waters are safe for the most vulnerable and exposed populations. Brainerd grantee Earthjustice represented the Washington groups who brought the case.

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Idaho Wilderness safe from mining threat

Idaho Wilderness safe from mining threat

A U.S. District Court has ruled that a USFS decision approving a mining company’s plan to deploy heavy equipment inside the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness violates the Wilderness Act, the National Forest Management Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act. The case was won by Brainerd Foundation grantee Earthjustice on behalf several groups, including another grantee, the Idaho Conservation League.

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Coal-burning plant to shut down 2 units and clean up pollution

Coal-burning plant to shut down 2 units and clean up pollution

Decades after water contamination problems first started at the Colstrip coal-fired power plant, a court agreement between conservation groups and the facility’s owners will result in far safer disposal of millions of tons of toxic coal ash waste generated by burning coal at the plant. The waste byproduct of burning coal, coal ash contains several known carcinogens and neurotoxins.

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EPA ordered to make polluters pay for Superfund cleanup

EPA ordered to make polluters pay for Superfund cleanup

Hardrock mining, oil, coal, and other industries will finally be required to show they have adequate funds to clean up their hazardous waste, thanks to a U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that forces the EPA to implement a long-standing provision of CERCLA (the "Superfund" law of 1980). Although initiated by Earthjustice on behalf of the Idaho Conservation League and other groups, the effects of this lawsuit will be felt nationwide and help incentivize industry to prevent hazardous waste spills.

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Drilling leases cancelled in sacred Badger-Two Medicine region

Drilling leases cancelled in sacred Badger-Two Medicine region

Brainerd grantee Earthjustice helped secure the U.S. Department of Interior's cancellation of oil and gas leases in the sacred Badger-Two Medicine region, much to the relief of the Blackfeet Tribe and Montana sportsmen. The site of the Blackfeet creation story, the 130,000-acre area borders Glacier National Park, the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. (Photo courtesy of Gene Sentz.)

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Tongass National Forest Roadless Rule exemption overturned for good

Tongass National Forest Roadless Rule exemption overturned for good

The Tongass National Forest, a vast rainforest covering much of southeastern Alaska, will remain wild thanks to a 2015 ruling by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and to the tireless work of Brainerd grantee Earthjustice.

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