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.
Photo courtesy of Earthjustice.
Photo courtesy of Earthjustice.
Photo courtesy of Earthjustice.
$150,000 - A two-year grant to implement its strategies to protect human health and the environment across the nation. Place-based conservation
$100,000 - A two-year grant to protect the Northwest's ecosystems and landscapes. Conservation capacity
$100,000 - To enforce and strengthen critical environmental laws and policies on behalf of conservation and citizen groups and communities. Conservation capacity
$250,000 - To support legal and communications efforts to protect bedrock environmental laws and policies. Place-based conservation
$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
$100,000 - To provide strategic legal services and advice to the Northwest conservation community. Conservation capacity
$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
$400,000 - To use values-based research to build broader public support for conservation in the Northwest. Conservation capacity
$110,000 - To protect bedrock national environmental laws and regulations and critically threatened wildlife and fisheries habitat in the Pacific Northwest. Place-based conservation
$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
$40,000 - For communications research regarding endangered species issues. Conservation capacity
$15,000 - For general support of their legal and educational efforts to protect natural resources and human health. Conservation capacity
$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
Photo by Angela Milani, for Round River Conservation Studies
Federal protections have been restored to a population of grizzly bears living in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, effectively calling off grizzly hunts in Wyoming and Idaho. The U.S. District Court ruling identified the isolation of the Yellowstone grizzlies as a key factor, labeling the Trump administration's analysis of future threats to the population as "arbitrary and capricious."Go »
Photo by Daniel Phelps
Community groups, represented by Earthjustice, won key protections that safeguard the public and first responders from chemical disasters. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) delay of implementation of EPA’s Chemical Disaster Rule was unlawful. Industry will now need to implement the life-saving protections of that rule.Go »
Photo by Curt Gerston
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s denial of endangered species protection for Montana Arctic grayling was unlawful and ordered the agency to reconsider protection for the rare fish. The Fish and Wildlife Service first determined the grayling warranted endangered status in 1994, but continuously delayed protections. In 2014 the agency denied protection outright.Go »
A U.S. District Court judge recently upheld the U.S. Forest Service’s 2016 Bitterroot National Forest Travel Plan, which protects some of the wildest landscapes in the continental United States from a rising tide of motorized and mechanized backcountry use.Go »
A Montana district court ruled last week that the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) illegally approved a gold exploration drilling license for Canadian mining company Lucky Minerals Inc. The drilling was slated for an area just north of Yellowstone National Park, home to the region’s iconic grizzly bear and wolverine populations.Go »
Photo by Rennett Stowe
The Washington Department of Ecology denied permits for the Millennium Bulk project, which would have shipped by rail and then vessel a staggering 44 million tons of coal per year to markets in Asia. The Washington DOE cited unavoidable harms in nine environmental areas that were identified in the project's formal review.Go »
A federal judge in Montana has overturned government agency approvals for the proposed Montanore Mine, ruling that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service violated the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Forest Management Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act in approving a massive industrial mining operation on the boundary of—and literally under—the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness. The proposed mine threatens to dewater wilderness trout streams and industrialize some of the last remaining grizzly bear habitat in the Cabinet Mountains of northwest Montana.Go »
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.Go »
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.Go »
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.Go »
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.Go »
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.Go »
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.Go »
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.Go »
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.Go »
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.Go »
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.)Go »