Endangered Species

  • Protecting and restoring wildlife and habitat

    Massive extinction episodes have taken place on Earth five times in the geologic past. Most scientists believe that the planet is now in the midst of a sixth extinction episode – only this time a single species is responsible for the demise of countless other life forms.

    Lawmakers in the United States have enacted a variety of protections for biodiversity, but resource shortages and lack of political will sometimes prevent government agencies from fully enforcing these laws – or sometimes complying with the law themselves. Earthrise Law Center plays a leadership role in using the law to conserve and restore endangered species and their habitat in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

    Earthrise works with clients around the country to both protect imperiled species from specific threats and establish strong legal precedents that will benefit a wide variety of endangered species. Among other victories, Earthrise cases have been instrumental in conserving salmon and steelhead in the Columbia Basin, protecting grizzly bear habitat in Montana, and securing legal protections for bald eagles in the Arizona desert. Earthrise’s wins in court have also helped to shape the law. For example, Earthrise convinced a court to overturn agency regulations that narrowly interpreted the Endangered Species Act’s protections for “critical habitat,” thereby bolstering efforts to protect ecosystems across the country.

Cormorants Disappear Amid Corps’ Culling Program

Professor and Earthrise attorney, Dan Rohlf, has been fighting against a controversial federal cormorant culling program under which federal agents could eventually kill as many as 11,000 adult double-crested cormorants and destroy even more nests in the estuary of the Columbia River as part of a plan to save native salmon. This summer thousands of cormorants have left the nesting grounds along the Columbia River. 

Bloomberg Law talks with Professor Dan Rohlf about climate change and threatened animals

Professor Dan Rohlf discusses a recent appeals court decision which allows animals to be considered “threatened” based on climate change models. He speaks with Bloomberg Law hosts June Grasso and Michael Best on Bloomberg Radio’s “Bloomberg Law.”

Summer Extern Chillemi Joins Attorney Rohlf at the Table for Oral Argument on Cormorant Culling on the Columbia River

Earthrise Attorney and Professor Dan Rohlf and Summer Extern Tessa Chillemi gave oral argument Wednesday in front of Judge Simon of the Federal District Court of Oregon.

For Fly-Fisher Mark Tuai, Environmentalism and Sport Inextricably Intertwined

Mark Tuai gains real world experience being around a team of extraordinary attorneys dedicated to improving the environment.

FEMA Gets Legal Wake Up Call, Must Consider Salmon Habitat: Interview with Attorney Dan Rohlf

Dan Rohlf, Professor of Law and a Founding Member of Earthrise Law Center at Lewis & Clark Law School, discusses the changes FEMA must make to its flood insurance program to protect riparian areas crucial for wildlife – especially salmon.

Earthrise Victory as Court Throws out Salmon Biological Opinion, Again

Yesterday, Earthrise and salmon won a hard fought battle when Judge Michael Simon rules the Salmon Biological Opinion utilized to operate the hydropower system on the Columbia and Snake Rivers was illegal.

Earthrise Secures Important Victory for the Critically Imperiled California Condor

Earthrise Secures Important Victory for the Critically Imperiled California Condor 
In January, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that our lawsuit could move forward challenging the use of lead hunting ammunition in Arizona’s Kaibab National Forest. 

Rising Issues #6 Winter 2014

The winter edition of Rising Issues: CRC, VGP, Dan Mensher, and more!

Rising Issues #5 Fall 2013

10/30/13 - Federal laws are for the birds…and the national rivers! Read about our work protecting national treasures in our latest newsletter.

CRC Contradictions in the News

10/17/13 - Earthrise Managing Attorney Tom Buchele is quoted in a Willamette Week article about the latest on the proposed Columbia River Crossing.

Earthrise Clients Win SLAPP Suit in Federal Court

7/24/13 - In an opinion released Monday, a federal judge in Portland ruled in favor of the defendants in a case that had all the earmarks of a classic SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation).

BBC News on Lead Bullet Threats to California Condors

4/17/13 - Today BBC News covered the threat of lead bullets to California Condors. Earthrise represents several environmental groups in the RCRA case challenging the use of lead bullets on Forest Service lands.

Rising Issues #2 Winter 2013

2/14/13 - Read our winter newsletter, highlighting Earthrise students’ roles in Supreme Court briefing and in an herbicide case in eastern Oregon, plus more.

Rising Issues #1 Fall 2012

11/2/12 - Read our latest newsletter, with updates on our work in Arizona, New Jersey, and more.

Earthrise Files RCRA Suit in Arizona

9/7/12 - On Wednesday, Earthrise (formerly PEAC) filed a complaint on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club, and the Grand Canyon Wildlands Council demanding the US Forest Service use its authority to protect wildlife and humans from the dangers of lead ammunition in the Kaibab National Forest in northern Arizona.

PEAC’s Clients Litigate the CRC

7/5/12 - PEAC filed a complaint Monday against the Columbia River Crossing, on behalf of three conservation groups alleging inadequate study of health and environmental impacts.

Columbia River Crossing is a boondoggle taxpayers don’t deserve

6/21/12 - Read PEAC professor Tom Buchele’s op-ed in today’s Oregonian.

“Wild and Wonderful,” Not “Paved and Pretty Good”

6/21/12 - Professor Dan Rohlf gave a spirited defense of the Endangered Species Act before the US House Committee on Natural Resources.

Earthrise/PEAC Summer 2012 Newsletter

5/31/12 - Read up on the latest at Earthrise (formerly PEAC), including the Oregon temperature water quality standards victory, clinical experiences of our students, and collaboration with India.

PEAC’s Clients File Notice of Intent to Sue Columbia River Crossing Project

4/26/12 - On behalf of clients, PEAC has filed a 60-day notice of intent to file suit against the Columbia River Crossing project.

Buchele’s Letter for Clients on CRC Grabs Press Attention

3/23/12 - “Law professor challenges legality of CRC”: article in The Columbianfeaturing PEAC attorney Tom Buchele.

PEAC Featured in Articles on ESCO and CRC

3/19/12 - Two articles published in The Oregonian on Saturday featured PEAC: one on the ESCO Good Neighbor Agreement and the other on the Columbia River Crossing.

Portland Environmentalists and the Columbia River Crossing

3/8/12 - PEAC attorney Tom Buchele is quoted in this article on the Columbia River Crossing from ClimateWire: “How a bridge divides the environmentally conscious in Portland, Ore.”

PEAC Scores Big for Water Quality and Salmon

2/29/12 - PEAC attorneys Allison LaPlante, Dan Mensher, and Dan Rohlf helped their clients win a ruling on temperature standards that will help protect water quality, salmon, bull trout, and steelhead.

Proposed Downsizing of CRC Not Necessarily Good News for the Environment

2/6/12 - A proposed downsizing of the Columbia River Crossing project is not necessarily good for the environment and should be subject to environmental review and public comment.

California Condor Protection in the News

1/9/12 - Protection of endangered California condors has been featured in recent articles in Scientific American, Washington Post, and the Arizona Daily Sun.

PEAC Fall 2011 Newsletter

Topics include the Boardman settlement, PEAC’s new class, California condors, and the CRC.

PEAC Helping to Protect California Condors

PEAC sent a notice letter to the United States Forest Service with an intent to sue if the threat to California condors from spent lead ammunition was not addressed, particularly in Arizona.

Local View: Case for new I-5 Bridge built upon faulty data

PEAC attorney Tom Buchele writes on the problems with the Columbia River Crossing’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

Rohlf and Team Now Three for Three in Protecting Salmon

A federal judge in Oregon ruled that the Obama administration’s attempt to make federal hydroelectric dams in the Northwest safer for protected salmon violates the Endangered Species Act.