Mac Lacy ’01
Senior Attorney, Oregon Natural Desert Association
First, I’ve loved exploring and working to protect Oregon’s vast sagebrush landscapes in extraordinary places like Steens Mountain and the Owyhee Canyonlands. I especially appreciate how effectively ONDA blends legal defense with campaigns to protect public lands and on-the-ground work to monitor and restore lands and waters. So all at the same moment, we might be in court challenging rollbacks to federal sage-grouse management plans, working on legislation to preserve large expanses of that imperiled bird’s habitat, and out in the field with volunteers doing predawn lek counts or removing obsolete barbed-wire fences that block migratory corridors.
Legal action is a crucial part of this public interest conservation work. When a presidential administration backs out of a treaty or guts an environmental regulation, legal action can roll back the rollbacks. Where government agencies are pressured by industry and anti-conservation special interests, citizen enforcement is often the only meaningful enforcement.