Alaska Brief Newsletter–February 2018
This month–and in the same week!–Trustees filed two lawsuits taking the Trump administration to court.
The first suit challenges Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke for using an unlawful land exchange process to take away public land and wilderness to build a road. The second calls out the Interior Department and Bureau of Land Management for failing to analyze environmental impacts before its 2017 lease sale in the Western Arctic.
Both suits call agencies to account for ignoring or trying to skirt the law. If the last year taught us anything, it’s that this administration will continue to override regulations and laws in the months and years to come.
Trump’s appointees have proven that they will use any means possible to undo the protections so many Alaskans and Americans fought to put in place. These agency heads ignore or deny science, dismiss public input, and use ham-handed tactics to pander to big industry.
They often do this by distorting how agencies evaluate regulations, and undermining longstanding methods for determining economic, environmental and public health costs and benefits. More to the point, they take action without justification. They make backroom deals.
When people in power break the law, the courtroom is the last line of defense. Yet, much of our work happens long before we file a lawsuit. Our attorneys advise clients on how to first use legal processes to protect what they care about and make their voices and interests heard.
Trustees works with clients and coalitions to clarify and advance the laws protecting our lands, waters, wildlife, and people. We provide written input for our clients during public comment periods. We help write and review legal documents. We assist clients on Capitol Hill by providing legal analysis for lobbying efforts. We provide written testimony and testify before Congress to inform elected leaders about the law. We provide strategic legal expertise for clients and coalitions dedicated to defending the wild in Alaska.
From our beginning in 1974, we have taken an active role in fighting for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and salmon protections. For over forty years, we have held agencies and corporations to account, and called out those who threaten the health of our air, water, and subsistence activities.
We’re the only homegrown public interest environmental law firm in Alaska and have been since 1974.
In these days of online bullying and bombastic trolls, it can be hard for the average person to know when the law gets broken and who broke it.
That’s where Trustees comes in; that’s what we do. Yes, we work hard at upholding the law without litigation, but when lawbreakers make that choice, we head to court.
We’ll see the Trump administration there.
PS: Your support of Trustees for Alaska is critical now more than ever.