#ForewordFriday: The Basics of Wildlife Law

Wildlife is an important and cherished element of our natural heritage in the United States. But state and federal laws governing the ways we interact with wildlife can be complex to interpret and apply. Navigating this legal terrain is trickier than ever as habitat for wildlife shrinks, technology gives us new ways to seek out wildlife, and unwanted human-wildlife interactions occur more frequently, sometimes with alarming and tragic outcomes.
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Executive Orders for 2014: Michael Branch

Back in November of 2013, President Obama issued an executive order on climate preparedness. Because executive orders circumvent Congress within certain limits, they allow the president to implement action to address climate change and other issues. A few weeks ago I asked some of our authors to create their own executive orders to improve our handling of the environment.
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Historic Temperate Rainforest Agreement Down to the Fine Print

After 30 years of controversy that tore at the social fabric of Tasmania, the federal and Tasmanian governments of Australia finally signed the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement to provide support and funding that will help the timber industry transition out of native-forest logging and will protect the region’s high-conservation-value rainforests. In sum, the government will provide much-needed financial support for workers and contractors to cease logging native forests while it takes legal steps to protect these forests as formal reserves similar to national parks.
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Getting to the Root of Recurring Water Conflicts

The western United States is characterized by highly variable and seasonal rainfall patterns. To deal with the constant threat of drought, the West relies on intensively managed water systems. Today, those systems face two challenges that were not anticipated when they were developed decades ago: increased demands that water be left in streams to sustain aquatic systems; and global climate change, which will decrease snowfall, leaving less water for farms and cities. The inevitable result is heightened conflicts over water allocation.
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Can Pres. Obama restore the integrity of federal science?

A reporter recently called me, asking what changes in environmental policy I hoped to see in an Obama Administration. I immediately thought of the specific issues that have troubled me over the past eight years: unregulated oil and gas exploration in the West, too few species protected under the Endangered Species Act, too many snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park, the reckless quest to drill, baby, drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, etc., etc. And then it struck me that there was something far more fundamental that President Obama needs to do.