Earthjustice

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Earthjustice
Headquarters Location: San Francisco, CA
Founded: 1971 


Mission: Earthjustice is a non-profit public interest law firm dedicated to protecting the magnificent places, natural resources, and wildlife of this earth, and to defending the right of all people to a healthy environment.


Tags: 2012, national, climate change, litigation, policy, conservation, aternative energy


Earthjustice
Story: A California Superior Court has ordered the California Fish and Game Commission to reconsider its decision to deny state Endangered Species Act protection to the Pacific fisher, a rare, forest-dwelling carnivore. The ruling comes in a lawsuit filed by Earthjustice… Read the full story.

Expert Reviews: Evidence of Impact
Earthjustice has made a large impact on climate change through their work in pushing policy and regulation toward progressive goals. They focus on a litigation strategy to support this work, which is helpful in pushing the needle forward on the sectors' most high-impact cases. Their work has been instrumental in limiting carbon output in the Arctic, and helping decrease the United States' long-term dependence on coal.
See the complete expert review.

Leadership
Earthjustice Trip Van Noppen. In 2005 I was thrilled to join Earthjustice in the newly-created position of Vice President for Litigation. I came to the organization because Earthjustice is the premier environmental public interest law organization in the world, dedicated to using the courts to protect the environment and people’s health and to creating a model that other groups can adapt around the globe.… See full bio.


Transparency Information
Silver-big
This organization has earned the GuideStar Participation Level Silver, demonstrating its commitment to transparency (learn more)


Financial Data
Charity Navigator Rating: 4stars (profile)
Total Revenue:
$34,546,225


From the Nonprofit
The nonprofit has not added any comments yet. If you are a representative of this nonprofit and would like to leave a comment, please email us at feedback@myphilanthropedia.org with your request.


Contact Info
E-Mail:
Phone:
(415) 217-2000 
Facebook:
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Address:
50 California Street, Suite 500
 
San Francisco, CA 94111 , USA
Twitter:
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Earthjustice Story: A California Superior Court has ordered the California Fish and Game Commission to reconsider its decision to deny state Endangered Species Act protection to the Pacific fisher, a rare, forest-dwelling carnivore. The ruling comes in a lawsuit filed by Earthjustice on behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity.

A close relative of the wolverine and mink, the fisher once thrived in old-growth forests along the West Coast. Today, because of logging, trapping and development among other factors, fishers are almost extinct in Washington and Oregon, and just two small populations remain in California: one in northwestern California and another in the southern Sierra Nevada. These isolated populations are at substantial risk from logging, habitat fragmentation, disease, rodenticides, traffic and development.

“The science is very clear that the Pacific fisher is in trouble and yet the Fish and Game Commission ignored that information and refused to throw it a lifeline,” said Justin Augustine, a Center attorney. “Now we hope we’ll get the protections that fishers need and deserve.”

The Center petitioned the Commission in January 2008 to list the fisher as a threatened or endangered species under the California Endangered Species Act. The Commission initially tried to reject the petition without conducting a full scientific review. Only after the Center exposed correspondence showing that many of the Department of Fish and Game’s own scientists believed fishers may be at risk of extinction did the Commission reverse course and direct the Department to conduct a full review. At the conclusion of that review, Department managers significantly altered a draft of the status review to downplay threats to the fisher.

The Department’s official, final review of the fisher’s status in California was heavily criticized by independent biologists. Only the timber industry supported the Department’s decision to recommend against state protection. The Commission denied the petition on September 15, 2010, which led to the conservationist lawsuit.

Judge Harold Kahn of the San Francisco Superior Court issued the ruling last Friday, ordering the Department to “solicit independent and competent peer review” in determining the fisher’s status.

“The fact is that there are probably fewer than 150 adult female fishers left in the entire Sierra Nevada,” said Erin Tobin, an attorney at Earthjustice. “If ever there were an animal that desperately needs protection, this is it.”

Expert Reviews of Earthjustice

Evidence of Impact Summary:

Earthjustice has made a large impact on climate change through their work in pushing policy and regulation toward progressive goals. They focus on a litigation strategy to support this work, which is helpful in pushing the needle forward on the sectors' most high-impact cases. Their work has been instrumental in limiting carbon output in the Arctic, and helping decrease the United States' long-term dependence on coal.
See expert comments.

Organization Strengths Summary:

Earthjustice has a strong command of the legal and policy arena, which helps the organization carry out an effective strategy and enjoy a strong position in federal policy. The organization also has well respected leadership. Their marketing abilities are an asset as well.
See expert comments.

Areas for Improvement Summary:

Experts would like to see Earthjustice do more of the work that makes them so effective. One expert would like to see the organization have a stronger policy presence in Washington, D.C. Another expert has suggested that the organization should work on growing their capacity to handle more regional issues, in addition to their national work.
See expert comments.

Expert Comments: Evidence of Impact

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Achieving Critical Wins

F
Earthjustice is responsible for policy outreach and challenges to the expanded carbon output in the Arctic.
N
Earthjustice has played a critical role in the fight to move away from coal.

Focus on Litigation

N
They are the best litigators in the business. Earthjustice holds immense federal policy expertise on climate and air. It is a brilliant idea to specialize the focus on litigation so they can support the entire environmental community on the most high-impact cases.
N
They take high-profile legal action to stop practices that have a negative climate impact.


Expert Comments: Organization Strengths

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Command of Law & Politics

F
They have a strong federal policy presence and a strong standing among the conservation community. They also are great at the strategic use of legal tools to limit climate change impacts.
N
Earthjustice has talented lawyers. They also have a clear mission and a strong ability to partner with others.
N
They have a strong legal capacity and respected leadership.

Great Marketing

N
Their marketing and tag lines are great.

Committed Team

O
They have a very strong legal team, dedicated staff, and strong follow through.


Expert Comments: Areas for Improvement

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Grow Organizational Presence

F
Earthjustice needs more policy presence in Washington, D.C.
N
It would be great if they were to grow to handle more regional, as well as national issues.

Examine Strategy

N
Earthjustice doesn't do any work directly on behalf of this issue, but represents parties in litigation, and in so doing, can only indirectly advance climate change issues. In addition, I have had many personal experiences with various members of Earthjustice's leadership. While I like and work well with many of their staff attorneys, there are exceptions. They can be extremely territorial, overly competitive, downright nasty, and very unprofessional. It seems somehow to be a part of their organizational culture.


Leadership

Earthjustice
Trip Van Noppen
President
In 2005 I was thrilled to join Earthjustice in the newly-created position of Vice President for Litigation. I came to the organization because Earthjustice is the premier environmental public interest law organization in the world, dedicated to using the courts to protect the environment and people’s health and to creating a model that other groups can adapt around the globe. What a dream job! I get to work with outstanding attorneys across the organization to help craft the cases and the larger-scale strategies that will achieve the most important and lasting results.

Now, beginning in January 2008, I have become Earthjustice’s President. I still get to work with our outstanding attorneys, and also with the rest of our staff, our board and other supporters, and with other environmental groups to advance our mission of protecting the environment and people’s health. Doing this work at Earthjustice, with its national and international impact, is the opportunity of a lifetime.

How did all this happen? Growing up near the Linville Gorge and the Great Smoky Mountains in western North Carolina, I developed both a love of the outdoors and a passion to fighting the economic and social injustices of the segregated South. After college, I joined the staff of Save Our Cumberland Mountains, a venerable citizens' group in the coalfields of eastern Tennessee, fighting the environmental and community ravages of strip mining. At SOCM I worked with a public interest lawyer who showed me how a skilled attorney can increase the effectiveness and power of a citizens group battling for the environment and for economic justice, and I returned to North Carolina for law school and a federal court clerkship.

During 15 years in a small progressive practice in Raleigh, I represented community groups, individuals, and labor unions in cases involving voting rights, employment discrimination, and workplace injuries. Representing workers injured by chemical exposures at work led me into a steady stream of cases challenging pesticide misuse, drinking water contamination, and toxic air pollution. Once I was fighting for people injured by polluters’ misconduct, I wanted to use the law to address the causes of those injuries, not only the consequences.

In 1998, I left private practice for the unique opportunity that top quality public interest environmental law organizations provide -- to be able to work long term to address the causes of environmental degradation using the strategies that will be most effective. I joined the Southern Environmental Law Center, an outstanding regional counterpart to Earthjustice -- founded by an Earthjustice alumnus, in fact -- that works in six southeastern states. In eight years there, first as a staff attorney and then as Director of the Carolinas office, I learned a great deal about environmental law and litigation, and also about how organizations like Earthjustice function, grow, and take on ever more important challenges.

Although I loved working on these issues on my home turf, the problems are much bigger than a single state. I wanted to work at the national level so when the Earthjustice opportunity appeared, I didn't hesitate.

From the Nonprofit

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