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THIS THURSDAY -- SUNDAY in Eugene: Biggest Enviromental Conference of the Year

The Public Interest Environmental Law Conference
Thursday, March 3rd - Sunday, March 6th, 2005
University of Oregon School of Law
Eugene, Oregon

and at www.pielc.org

Big name speakers this year include: Jane Akre, Steve Wilson, Dan Carol, Leslie Carothers, Rod Coronado, Bill Devall, Fernando Dougnac, Dr. Samuel Epstein, Dune Lankard, Zygmunt Plater, Gail Small, Beverly Wright

This years theme is: "Living As If Nature Mattered" and there is also a big focus on indigenous rights and related environmental justice struggles.
The Public Interest Environmental Law Conference is the premier annual gathering for environmentalists worldwide, and is distinguished as the oldest and largest of its kind. Now in its 23rd year, the Conference unites more than 4,000 activists, attorneys, students, scientists, and concerned citizens from over 50 countries around the globe to share their experience and expertise. The Conference is organized solely by the volunteers of Land Air Water, a student environmental law society, and is sponsored by Friends of Land Air Water, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

The four-day Conference includes over 125 panels, workshops, and multi-media presentations addressing the entire spectrum of environmental law and advocacy. Topics include: forest protection and ecological restoration, grazing and mining reform, labor and human rights, air and water pollution, Native American treaty rights, globalization and "free" trade, environmental justice, corporate responsibility, marine wilderness, international environmental law, water rights and dam removal, oil and gas litigation, genetic engineering, and urban growth.

Each day of the Conference culminates with keynote presentations from preeminent activists, scientists, politicians, philosophers, and authors. Past keynote speakers include Ralph Nader, David Brower, Terry Tempest Williams, Ward Churchill, Vandana Shiva, Paul Watson, Winona LaDuke, Gerry Spence, Ramona Africa, Paul Hawken, and several recipients of the international Goldman Environmental Prize. To view brochures from recent conferences, please visit our history page.

The Conference has become an event full of energy, innovation, and inspiration for all of us involved in the environmental movement. Whether you are a seasoned Conference attendee or a first-time participant, we look forward to seeing you in March for what is shaping up to be the best Conference ever!


Jane Akre and Steve Wilson, former Fox Television news reporters, were the first journalists to use the Whistleblowers Act after being fired for refusing to distort the news. In 1996 Jane Akre and Steve Wilson began investigating rBGH, the genetically modified growth hormone American dairies have been injecting into their cows. In 2000, a Florida jury unanimously determined that Fox ordered them to falsify their reporting about health risks associated with growth hormones found in milk, and that Akre's threat to inform the FCC of Fox's misconduct was the sole reason for their termination. Later an appeals court overturned that ruling on the grounds that it is not against the law for news organizations to lie or distort the truth. Akre and Wilson's story has recently been featured in the documentary, "The Corporation" and the book, Into the Buzzsaw.

Dan Carol is the co-founder of The Apollo Alliance and currently is serving as the organization's campaign strategist for the upcoming energy debate. A political consultant and principal for CTSG, Carol frequently works with progressive advocacy organizations, labor unions and businesses to roadmap effective advocacy and issue campaigns and develop engaging content and communications. Among his firm's clients are MoveOn.org, The National Education Association and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Prior to his work Carol previously served as Research Director for the Democratic National Committee during the 1992 presidential cycle, where he directed staff work on the Party's platform and worked in Little Rock on the Clinton debate team. A former energy policy analyst at the Congressional Budget Office and new technology consultant to the Congressional Institute for the Future, Dan has spoken on public affairs to groups such as the London School of Economics, the JFK School of Public Affairs, The Gannett Freedom Forum, Roll Call's Online Politics Conference and the National Democratic Institute in Washington. As a strategic advisor, he has served as a campaign consultant to a number of candidate and communications campaigns, for clients such as the House Democratic Caucus, U.S. Senator Jon Corzine, The Turner Foundation, the AFL-CIO, and the International Labor Organization for their successful, five-year child labor eradication effort.

Leslie Carothers is the president of the Environmental Law Institute, an organization that studies environmental policy and helps promote sustainable practices in business and government through education. She started her environmental career thirty years ago with the Environmental Protection Agency and was instrumental in defending some of the Agency's first regulations in court.

Rod Coronado is a Pascua Yaqui warrior who has spent the last 18 years fighting for environmental justice. In 1985, at the age of l9, he joined the crew of the indomitable Sea Shepherd. The next year, Coronado and fellow crew member David Howitt sunk two illegal whaling ships off the coast of Iceland. Later that year, from the bow of the Sea Shepherd he began writing about his direct action experiences for the Earth First! Journal. Coronado is also an experienced hunt saboteur on land, defending bighorn sheep, desert pronghorn and other threatened species. Coronado has utilized his skills to infiltrate fur farms and document their abuses. He fully embodies direct action, highlighting everyone's potential for empowered action.

Bill Devall inspired the theme for this year's conference with his book "Deep Ecology, Living as if Nature Mattered". In the book Devall and his co-author George Sessions explore the intellectual basis for the environmental movement and provide a foundation for modern environmental philosophy. Devall is currently a professor in the sociology department at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California.

Fernando Dougnac is the founder of Fiscalía del Medio Ambiente (FIMA), Chile's premier public interest environmental law organization. In 1985, Fernando won the country's first environmental lawsuit, protecting a Biosphere Reserve from destruction by Chile's military government. Among Fernando's many other legal victories are a case against industries polluting the air in northern Chile, protection of a local community's water rights, and prevention of illegal dumping of toxic copper mining waste. Fernando was the first environmental lawyer to use Chile's constitutional right to a healthy environment to protect the ancient forests in Tierro del Fuego. He also developed indigenous rights laws in Chile. He used these laws to defend several communities, most notably the Mapuche Indians, whose land would have been flooded by a series of hydro-electric dams.

Dr. Samuel Epstein is a leading cancer researcher who focuses on avoidable causes of cancer. His research focuses on the many cancer-causing substances that consumers are exposed to through cosmetics, food, prescription drugs and other products. Dr. Epstein has testified on senate committees and has spoken on numerous television programs about his research. Dr. Epstein is professor emeritus of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at the University of Illinois School of Public Health, and Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition.

Dune Lankard is the co-founder of the Eyak Preservation Council and Redzone, an organization whose mission is to "protect the inherent rights of culture, heritage, language and ancestral lands of native people in Alaska." Mr. Lankard is an Eyak fisherman from the Copper River Delta in Alaska, whose livelihood was devastated by the Exxon Valdez oil spill. After the Exxon Valdez spill, Lankard decided he would make it his life's mission to help prevent that kind of destruction of life and livelihood. He was selected by Time magazine as one of its "Heroes of the Planet" for his environmental and cultural activism work. Mr. Lankard now sits on the board of several action-oriented nature and culture preservation organizations including Ruckus Society, Circle of Life, Seva Foundation and others.

Zygmunt Plater, professor of law at the Boston College of Law, brought the snail darter, a fish threatened by dam construction in Tennessee, to the nation's attention. He was instrumental in spearheading the Endangered Species Act litigation that closed the Tellico dam and established the Endangered Species Act as an important tool for protecting biological diversity. Over the past 25 years he has been involved with a number of issues of environmental protection and land use regulation. Professor Plater has published articles on topics in environmental law, private and public rights in land and resources, equitable discretion, administrative law, and related fields.

Gail Small is the founding director of Native Action. Native Action is one of the first Native American not-for profit organizations on a reservation, which is dedicated to Native environmental protection, educational equality, and political reform. Under her leadership, Native Action has established national precedents in federal banking law, environmental policy, Indian voter discrimination, and youth law. Ms. Small is a member of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Tribe. She has served as an elected member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Council and remains active in national Indian policy issues, as well as international indigenous issues. At the Fourth United Nations World Conference on Women and N.G.O. Forum, Ms. Small was a speaker on indigenous human rights. Ms. Small has a law degree from The University of Oregon School of Law.

Beverly Wright is the founder and director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice at Xavier University located in New Orleans, Louisiana. For more than a decade she has been a leading scholar, advocate, and activist in the environmental justice arena. She has directed numerous grassroots community-initiated health surveys, evaluated community buy-outs, and supervised community development initiatives around contaminated sites. Beverly has given expert testimony on environmental justice issues and was named to the Environmental Protection Agency's National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC).

Carla Garcia Zendejas, a Mexican attorney, works independently with U.S. and Mexican NGOs on cross border issues such as water monitoring, sustainable power plants, law reform and other issues. During the past three years Baja California has been inundated with projects from Multinational Oil and Gas corporations looking to install Power plants and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Terminals on the coast. For the first time in history electricity produced in Mexico was going to be transmitted 100% into California. None of the electricity would benefit Mexican households and the plants also raised concern over safety (potential targets for terrorism) and environmental devastation. Ms. Zendejas continues to work with communities to fight these proposals and to support the use of renewable energy.

homepage: homepage: http://www.pielc.org/
phone: phone: (541) 346-3828