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Showing 15 results

Dan Rohlf

Professor of Law

Dan Rohlf, Zygmunt Plater | January 2, 2024

The Endangered Species Act: Lessons Learned from a Half-century of Protecting Ecosystems

In the history of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) — which President Richard Nixon signed just over 50 years ago on December 28, 1973 — no creature looms larger than the snail darter. As some lawmakers today seek to weaken the law’s promise to avoid human-caused extinctions, the long-ago battle over this little fish points […]

Dan Rohlf | July 6, 2021

The Pacific Northwest Heat Wave and Climate Change’s ‘New Normal’

While most people around the country were enjoying summer, residents of the Pacific Northwest used to joke about "Junuary" -- the cloudy and often rainy June days before the sun made its relatively brief appearance in the region after the Fourth of July. But as I wrote this post last week in Portland, Oregon -- a city set in a temperate rainforest ecosystem of towering trees and ferns -- it was 116 degrees outside, the third consecutive day over 100 degrees and the second in excess of 110. The only time I've personally experienced a comparable temperature was nearly two decades ago when I visited Death Valley National Park with my family. Now Death Valley had come to me.

Dan Rohlf | February 22, 2021

Biden Elevates Science Advisor to Cabinet-Level Job

As the U.S. Senate considers President Joe Biden’s Cabinet nominees, one stands out as much for the position he was appointed to as for his impressive qualifications. Two days before his inauguration, Biden announced that he planned to elevate the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), often referred to as the president’s science advisor, to Cabinet rank. The move underlines Biden’s break with the previous administration’s de-emphasis and politicization of science, which downplayed climate change, sought to slash climate-related research spending, and crafted rules designed to limit the influence of science in agency decisionmaking. Biden tapped geneticist Eric Lander, who holds a doctorate in mathematics, to lead OSTP into new prominence.

Dan Rohlf | December 12, 2017

Reno Gazette-Journal Op-Ed: Don’t Toss Out Cooperation in the West’s Sage Country

This op-ed originally ran in the Reno Gazette-Journal. During the holiday season, many people put significant effort into plans for getting along with one another at family gatherings. Seating plans are carefully strategized and touchy subjects avoided. We’ve learned that enjoying our shared holiday demands that we all compromise a little. Plans for cooperation in […]

Dan Rohlf | January 17, 2013

Ken Salazar’s Mixed Legacy

Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar will leave a decidedly mixed legacy from his four years at the helm of the federal department responsible for protecting many of America’s vast open spaces, treasured parks, and disappearing wildlife.  Salazar’s Interior Department enjoyed some high-profile successes and on occasion took action to better protect important resources. It reached […]

Dan Rohlf | December 13, 2011

Draft ESA Listing Policy Suggests ‘Museum Piece’ Approach to Species Conservation

A draft policy released for comment last week by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service took on the challenging question of defining the circumstances under which only a portion of an ailing species may be eligible for federal protection under the Endangered Species Act. Unfortunately, the Services’ proposal continued the […]

Dan Rohlf | June 3, 2011

Score: Utah 2, BLM Wilderness Protection 0

Few things in politics are certain, but it’s a safe bet that Barak Obama will not carry the state of Utah in his 2012 re-election bid. But despite its dismal electoral prospects in the state, the Obama Administration knuckled under to pressure from Utah and other western Republicans this week when Secretary of Interior Ken […]

Dan Rohlf | May 10, 2011

Tester: Don’t Get the (Toxic) Lead Out

In an impressive effort to demonstrate that crafting bad environmental legislation knows no partisan boundaries, Democratic Senator John Tester of  Montana – who recently spearheaded a successful effort to remove wolves from the endangered species list through a budget maneuver – last month introduced legislation to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating lead ammunition […]

Dan Rohlf | April 8, 2011

Vitter and Bishop Bills Aim to Weaken Enforcement of Existing Environmental Protections

A student-run environmental group operating out of a 150-square-foot office at Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon has an important lesson to teach congressional Republicans. In 2004, the Northwest Environmental Defense Center – a small group with an annual budget of a few thousand dollars and a single staff member – secured more […]