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Animal Law Podcast #51: The Case of the Catastrophic Copper Mine

By Mariann Sullivan — August 28, 2019

On this episode of the Animal Law Podcast, I speak with Marc Fink, a senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity and an expert in Public Lands Law and the Endangered Species Act. We discuss the recent decision in Save the Scenic Santa Ritas v US Army Corps of Engineers. This important case involves the potential construction of a huge copper mine right outside Tucson, Arizona. Marc explains how outdated mining law has been used in an attempt to justify the mine, as well as the many potential destructive ramifications for endangered species inhabiting the affected area, including the jaguar. We also discuss the increasing importance of the Endangered Species Act as more and more species are threatened by the climate crisis and other environmental disasters, how recent changes imposed by the current administration seek to limit the Act’s protective powers, and some of the litigation that is being initiated to fight those changes.

Marc Fink is the Public Lands Legal Director and Senior Attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. He oversees litigation in the Center’s Public Lands Program. His docket includes a variety of endangered species and public-lands cases across the country. Marc graduated from Lewis and Clark Law School with a certificate in environmental and natural resources law. Before joining the Center in 2007, he worked as a staff attorney at the Western Environmental Law Center.


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