In this month’s installment of The Way We Work series we talked with Noah Greenwald, Endangered Species Director for the Center For Biological Diversity. The Center works across the country to protect wild lands, waters, and endangered species. Together, Crag and the Center have worked to save old growth forest habitat for the marbled murrelet, an extremely rare sea bird that nests in old growth forest canopies along the Pacific coastline. Crag helped CBD, along with Cascadia Wildlands and the Portland Audubon Society, hault state logging on more than 1,600 acres in three Oregon old growth forests known to contain murrelet habitat.
Why did the Center ask for Crag’s assistance in the murrelet case? Why did the Center specifically seek out Crag for help?
The state had been logging murrelet habitat and old growth, especially in the Elliott State Forest. Groups such as the Center, as well as the Portland Audubon Society, had been trying to change this without success for a long time. finally, it the time came to directly sue the state to solve the problem. We turned to Crag because we knew that they had excellent attorneys.
What services or qualities does Crag bring to your work at CBD?
Crag is really expanded our ability to protect the marbled murrelet habitat by providing high quality legal help.
What is an example of how Crag has made CBD’s campaign to protect the marbled murrelet stronger or more successful?
In the murrelet case, we got a preliminary injunction, particularly in the Elliot State Forest. This really helped stop the majority of the state logging of murrelet habitat. It wouldn’t have been possible without Crag. Crag has really helped with all aspects, including going to forestry meetings, working through mediation, and even fundraising for the case. We couldn’t have gone forward in the case without them.
From your perspective as the Center’s Endangered Species Program Director, how is Crag’s work integral to protecting biodiversity in the Northwest?
Crag has fought dozens of cases across the Northwest that protect habitat across the Northwest and they have made themselves invaluable in that regard.
What about Crag inspires you and your work?
That they’re a small, scrappy group that fights hard to protect the Northwest and Alaska.
Please feel free to add any other comments regarding your considerable experience working with Crag.
Besides being great attorneys, they are really committed to protecting the Northwest. Both Chris and Ralph are great guys I enjoy hanging out with as well.
For more information on Crag and the Center’s efforts to protect the Marbled Murrelets, visit:
Emma Stanford is a recent graduate of Portland State University, where she studied Political Science and Spanish and wrote her undergraduate thesis on the ill effects of global capitalism on the forests of developing countries. A Northwest native, her biggest passions are currently the Cascadia bioregion, gardening, and bicycles.