NEPA: HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN FEDERAL DECISION MAKING TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT
May 18, 2019
9:30am – 3:30pm
This workshop focuses on understanding the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), how it impacts many of the issues facing the desert, and how grassroots community members can impact federal land use decision making processes to protect the fragile landscape-based economy, water, air quality, and ecosystem desert residents rely upon.
In this workshop you will learn how to:
- Understand the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the NEPA process
- Get a crash course in three of the most pressing federal land use issues in our region: the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP), the Western Mojave Management Plan (WEMO), and national monument Resource Management Plans (RMPs)
- Understand the public commenting process and how to weigh-in effectively as a grassroots community member
- Understand how to track agency decisions, spot issues, and use the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
Todd Tucci, Senior Attorney, Advocates for the West
Todd leads Advocates for the West’s Sagebrush Sea Project, focusing on public lands management and endangered species protection across Idaho, Nevada, and Utah. He has won numerous victories over the years to protect the biological diversity and integrity of sage-steppe and juniper-pinyon habitats, and the imperiled species that depend on those habitats throughout the region.
Todd is a 2000 graduate of the Northeastern University School of Law, and worked briefly for a Boston law firm before moving to Idaho to become a public interest environmental lawyer in 2001.
Prior to law school, Todd spent three years as National Audubon Society’s lobbyist on the Endangered Species Act and appropriations issues on Capitol Hill. During law school, Todd interned for the Honorable Hugh Bownes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and for Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund (Alaska).
Lizzy Potter, Staff Attorney, Advocates for the West
Lizzy joined Advocates for the West’s Oregon office during the summer of 2015. Since then, she has developed and prosecuted cases to protect public lands, fish, and waterways in Oregon, California, Colorado, and Idaho.
Before joining the team, she spent nearly four years as an associate attorney at Smith and Lowney, a public interest law firm based in Seattle, where she represented conservation organizations in federal citizen suits, state permit challenges, land use appeals, and open government disputes involving clean water, wildlife, and fossil fuel issues. She has also worked on cases challenging offshore oil exploration, coal-fired power plants, and stormwater runoff as a law clerk with the Crag Law Center, the Northwest Environmental Defense Center, and the Southern Environmental Law Center.
Lizzy developed her passion for natural areas while camping, backpacking, and paddling in the Ohio River valley and the Appalachian Mountains as a kid, and in the Colorado Rockies and Utah’s deserts as a young adult. She has a B.A. in Environmental Studies with a Biology Concentration from Denison University, and a J.D., LL.M in Environmental & Natural Resources Law from Lewis and Clark Law School.
Chris Clarke, Associate Director, California Desert Program, National Parks Conservation Association
Chris joined the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) in 2017. As California Desert Associate Director, he works with desert communities to protect national parks, monuments, and other protected places, and the landscapes that surround them. Prior to joining NPCA, Chris was environment editor at Los Angeles-based KCET, the nation’s largest independent public television station, where he was responsible for breaking numerous stories about threats to desert national parks.
Before that, Chris worked as publications director at Earth Island Institute, where he published the award-winning Earth Island Journal — whose content shifted noticeably toward a focus on desert issues during his tenure.
A California resident since the early 1980s, Chris has lived in the California Desert since 2008. He lives in Twentynine Palms, California with his wife Lara and their dog, Heart.
April Sall, Executive Director and President of the Board, California Desert Coalition
Growing up in the rural community of Pioneertown to a conservation family, Ms. Sall learned at an early age to prize her natural surroundings. Her high school environmental science class, taught by Cindy Zacks, inspired an interest in an environmental career and led her to earn a bachelor of science degree in Biology from Humboldt State University.
April has served in many roles as a leader on landscape conservation, including the National Park Service at Joshua Tree National Park and Point Reyes National Seashore and then as Preserve Manager with The Wildlands Conservancy (TWC) as well as its first Conservation Director. In this role, April advocated for conservation designations and responsible renewable energy development in the California Desert and was TWC’s lead spokesperson for the California Desert Protection Acts of 2010, 2011, and 2014, as well as the inclusion of the Pioneertown mesas into the Sand to Snow Monument. She continued to advocate for the designation of Sand to Snow, Mojave Trails, and Castle Mountains as national monuments as Desert campaign consultant for the Conservation Lands Foundation, organizing support among community members and elected officials. April went on to lead efforts to protect the Bodie Hills.
In 2006, April helped form the California Desert Coalition to stop inappropriate development through pristine, ecologically and economically vital Desert landscape.
She also served as the Public-at-Large Representative on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Desert Advisory Council for six years, providing guidance to BLM on a range of issues impacting public lands in the California Desert.
Frazier Haney, Board Member, California Desert Coalition and Executive Director, The Wildlands Conservancy
A native of Joshua Tree, California, Frazier has been working to protect natural landscapes and people’s access to the outdoors for over 15 years, most recently as Executive Director of The Wildlands Conservancy based in Oak Glen, California. He grew up hiking, climbing, and camping in the California desert and the Midwest – a privilege that left him with a deep love of the outdoors. He holds a BS in Ecology and Evolution from the University of California Santa Cruz and an MBA from the University of Ccalifornia Riverside. Frazier brings unparalleled expertise in land use policy and advocacy. He has testified before Congress on behalf of California desert conservation and successfully collaborated with decision-makers in the Department of Interior. He volunteers for the California Desert Coalition and serves as the Environment representative on the Bureau of Land Management Desert Advisory Council (DAC).
Frazier shares his love of the desert and the outdoors with his wife Jamie – a Pacific Crest Trail through-hiker – and his beautiful kids Lily and Owen.