Environmental Law

Envt'l Law News Fall 2018, Vol. 27, No. 2

Chair’s Message

by Nicole Gordon*

There’s nothing like the annual Yosemite Conference to remind us of the many reasons we love the Environmental Law Section. From the amazing plenary speakers, who expose us to new ideas and challenge our ways of thinking, to the incredible panels whose breadth and depth never fail to disappoint, to the outdoor activities—both formal and informal—that take us into the unparalleled splen dor of the Yosemite Valley and lead to adventures from which we return tired and ready to settle in by the fireplace, for many of us, it is a unique time to expand our minds, stretch our legs, and relax a bit, all in the company of brilliant environmental law practitioners, promising and ambitious law students, colleagues old and new, and dear friends.

This past October, we were pleased to host more than 650 conference attendees, including 41 scholarship recipients and three recipients of our Section’s Summer 2018 Environmental Law Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship. We were also honored to present our annual Lifetime Achievement Award to Mary Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), who has been at the forefront of environmental law and policy for over 45 years, working steadfastly to improve air quality and tackle climate change. Our dinner and keynote presenter, Dr. Tyrone Hayes, Ph.D., Professor of Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley wowed the audience with his insightful and entertaining presentation on the role of endocrine disrupting pesticides on evolution, public health, and a global decline in amphibians. Friday morning, Dr. Courtney Bonam provided insights into the way people attribute racial stereotypes not only to personal qualities but to physical space. On Saturday, Mayor of San Jose Sam Liccardo shared initiatives that San Jose is undertaking to address legal and environmental issues facing cities statewide, and Sunday morning, The Honorable Margaret McKeown of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals provided fascinating details of the environmental legacy of Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas. Check out #ELSYosemite2018 for photos and more! Videos of all panels and speakers will soon be available for purchase and CLE credit (including one Elimination of Bias Credit) at https://cla.inreachce.com/.

As many of you know, the Environmental Law Section is now part of the California Lawyers Association (CLA), which became the new home to all Sections of the State Bar on January 1, 2018. In 2019, CLA will be moving to new, state-of-the-art offices in Sacramento, under the direction of new Executive Director Ona Dosunmu, who joins CLA from the Brookings Institution. This transition will bring CLA to the heart of the state capitol and the judiciary, while continuing to provide the same excellent services on which all of the Sections depend. We welcome Ms. Dosunmu, and we look forward to new opportunities to collaborate with CLA and the Sections throughout the coming year. CLA’s second Annual Meeting is set for October 11-13, 2019 in Monterey. Details will be posted in the coming months at www.calawyers.org.

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