At the fall 2022 Environmental Law Conference, SMW partner Sara Clark moderated a panel titled “Restoring Beneficial Fire in California.” The conference, sponsored by the California Lawyers Association, is held every year at Yosemite National Park. Panel participants Lenya Quinn-Davidson, Craig Thomas, and Don Hankins discussed the history of fire exclusion in California and the […]
SMW attorney Pearl Kan was recognized by Rob Mullaney, clinical director of the Aoki Water Justice Clinic at @UCDavisLaw, for her help in an article published in the Journal of the CA Supreme Court Historical Society related to the Clinic’s foundation.
SMW attorney Sara A. Clark co-authored an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times calling for increased support for beneficial fires, especially in partnership with Indigenous fire practitioners, and for an update to our national approach to wildfire management. The partnership between cultural fire practitioners and western scientists, which Clark is facilitating, calls for change […]
A Valuable Tool for Equity Due in part to a long history of unequal land use planning and discriminatory housing and industrial policies, communities of color and low-income communities bear a disproportionate burden of environmental harms. Large polluting industries tend to be sited in or near these communities, leading to higher rates of long-term health […]
SMW Partner Andrew Schwartz taught Land Use Law at UC Berkeley School of Law for the Spring Semester 2021-2022 and will repeat the class Spring Semester 2022-2023. Mr. Schwartz also teaches Land Use Law at Stanford Law School.
California’s recent fire seasons have been staggeringly destructive, and are poised to worsen over upcoming decades as the impacts of climate change increase. Yet, we are not helpless. The use of beneficial fire—at the right times and in the right locations—can increase forest resiliency and reduce wildfire risk. California’s pending Strategic Plan for Expanding the Use of Beneficial Fire points public agencies in the right direction.
As last year drew to a close, Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger continued its efforts to identify and make charitable contributions to groups engaged in environmental justice and anti-racism work. “It is part of our firm’s ethos to support non-profit organizations engaged in environmental justice, anti-racism, and empowerment work, and we are committed to continuing our […]
SMW partner Andrew Schwartz is once again teaching Land Use Law at Stanford Law School for the fall quarter 2021-2022. The course focuses on the pragmatic (more than theoretical) aspects of contemporary land use law and policy, including the tools and historical/legal foundation of modern land use law; zoning and General Plans; the process of land development; affordable housing; growth […]
Photo: Quino checkerspot butterfly Earlier this month, the San Diego County Superior Court reversed San Diego County’s approval of the Otay Ranch Village 14 project, a proposed development that would have paved over critical wildlife habitat while building 1,100 homes on fire-prone land east of Chula Vista. In a consolidated cases brought by a coalition of environmental groups and the People of California, the court ruled that the […]
Tribes Look to Expand Cultural Burning to Restore Traditional Practices and Address Catastrophic Wildfire Threats
People indigenous to California have proactively ignited the landscape to manage plants and wildlife, provide community protection, control insects and disease, and engage in cultural and religious practices since time immemorial. Experts estimate that before 1800, between 4.5 million and 12 million acres of the state burned annually, through some combination of lightening and cultural burning.