The Craig Daily Press reported on July 22, 2015, that WildEarth Guardians initiated 207 cases from 2010 to today, 152 cases in federal court and 55 in the Circuit Court of Appeals. The Santa Fe-based anti-coal group received over half-a-million dollars in taxpayer funds in 2014.
“This is deplorable and should outrage every Coloradan. Taxpayers are funding the Santa Fe-based WildEarth Litigators and they turn around and wage a war on families who work hard and contribute to the economy,” said Jonathan Lockwood, executive director of Advancing Colorado. “They are callous and disregard the real human impact of their activities and while they are worried about endangered species they are creating them. Coal miners are essentially becoming an endangered species because of groups like these hunting them down and killing their jobs.”
WildEarth Guardians has abusively filed mega-petitions of 600 or more species at once. The Fish and Wildlife Service tries to submit a report for all of the species within the required year window, but under strain can exceed that time frame. WildEarth Guardians then initiate lawsuits against the government for a failure to “take action.” In 2010, the FWS spent the majority of their $21 million budget on litigation and responding to petitions.
“WildEarth Litigators are costing the taxpayers, they are costing our communities. Their practices are shameful and that’s why they have rightfully been hit so hard by public backlash,” concluded Lockwood.
WildEarth Guardians’ list of supporters quickly dwindled down from 605 to 151 by June 18, originally reported by the Craig Daily Press, and has since been removed.
The loss of support followed public outcry after U.S. District Court Judge R. Brooke Jackson’s ruled in favor of WildEarth Guardians, against the Colowyo coalmine. The coalmine provides 220 jobs, which is equivalent to about 50,000 jobs in Denver.