Employment Opportunity: Staff Attorney

Center for Environmental Law and Policy (CELP) is seeking candidates for a full-time Staff Attorney position in Seattle, WA. The Center for Environmental Law & Policy is a statewide organization whose mission is to protect, preserve and restore Washington’s waters through education, policy reform, agency advocacy, and public interest litigation.

Applicant must have at least two years of environmental law experience, including familiarity with Washington water resource and administrative law. Litigation, legislative and/or public outreach experiences a plus. Demonstrated skills must include: excellent writing and analytical skills, strong legal research skills, familiarity with water resource science principles and methods, strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work collaboratively with staff and volunteers, and commitment to the public interest.   

Under the direction of the Executive Director, duties include but not limited to the following: 

  • Agency Advocacy: Represent CELP in public meetings, review and comment on draft rules, policies, reports, and permits, draft and edit comments for coalition groups, and advise ED and Board on course of action regarding agency decisions.
  • Policy and Legislative Work: Analyze pending or potential legislation and advise CELP’s lobbyist and staff on potential impacts. Work with CELP’s lobbyist and Legislative Committee to develop responsive strategies, including and drafting amendments or alternative legislation. Coordinate with tribal, federal, state, and local government organizations and non-governmental organizations regarding legislative issues.
  • Public Interest Litigation:  Coordinate with CELP volunteer attorneys and co-plaintiffs, including representation of co-plaintiffs when appropriate, on all litigation matters.  Duties may include brief writing, discovery processes, representation at hearings and oral arguments.  File and review public records requests.  Staff the CELP Litigation Committee, track and coordinate CELP participation in litigation, and provide reports to ED and the CELP Board. Coordinate with other public interest water and environmental litigation law firms and organizations.
  • Public Outreach: Draft and edit press releases, website and opinion pieces related to CELP’s legal and policy work. Research and draft white papers on policy issues.  Present on CELP’s substantive work at CLEs, conferences and other public forums. 
  • Continuing Legal Education: Organize and conduct CELP’s public CLE activities, including identifying pertinent topics, recruiting speakers, and hosting events.

Requirements:

Juris Doctor Degree and at least two years of relevant environmental law experience.

Candidate must be a member of the Washington Bar or a member in a state where there is reciprocity.

E-mail cover letter, resume, writing sample (not more than 10 pages), transcript, and references to Trish Rolfe, jobs@celp.org.  Salary is $45,000 – $48,000 DOE plus generous leave policy, health benefits and retirement. CELP will also pay attorney’s Washington Bar dues. The position is available immediately and will be filled as soon as possible.

CELP is an equal opportunity employer and actively works to ensure fair and equal treatment of its employees and constituents regardless of differences based on culture, socioeconomic status, race, marital or family situation, gender, age, ethnicity, religious beliefs, physical ability, or sexual orientation. CELP encourages Women, BIPOC and LGBTQ applicants to apply.


Help CELP protect our Waters with GiveBIG

A picture of a river with large rocks, tress on the side and mountain in the background. Two kids each sitting on a rock in the river.

Our rivers, streams, and drinking aquifers need help.

GiveBIG is Washington’s online day of giving to support our state’s nonprofit organizations. This year GiveBIG takes place on May 4th-5th and early giving opens today, April 20th. You can make a GiveBIG gift now through May 5th.

HELP US REACH OUR $5,000 GOAL

A generous supporter is challenging us to raise $5,000 to match their $5,000 donation. Help us protect our waters now and for future generations.

As a small nonprofit, every donation is critical to continuing our work. Your gift, in any amount, is priceless. You can protect our waters now, for fish, and for future generations.

BE PART OF SOMETHING BIGGER

Together we can make Washington better for us all. Help CELP achieve our vision of a Washington state with adequate and sustainable water supplies to support healthy ecosystems, thriving fish and wildlife, and robust communities.

Post about your gift on social media and encourage your friends to participate in GiveBIG. Connect with other donors using the hashtags #GiveBIG and #CELPwater

Help us fundraise by creating your own fundraising page to support CELP. More info. Any questions, email Kayla Magers development@celp.org.


Washington Water Watch: March Edition

Dear Friends,

It has now been over a year since the start of the pandemic, and all our lives have changed. We hope you and your loved ones have stayed safe and well. All of us at CELP have adapted to our new normal of working remotely and spending a lot of our time in Zoom meetings. But even with these challenges, we have been able to continue our important work to protect and restore Washington’s waters. We have participated in watershed restoration work groups finding solutions to restore stream flows impaired by new permit exempt wells, and we continue working with stakeholders to find solutions to water speculation and improve the water trust and banking systems.

We have also taken this time to find inspiration and think about how CELP accomplishes our mission of protecting, preserving, and restoring waters across the state now and into the future. We envision a water management system in Washington state that is more equitable and sustainable to support healthy ecosystems, thriving fish and wildlife, and robust communities. These are big goals, but with your help, we are ready to do the work.

In this issue you’ll find a wrap up of Clean & Abundant Water lobby week, an update on the legislative session, the Nooksack Indian Tribe and Lummi Nation’s webinar on adjudication, CELP’s letter to Ecology with concerns over Crown Columbia’s application for an area-wide water permit, water and fish in the news, and appreciation for our members.

Sincerely,

Trish Rolfe

Executive Director

Read the full newsletter here.


Employment Opportunity: Water Policy Outreach Coordinator

CELP is hiring a Water Policy Outreach Coordinator.

Water Policy Outreach Coordinator

Part-time: 20 hours per week

Water Policy Outreach Coordinator will work closely with CELP’s ED, Staff Attorney, Government Affairs Specialist and Board to build public support to accomplish program goals by coordinating community engagement to influence water policy change.

Duties include the following:

Works with the director to devise and recommend a plan and strategy for organizing and engaging volunteers and community allies.

Identifies recruits and organizes volunteers

Develops and implements a variety of engagement strategies including on-line and face-to-face to develop networks to support CELP goals.

Maintains and develops new partnerships with affinity groups who share many common goals and values. 

Develop relationships with community leaders, tribes, other organizations and officials who can influence water policy change.

Plan and implement community outreach events to generate public support with agency decision makers and in the media.

Identifies and is responsible for developing strong relationships with key people of influence including community leaders and public officials to influence positive campaign or program outcomes.

Coordinates and measures success of activities with manager and campaign or program leads to ensure progress towards mission and goals.

Performs administrative and clerical duties as assigned by supervisor.

Performs miscellaneous duties as directed.

Requirements, Knowledge & Skills:

  • 4-year degree preferred.
  • At least 1-year experience working with volunteers in the environmental movement, political campaigns, or other, similar organizations to plan and implement grassroots campaigns.
  • Basic knowledge of current environmental issues affecting Washington.  
  • Excellent writing and editing skills. 
  • Demonstrated skill in writing and producing newsletters.
  • On-line organizing experience is a plus.
  • Passion for the environment and a belief in the power of community organizing and policy advocacy.
  • Excellent verbal communication skills and demonstrated ability to clearly articulate ideas and easily strike up conversation with diverse groups of people.
  • Strong organizational and problem-solving skills and ability to work effectively in action-oriented office.
  • Ability to work independently, cooperatively and effectively with public, staff and volunteers. Strong ability to network, build trust, and build working relationships.
  • Ability to be flexible and responsive in a fast-paced and changing environment
  • Ability to think strategically and plan programs and campaigns and to collaborate effectively with others
  • Access to reliable transportation and willingness to accommodate community-based scheduling needs (i.e. meetings held in the evenings and on weekends at offsite locations)
  • Valid driver’s license, satisfactory driving record, and proof of auto insurance required.
  • Proficient computer skills including Microsoft Office, social networking sites, and database software.

The CELP office is in Seattle, however current COVID restrictions will require most work to be done remotely. Once restrictions are lifted a large portion of the job will be traveling around the state to relevant communities and locations.

$16.75 – $17 per hour plus accrued vacation and sick leave. Travel allowance and transit benefit available. 

E-mail cover letter, resume, and references to Trish Rolfe, trolfe@celp.org by May 15, 2021. Please, no phone inquiries.

CELP is an equal opportunity employer and actively works to ensure fair and equal treatment of its employees and constituents regardless of differences based on culture, socioeconomic status, race, marital or family situation, gender, age, ethnicity, religious beliefs, physical ability, or sexual orientation. CELP encourages BIPOC and LGBTQ applicants to apply.


Washington Water Watch: Jan. & Feb. Edition

February 16th 2021 

Happy New Year! We are starting the new year with a new administration, and with it hope for federal progress on clean and abundant water, strengthening tribal treaty rights, and modernizing the Columbia River Treaty.  

Photo of a winding road through snow and trees taken from an aerial view.

Here at home, we started the year with an atmospheric river soaking the pacific northwest. Seattle had the wettest start to the year in history. Olympia and Hoquiam also broke rainfall records in the first few days of the year. Now in February, snowstorms have moved across the state blanketing Seattle and the Puget Sound area. Snowpack in the Olympics and Cascades are at normal or slightly above normal levels. This is all good news for our stream flows for now. 

Everyone at CELP wants to say a big THANK YOU to all of our supporters. We know 2020 was a difficult year for many people, organizations and businesses and we are immensely grateful for your donations, time, ideas, and dedication to protecting our waters. With your support, we were able to face challenges head on and continue our work protecting our waters. We look forward to what we will accomplish this year together.

In this issue you’ll find introductions of our new board members and changes in board leadership, information on the 2021 legislative session and the bills we are tracking, salmon in the news, Rachael Osborn’s paper reflecting on the Water Resources Act of 1971, a call for applications for our 2021 legal internship, and congratulations to our 2020 Water Hero honoree and longtime friend Bob Anderson. 

We are hopeful for the future. As we move forward this year, our priorities are getting Streamflow Restoration Plans approved and getting water restoration and mitigation projects in these plans funded. We are also working to help get the adjudications of the Nooksack and Colville watersheds started and working with Ecology to restart instream flow setting for unprotected watersheds. These are big plans, but with your continued support we can make great strides to achieve them. 


Sincerely,

Trish Rolfe

Executive Director

trolfe@celp.org

Read the full newsletter here: https://conta.cc/3qstIii


Nooksack River Adjudication

What is an adjudication?

Sustainable management decisions about water, a precious shared resource, cannot be made without a baseline knowledge of water rights in a basin. Under Washington law, only a court can make a final determination of which water rights are valid. Adjudication is a court proceeding where the judge examines all water use in a river basin, and determines the extent and validity of water rights in that basin.

Why adjudicate the Nooksack?

The Nooksack is an important river system that supports native runs of wild chum, chinook, coho, and pink salmon, as well as other salmonids including bull trout and steelhead. Protecting the river, its salmon runs, and Tribal fishing rights requires that streamflows be protected. Like other rivers in Washington, diversions of water from the Nooksack threaten habitat for salmon. The Nooksack also appears to suffer more than many other rivers from illegal, unpermitted diversions of water.  By adjudicating water rights in the basin, the state can determine how much water is being legally used as well as gaining control of unpermitted (and illegal) diversions of water.

The Tribes with reserved fishing rights in WRIA 1 (the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Indian Tribe) have requested action by the Federal Government to judicially determine their reserved water rights, including water for instream flows to protect their rights to fish and in turn the habitat on which those rights depend.

What is CELP doing on this issue?

We urged the Department of Ecology to select the Nooksack River basin (WRIA 1) as the next Washington basin to be adjudicated. You can read our full letter here.

CELP is now supporting funding in the legislature (SB 5092 / HB 1094) to start the adjudication process for the Nooksack River basin. Find more on this year’s remote legislative session and the bills we are tracking here.


CELP Summer Internship

We are now accepting applications for a Summer 2021 Legal Intern. This position is located in CELP’s Seattle Office. Due to the ongoing Covid19 pandemic, we anticipate that the intern will be working remotely for at least the first part and likely all of the summer.

We seek a legal intern with a demonstrated interest in environmental issues to work on projects aimed at establishing protected instream flows.  Qualified candidates will have completed their 2L year by Spring 2020 and taken an environmental law course.  Coursework or clinical experience in administrative law is preferred. Exact internship dates are flexible depending on academic schedules, but generally run from June – August and last 10 weeks. Please email a CV, a writing sample, and references to Dan Von Seggern, Staff Attorney  at dvonseggern@celp.org 

Deadline for applications is March 15th.


Cowlitz Indian Tribe, WSU-Vancouver co-host 7th conference on ethics, Columbia River future

A multi-year ethics consultation on the Columbia River Treaty facilitated by the Ethics & Treaty Project.

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Cowlitz Indian Tribe and Washington State University Vancouver’s Native American Affairs and Collective for Social and Environmental Justice are co-hosting the seventh annual Lower Columbia River, Estuary: “One River, Ethics Matter” conference. Attendees will draw on the ethical foundations provided by Indigenous cultural leaders and western religious leaders, as well as lessons from the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, to advance justice and stewardship for the Columbia River in a time of climate change. 

“These discussions are going to be important as we transition to a new presidential administration and the Columbia River Treaty is renegotiated,” said Taylor Aalvik, director of the Natural Resources Department for Cowlitz Indian Tribe. “The United States treaty-negotiating team has excluded tribes in the past, and it will be necessary in the future that we are at the table during the negotiations.”

“One River, Ethics Matter” will cover the impact of COVID-19 and past epidemics on tribal communities; the impact of dams on the lower Columbia River and estuary; floodplain real estate for Portland/Vancouver including basin-wide impacts and the need for basin-wide flood risk review; and youth, climate change and the river.

The conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dec. 9 and 10. It is free and open to the public, but registration is required. For more information and to register, visit celp.org/ethics-estuary/.

Speakers include:
  • Philip Harju, chairman, Cowlitz Indian Tribe
  • Mel Netzhammer, chancellor, WSU Vancouver
  • Tanna Engdahl, spiritual leader, Cowlitz Indian Tribe
  • John Osborn MD, Ethics and Treaty Project
  • The Rev. John Rosenberg
  • Mike Iyall, tribal historian, Cowlitz Indian Tribe
  • Christine Dupres, tribal historic preservation officer and Tribal Council member, Cowlitz Indian Tribe
  • Nathan Reynolds, director, Cultural Resources Department, Cowlitz Indian Tribe
  • The Rev. W. Thomas Soeldner
  • John Marsh, policy analyst, Cowlitz Indian Tribe
  • Jim Heffernan, policy analyst, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission
  • Sandra Luke, Chair for the Lands & Resources Sector, Ktunaxa Nation
  • Emma Johnson, tribal historic preservation assistant, Cowlitz Indian Tribe
  • Shay Way, fisheries biologist, Cowlitz descendant
  • Rosalie Fish, student, Cowlitz descendant
  • Taylor Aalvik, director, Natural Resources Department, Cowlitz Indian Tribe
  • Celia Delaney, mental health counselor, Cowlitz Tribe and Human Services
  • Pauline Terbasket, executive director, Okanagan Nation Alliance

About Cowlitz Indian Tribe

Cowlitz Indian Tribe is a sovereign nation located in Southwest Washington. The Tribe is a leader in the protection and restoration of Columbia River, Smelt, Salmon and habitat. Since time began, the Cowlitz Indian Tribe has been a knowledge holder and steward on the Columbia River, ensuring the generations to come can enjoy everything the Columbia River Basin has to offer.

About WSU Vancouver

As one of six campuses of the WSU system, WSU Vancouver offers big-school resources in a small-school environment. Both in person and online, the university provides affordable, high-quality baccalaureate- and graduate-level education to benefit the people and communities it serves. As the only four-year research university in Southwest Washington, WSU Vancouver helps drive economic growth through relationships with local businesses and industries, schools, and nonprofit organizations. 

MEDIA CONTACTS

WSU Vancouver: Brenda Alling, Office of Marketing and Communication, 360-546-9601, brenda_alling@wsu.edu

Cowlitz Indian Tribe: Tiffini Johnson, Natural Resources Department, Cowlitz Indian Tribe, 360-353-9509, tjohnson@cowlitz.org

Additional Links:


Washington Water Watch: November Edition

As the year approaches its end, we have all had to rethink how we do many things including work, school, birthdays and holidays. But that hasn’t stopped us from doing our work to protect and restore our river flows through outreach, policy work and litigation. Much of the year we have been working through the watershed planning process to come up with plans to mitigate impairment of instream flows from permit exempt wells. This process has taken 2 years, but hopefully it will have a positive impact on our rivers.

 But there is so much we need to do. Many rivers and streams around the state still lack basic protections, and endangered salmon and steelhead still face an uphill battle for recovery in part because of high river temperatures as a result of low flows. And climate change will continue to challenge how we manage our water resources.

 In this issue you’ll find an update on dam removals and proposals in the Northwest, information on our CLE Winter Workshop now being hosted as three virtual workshops, Water Stories, Giving Tuesday, and the 7th annual One River, Ethics Matter conference. 

CELP has a great team to do this work, but we can’t do it alone. We rely on donations from our members and supporters, and this year a generous supporter has offered a match to all year end donations up to $5,000. You can help us reach our goal and end the year strong by donating on our secure website, www.celp.org

Sincerely,

Trish Rolfe,

Executive Director

Read the full Newsletter here.


Giving Tuesday- Give Back to our Waters

Giving Tuesday, a global day of generosity, is Dec. 1st. People all around the world are coming together to tap into the power of human connection and strengthen communities to change our world.

This Giving Tuesday, give back to our waters. Water connects us all and supports life.

I lean on water for therapy and healing, for recreation, to put groceries on my table, and to connect with other people — a particularly difficult challenge for me. Water indicates the health of our planet, or lack thereof. So if water does so much for us, what do we do for water? -Bridget Moran

With your support, CELP continues our work as Washington’s water watchdog protecting, preserving, and restoring waters across our state. We imagine a future with sustainable water supplies to support healthy ecosystems, thriving fish and wildlife, and robust communities. You can give to create that future now.

This year a generous supporter will match donations up to a $5,000 total. Help protect Washington’s waters.

Make a donation here.

We are incredibly grateful for our community, partners, supporters, volunteers, board and staff. This year, our work would not have been possible without everyone’s support and dedication to protecting our waters.
In the spirit of the giving season, we want to highlight some organizations who inspire us. We encourage you to support these places on Giving Tuesday to protect our environment and create a better future for Washington!

Save Our Wild Salmon 

Zero Waste Washington

Futurewise

Puget Soundkeeper Alliance

RE Sources

Columbia RiverKeeper