In 2012 Utah became one of eight states to pass so-called “ag gag” legislation, criminalizing undercover investigations at factory farms, but it is the first state where this law is being challenged in the courts.
In July the Animal Legal Defense Fund, with advocacy group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and several reporters, filed suit to overturn the ag gag law, calling it a violation of constitutionally protected freedoms of speech. The official title of Utah Code 76-6-112, “agricultural operation interference,” belies what the plaintiffs say is an attempt to quash the journalistic tradition of exposing unlawful industry practices for the benefit of society.
On November 14, 2013, the Boulder Stand’s contributing co-editor Caitlin Rockett and contributing writer Gloria Dickie reported from the ivory crush at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City, CO.
The crush represented a prominent move by the U.S. government to send a strong signal to the international community: the illegal ivory trade will not be tolerated.
Dickie and Rockett worked with reporter Michael Kodas, assistant director of the CU Boulder Center for Environmental Journalism, to produce a film on the ivory crush for OnEarth. You can watch the powerful film here.
Dickie’s photos from the crush are featured in the video slideshow above.
The eastern entrance to the proposed Jefferson Parkway on the west edge of Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge.
Like the radioactive dust spread across Rocky Flats soil, politics over the Jefferson Parkway – which might be one of the most controversial building proposals of an American city’s beltway system – might never go away.
The Jefferson Parkway is the proposed toll road to run between Broomfield and Superior, linking the Northwest Parkway to State Highway 93. Envisioned by some as a final link to complete the Denver Metro beltway, and viewed by others as a health and environmental hazard due to its proximity to former nuclear weapons facility, Rocky Flats, the project has been pitched, challenged and dropped several times in the past three decades. Legal back-and-forths have made parkway politics a sensitive topic, especially when opposing perspectives challenge the definition of words such as “safe.” But as of December 2012, a federal court of appeals ruling lifted the block on parkway construction – giving highway officials the right to pave their way.