Wildlife Rights and Protection in the 21st Century
May 20, 2017
Millennium Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles, CA

All sessions will take place in the Galeria Emerald room, on the lobby level of the hotel.

Registration and Breakfast

8:00 – 9:00

Introduction and Welcome

9:00 – 9:15

Lindsay Larris, Los Angeles Regional Director, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Co-existing with Wildlife 

9:15 – 10:45

Camilla Fox, Executive Director, Project Coyote

Damon Nagami, Senior Attorney and Director, Southern California Ecosystems Project, Natural Resources Defense Council

Jessica Blome, Contract Attorney, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Moderator: Kelsey Eberly, Staff Attorney, Animal Legal Defense Fund

The current approach to “managing” wildlife on the range, in which federal and state laws and regulators treat wild animals variously as “resources” and as burdens, has led to the slaughter of countless numbers in the name of “conservation” and to protect human investments in livestock grazing and development. This panel explores the science – or politics – of the current approach and the battles to bring the interests of wildlife and the maintenance of a healthy environment into balance.


10:45 – 11:00

Wild But Captive

11:00 – 12:30

David Casselman, Principal, Casselman Law Group, Founder of Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary

Matthew Liebman, Director of Litigation, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Sara Wan, WAN Conservancy Co-Founder, Former Chair of California Coastal Commission

Moderator: Nicole Pallotta, Academic Outreach Manager, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Animals in captivity face a variety of problems, both physical and psychological, that animals in the wild do not.  Putting aside the question of whether captivity for wild animals ever provides benefits, there are cases in which we know that animals in captivity are undoubtedly suffering.  This panel will look at what we can do through litigation, legislation, and regulation to help alleviate the suffering of animals trapped in the worst captive environments.

Lunch, Galeria Gold Ballroom, lobby level, Millennium Biltmore Hotel

12:30 – 1:30

Connecting Climate Change to Wildlife

1:30 – 3:00

Stephen Wells, Executive Director, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Carter Dillard, Senior Policy Advisor, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Hannah Connor, Staff Attorney, Center for Biological Diversity

Moderator: Joyce Tischler, Founder and General Counsel, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Animal agriculture is one of the leading causes of harm to wildlife through the industry’s direct impact on climate change as well as habitat loss due to clear-cutting and competition for forage.  Wildlife populations are losing critical habitat, and have fewer options for adaptation, as climate change impacts the environment.  This panel looks at the connection between livestock, climate change, forage competition and wildlife, and considers various legal means to prevent the continued destruction to species and habitat. 


3:00 – 3:15

Changing the Paradigm of Wildlife Protection

3:15 – 4:45

Mari Margil, Associate Director, Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund

Jeff Pierce, Contract Attorney, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Dan Rohlf, Professor of Law and Of Counsel at Earthrise Law Center at Lewis and Clark Law School

Moderator: Lindsay Larris, Los Angeles Regional Director, Animal Legal Defense Fund

Imagine moving away from the human-centric approach of exploiting wildlife for our benefit to a completely different regulatory mission and focus.  This panel will explore how significant scientific research about the nature of animals and the cultural shift towards animal protection can modify the current paradigm into a framework that would focus on the rights and protection of wildlife.  Additionally, the panel will explore legislative possibilities to codify this shift in public sentiment. 


4:45 – 5:00

Keynote Speaker: Jo-Anne McArthur, Photojournalist, Author and Educator, We Animals

5:00 – 5:45

Closing Remarks: Joyce Tischler, Founder and General Counsel, Animal Legal Defense Fund

5:45 – 6:00

Animal Legal Defense Fund Hosted Reception, Rendezvous Court, lower level, Millennium Biltmore Hotel

6:00 – 8:00

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