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RHJ Center, RTPI To Host Panel Discussion Thursday

The Robert H. Jackson Center and the Roger Tory Peterson Institute (RTPI) are offering a panel discussion on the impact of environmental laws on the conservation and protection of species as part of RTPI’s The Art of the Osprey exhibition.

The discussion will take place Thursday at 7 p.m., both online and in-person at RTPI, 311 Curtis St., Jamestown. Participation via Zoom is free. A donation of $10 is suggested for those attending in person, which will include a guided tour of the exhibition, The Art of the Osprey. To register to attend virtually, visit www.roberthjackson.org/event/osprey-and-the-law. To attend in person, email RTPI at events@rtpi.org..

RHJC President Kristan McMahon will facilitate the panel discussion among three leading experts in the environmental field: Priscilla “Polly” Hampton, Amanda Rodewald and Freedom Smith.

“We are excited to have assembled this group of experts to share their wisdom from years of research and practice on how human laws and the natural world interact, with a particular emphasis on conservation and preservation of species, like the osprey,” McMahon said. “The law impacts every aspect of our lives, and we are thrilled to offer this program in partnership with RTPI and contribute to its Art That Matters work.”

Polly Hampton, environmental and natural resources attorney and partner at Perkins Coie, offers guidance to help clients better understand how environmental complexities affect their companies and how to mitigate associated risks. Focused on contaminated site cleanups, brownfield redevelopment and environmental risk management in mergers and acquisitions, Hampton counsels a wide range of businesses–from mining, manufacturing and energy to real estate and project developers–on remediation, permitting, compliance and enforcement matters under federal and state environmental laws.

As both a professor in the Department of Natural Resources and the Director of Conservation Science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Dr. Amanda Rodewald works to generate, apply, and communicate science in ways that advance understanding of ecology and also support conservation. Her research seeks to understand how global change impacts ecosystems and touches on a variety of sub-disciplines, including conservation biology, community ecology, landscape ecology, population demography, behavioral ecology, and ecological restoration. She tightly integrates her research and outreach efforts to inform policy and management, and as such, regularly interacts with government agencies, conservation organizations, and private landowners. Among her national leadership activities, she has served on the Science Advisory Board of US Environmental Protection Agency.

Freedom S.N. Smith is a partner with Ice Miller LLP in its Environmental group and works in the areas of regulatory compliance and risk management, environmental law, natural resources and sustainability law, agricultural law, environmental and toxic tort litigation, procurement, and general litigation. Her clients are involved in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, agriculture, energy, real estate, and construction. She works with numerous corporations, municipalities and utilities on all aspects of environmental compliance, air and water permitting, wastewater discharges, responding to local, state and federal agencies, dealing with citizen complaints, brownfields redevelopment, and policy issues.

“Jamestown native Roger Tory Peterson was among the first to identify DDT as the cause for the catastrophic population crash of ospreys, bald eagles, and other bird species,” said Arthur Pearson, CEO of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute. “But it took strong legislative and legal action to get DDT banned in the United States.”

Although ospreys are no longer considered “Endangered” in New York state, they are still included in the “Special Concern” category and the use of various pesticides continues to be an area of concern in the environmental and legal worlds.

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