TOM PIERCE, ATTORNEY AT LAW, LLLC land conservation, nonprofits, philanthropy, property law, land use

Conservation means harmony between mean and land. When land does well for its owner, the owner does well by his land; when both end up better by reason of their partnership, we have conservation. When one or the other grows poorer, we do not.

— Aldo Leopold,

The Farmer as a Conservationist, 1939

As soon as individuals with a cause have found one another out, they combine. From that moment, they are no longer isolated people, but a power seen from afar, whose actions serve as an example and whose language is listened to.

Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1840

Join me at

The radicals are the people who are fundamentally altering the composition of the atmosphere. That is the most radical thing people have ever done. Bill McKibben (


Ti Leaf Express is a blog published by the Law Office of Tom Pierce. Our goal is to provide pithy -- and like our namesake, diverse, useful (and sometimes inspirational) -- content in the areas of land conservation, nonprofits, and philanthropy, with a specific focus on Hawaii.

September 14, 24-Hour, Climate Change, World-Wide, Reality Event

Want to get fired up for the next year on earth? Then listen to this Bill Mckibben,, speech.

From time to time we need to be reminded that only “we” can make the difference on climate change. Bill McKibben has a great way doing that. This recent speech to 10,000 supporters in Washington D.C. is one of those reminders.

Find out why the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the largest lobbying organization on Capitol Hill, is not the earth’s friend (but is the best of friends with the largest corporations in America).

Find out why 350 is the most important number for us all to know.

EARTH DAY 2011: Thank You Earth! May we appreciate you more, and treat you better each passing year.

A “must hear” NPR story: Climate Change: Making The Nation’s Bears Hungry?

Warmer winters lead to pine bark beetles never dying off in Yellowstone. With more pines dying, bears already in a fragile ecosystem lose another food source. This has resulted in two tragic bear maulings this year, concludes writer Paul Solotaroff, interviewed by NPR. Powerful story how we really will not be able to anticipate the various ways that global warming will affect us and our environment.

Carcinogens Injected Into Wells

Remember our post about fracking? Now some congressional heavy weights have issued a report. Among the findings:

Millions of gallons of potentially hazardous chemicals and known carcinogens were injected into wells by leading oil and gas service companies from 2005-2009, a report by three House Democrats said Saturday.

The report said 29 of the chemicals injected were known-or-suspected human carcinogens. They either were regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act as risks to human health or listed as hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act.

Also, check out this Huffington Post article.

“The Big Thirst” – an important book about our water use

The Big Thirst examines the future of a natural resource that, author David Fishman says, we can no longer take for granted. “The last 100 years has been the golden age of water in the developed world: water that has been safe, unlimited and essentially free,” he tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross. “But that era is over. We will not, going forward, have water that has all three of those qualities at the same time: unlimited, unthinkingly inexpensive and safe.” Take a half hour to listen to this important, fascinating, fact intensive interview. For example, Fishman explains that in the U.S., we spend $21 billion a year buying bottled water, and we spend $29 billion a year maintaining the entire water system — pipes, treatment plants, pumps. We spend almost as much on crushable plastic bottles of water as we do maintaining the water system.”

Legacy Land Conservation Commission Meeting – April 18

The Legacy Land Conservation Commission will meet on April 18, 2011, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., in Honolulu. Check out the agenda.

Molokai fish ponds — artifacts of amazing sustainability

Recently on a trip back from Molokai, in waning light, I was able to capture some photos of the numerous fish ponds along the coastline. These ancient artifacts speak for themselves — and they are an inspiration as we look toward Earth Day. Continue reading

Conservation funding on federal chopping block – you can help

Now is the time to weigh in with your members of Congress and urge them to restore funding for the programs you care about. For specifics, visit the action alert sites of the organizations below who are fighting these cuts:

Congressional leaders are currently seeking a compromise between the House’s H.R. 1 (which would cut important conservation programs by 85-100 percent) and more modest cuts favored by Democrats.

HPR Story on Kona Ocean Fish Farm Planning Innovative Expansion

One of the nation’s only open-ocean fish farms (Kona Blue) is close to getting the OK for an innovative project off the Kona coast. But not without some controversy. HPR’s Ben Markus reports. Whether you are for or against, you need to include in your assessment the state of our natural fisheries, which are near collapse. On that subject, make sure to check out the documentary End of the Line, which you can find on our documentaries page. To us a fish farm makes sense if it can be done right. We know the Hawaiians successfully did it. On that note, I’ll upload tomorrow a cool shot taken from the plane coming back from Molokai recently.