ECOS Sustainability Resource Center at Southern Oregon University and the League of Women Voters Rogue Valley will present a climate forum, “Nature’s Trust, Our Children’s Trust: A Climate Forum on Litigation to Save the Future,” from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 13, in the Rogue River Room of the Stevenson Union on the SOU campus in Ashland.

The program will feature Mary Christina Wood, the Philip H. Knight Professor and Faculty Director of the University of Oregon’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center. She's also author of "Nature’s Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age," and an expert on atmospheric trust litigation. Wood will be joined by four youth climate activists.

Jacob Lebel is a plaintiff in Juliana et. al. v. the United States et. al., a landmark constitutional case based on public trust legal doctrines brought by 21 young people against the federal government ( This and scores of state and international lawsuits based on the same legal doctrines are managed by the Oregon-based nonprofit, Our Children’s Trust (OCT).

Plaintiffs allege that, for decades, the federal government has willfully failed to guard and protect natural public trust resources essential for a livable future. They charge that the government has actively facilitated fossil fuel development, known to release greenhouse gases and cause climate change, thereby allowing irreparable harm to those resources that now jeopardizes current and future generations. The trial, now officially against President Donald Trump and major organizations representing the fossil fuel industry, is expected to begin in U.S. District Court of the District of Oregon this fall.

Our Children’s Trust supports local youth climate action, as well. Three youth activists affiliated with OCT and Rogue Climate’s Ashland Youth Climate Action ( will discuss their work to convince the Ashland City Council to make the city’s Climate and Energy Action Plan a legally binding, scientifically grounded, equitable ordinance.

Admission is free, but donations to Our Children’s Trust legal fund will be accepted.