How to Successfully Threaten Legal Action Against the Government
In a move that has left beaver, salmon, and wildlife advocates pleased, the federal government and state have agreed to stop killing beavers in the state of Oregon in response to a threat of litigation by wildlife groups.
If you're wondering how wildlife groups can get what they want by simply threatening litigation, then you should probably take a look at their Notice of Intent to Sue. The notice letter goes to painstaking detail to explain exactly why beavers need to stop being killed, and how animals like beavers serve important roles in helping the threatened salmon population. Given that the letter worked, it seems worthwhile to examine a few of the things it did right.
Deterrence in the Details
In the letter, there is no shortage of details about how beavers modify the habitat of salmon, and other animals, to all the species' benefits. By helping the salmon thrive, the wildlife groups claim that the beavers should be protected under the Endangered Species Act.
Basically, by creating dams, beavers help salmon by creating bigger pools for them to rest and feed, as they make their way up or down stream. Also, proposed alternatives to killing the beavers are included, since beavers do cause quite a bit of trouble for landowners, public utilities, and sometimes, even roadways (that are near rivers or streams, or connect to bridges).
In addition to all that, the very important detail about there being no environmental impact analysis seems to have played a big part in prompting the government to take action. In addition to the immediate cessation of the killing of Oregon's beavers, an environmental impact analysis will be completed.
Make Compliance Easy
In addition to listing out all the reasons why the government should agree to their demand, it made compliance rather simple. All the government needed to do was simply stop killing beavers until after it conducted an assessment on the effects of doing so. There was no astronomical damages demand, and attorney fees were not even sought for putting together the required demand. When you want a demand (or any request for that matter) to be accepted, making sure it's a simple ask can go a long long way.
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- How to Write a Funny Demand Letter (FindLaw's Strategist)
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