This three-credit course provides an introduction to federal natural resources law, with an emphasis on living resources. In a mixed lecture and seminar format, we will examine the themes and theoretical conflicts that underlie natural resource management, as well as the special qualities of natural resource problems that render management efforts so difficult. Throughout the course, we will probe the interplay between environmental, economic, cultural, and political factors in natural resource decision-making.
In the early weeks of the course, we will explore the regulatory tools and challenges that are common to all natural resource dilemmas. We’ll then apply these concepts in a partial survey of the field, including the legal treatment of wildlife and biodiversity, fisheries and marine resources, water resources, forests and rangelands, protected public lands, multiple use public lands, and (as time allows) energy. In the final weeks of the course, students will present their own research projects, each culminating in a final paper. Students will also participate in a weekly online discussion group.
This course counts toward the upper-level writing and Environmental Certificate requirements, but non-certificate students and those new to environmental law are also very welcome in the class.