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Law Courses Catalog

Natural Resources Law

  • Offered occasionally

This course provides a survey introduction to federal natural resources law, with an emphasis on living resources.  In a mixed lecture and seminar format, we will examine the theoretical conflicts that underlie various approaches to resource management, as well as the special qualities of natural resource problems that render management efforts so difficult.  Topics will include the legal treatment of wildlife and biodiversity, living marine resources, water, forests, protected public lands, and an introduction to energy law. Throughout the course, we will probe the interplay between environmental, economic, cultural, and political factors in natural resource decision making.  In lieu of a final exam, students will produce a 20-page final paper and participate in a weekly online discussion group.


Please note that the paper will not meet the WIE or Capstone requirement.


Summer ONLY

This is a survey course that focuses on the non-public land aspects of natural resources law. The course explores the field of natural resources law on a function-by-function approach, looking at how nature is divided into use rights, allocating those use rights, resolving conflicts over use rights, integrating use rights into landscapes, and adjusting and reallocating use rights over time. The class will also consider which use rights spring from land ownership, and which are severed, available for separate acquisition. The focus is mostly on state law with an examination of numerous natural resources, including water, wildlife, oil and gas, and mining, and even ice and seaweed.


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