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Public Interest Law Project

Daniel Kappes

June 01, 2013

Trout Unlimited Bozeman

The generous stipend I received. from the Public Interest Law Project was instrumental in providing me the opportunity to work with Trout Unlimited this past summer. The financial help froni PILP was greatly appreciated and the support from the Executive Board, fellow volunteers and faculty was also invaluable to my experience. 

Trout Unlimited (TU) is a leader in western water conservation and aims to provide clean, clear, cold water for fisheries. Their collaborative approach aims to unite landowners, agencies, and all stakeholders to protect critical habitat, thus ensuring that trout and other wildlife species dependent on that habitat can thrive. 

I was fortunate to work in the Bozeman, Montana office and gained extensive experience in complex water leases, adjudications and negotiations with federal and state agencies. Working with several experienced water law attorneys, I was constantly engaged in challenging legal issues and felt my education at Lewis and Clark not only provided insight to in-house decision-making, but also helped make a lasting impact conserving riverine ecosystems. 

I was tasked with researching Clean Water Act liability issues. I also worked with the National Forest Service on federal reserved water right claims and consulted with private land owners who desired to lease water rights to TU for instream flow. 

Before I entered law school, I worked for ten years as a fly-fishing guide along the waters of the Greater Yellowstone Basin. My desire to preserve and protect our resources led me to law school, where I envisioned dedicating myself to fighting for fisheries and water resources. My work this summer with Trout Unlimited gave me the opportunity to do just that; I credit PILP with making my vision a reality!