Natural Resources Law

  • Offered occasionally

Natural Resources Law - Professor Blumm

  • Course Number: LAW-401
  • Course Type: Foundational
  • Credits: 3
  • Enrollment Limit: Determined by Registrar
  • Description: This course offers of view of natural resources law rich in history yet exposing students to the complexities of practicing natural resources law in the 21st century. The focus is not on federal public lands law (there is a specific course on that subject) but on natural resources conflicts on private lands under state regulation. This concentration is appropriate since 60 percent of the land in the United States is privately owned. The course examines both private and public rights in waterways (including the public trust doctrine), wetlands, water rights, wildlife, minerals, forests, grazing, recreation, and renewable resources, exploring the law’s consistency (or lack thereof) across diverse subject areas. For example, there are frequent comparisons to natural resources allocated on a first-in-time principle, as opposed to those dispensed according to notions of reasonable use. The course considers management regimes throughout, including non-governmental decision making. Another feature builds on common law doctrines introduced in the first year of law school, like trespass, nuisance, and servitude law, showing how they influence the use, development, and preservation of natural resources. The question of development vs. preservation is a persistent theme, as is the constitutional issue of constitutional takings of property in natural resources.
  • Prerequisites: none
  • Evaluation Method: Grades are based on a 24-hour take-home examination and class participation, including participating in the course’s TWEN site forum.
  • Capstone: no
  • WIE: no