Course Description



This course is a survey of federal natural resources law, with an emphasis on current legal issues and a focus on judicial resolution of disputes. The course will cover the constitutional issues in federal control of natural resources; environmental planning; wildlife protection; public land management; and minerals, including oil and gas both onshore and offshore. Throughout the course, we will discuss the history and politics of natural resources law, as well as the practical aspects of practicing in this area.

This class is designed to prepare students for practice not just in natural resources law, but in any area of the law that requires government regulation, including telecommunications, health care, securities, and others. The various resources we discuss pose different sorts of problems. In studying the regulatory responses to those problems, we build a toolkit of regulatory models that can be helpful in solving any resource problem.

Note: When taught as a writing intensive course, the class will meet twice per week like any 3-credit class, but only until we have completed 2-credits worth of class time. The remaining credit worth of class time will be spent in connection with students’ papers (conferences, drafts, etc.). Students will write on a topic in natural resources law of their choosing to satisfy the graduation writing requirement.