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Public Natural Resources

B675 is taught by R. Fischman

This course meets the graduation requirement for an upper-level course in which writing is used as a means of instruction.

This course examines the tension between public control and private interests in resources on federal lands, such as national forests. It begins with a historical overview of the development of the patterns of resource ownership, policies toward resource development, and relevant legal doctrines. Building on this historical foundation, we will discuss federalism in resource regulation, proprietary management models, planning, separation of powers, and judicial review. We will study these issues in the context of the federal laws and policies governing mineral, energy, timber, recreation, and wildlife resources. Most of these issues involve the federal lands in the American West. We will address the fundamentals of this field as well as current controversies including state/local claims to control federal lands, energy permitting, access to resources, and privatization. Students seeking more detail on topics can view an outline here.

Class grades will be based on a variety of assessments, emphasizing short writing assignments. There will be no final exam.

Graduate students in conservation fields will take the same class under a different, cross-listed number. All students will engage is some small-group collaborations containing a mix of both law and non-law grad. students.

There are no prerequisites required for this course, though Administrative Law is very helpful. Most required reading will be from the casebook, Federal Public Land and Resources Law (8th ed. 2022) ISBN 978-1-68467-240-0. Please make sure you get the 2022 edition. The older edition is terribly out of date!