Public Natural Resources

B675 is taught by R. Fischman

This course will examine the tension between public control of and private interests in natural resources. The course will begin 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; separation of powers; judicial review; and public participation. We will study these issues in the context of the laws and policies governing mineral, energy, timber, recreation, wildlife, and preservation resources. Most of these issues involve the federal public lands in the American West and the policies that guide their management. 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:

The course will be online-only, asynchronous. But students will have frequent opportunities to meet in Zoom sessions with the professor at different times each week in order to accommodate everyone. Class grades will be based on a variety of assessments, emphasizing frequent, 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, online collaborations containing a mix of both law and non-law grad. students.

There are no prerequisites required for this course, though Administrative Law (even taken concurrently) is very helpful. There is no book to be purchased for this class. All material will be available on Canvas.