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 (e.g. the armed standoff at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge), renewable energy permitting, access to resources, and privatization.

Most class sessions will be discussion-oriented. Professor Fischman welcomes graduate students representing a wide variety of fields to bring a multi-disciplinary perspective to public natural resource law and policy reform. This course may satisfy either of the law school#s upper-level writing requirements. During the first week of the semester, students will opt for either a single major research (seminar) paper or a series of short writing assignments due throughout the term.

Most required reading will be from the case book Federal Public Land and Resources Law, by Coggins, Wilkinson, Leshy & Fischman (7th ed. 2014). The table of contents reflects the materials we will consider in this course. An outline of the contents appears here: (link)

There are no prerequisites required for this course.