This course focuses on the laws and doctrines governing the acquisition and control of natural resources, including water, wildlife and federal public lands. The course begins with the history of the allocation of property interests in natural resources between the government and private citizens as well as the division of authority over natural resources between the federal government and the states and, at the federal level, among the different branches of government.
This is followed by an examination of the key federal agencies responsible for managing federal public lands, including the Forest Service, the National Park Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. The course next explores key issues surrounding the management of wildlife, including implementation of the Endangered Species Act.
Finally, the course explores challenges in modern water management in light of climate change, with particular emphasis on property “takings” disputes arising from regulatory restrictions on the use of water.