This course examines the laws that address the legal status and management of public lands and natural resources, as well as the history, theory and legal authority that have shaped our country’s approach to public lands management.
The course will explore the theoretical and historical underpinnings of laws and policies that affect exploitation and conservation of resources on public lands. We will analyze the conflicting values and interests that underlie policy debates over the management of natural resources, as well as the legal doctrine that attempts to reconcile those competing values and interests. Anticipated topics include laws and policies affecting minerals, freshwater resources, wilderness, rangeland, wildlife, and forests. We will also examine and critically assess the roles of various federal agencies in managing public lands, the interplay among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches in governing federal lands, and the roles of the federal and state governments in public land management.