Natural Resources Law
About This Class
One third of the nation's land base belongs to the American public and much of it is managed by the United States Forest Service and agencies of the Department of the Interior. Beginning with the creation of Yellowstone, the world's first national park, in 1872, and the protection of federal forest reserves in the 1890s, the United States practically invented the concept of public lands and in the process have left an enduring gift to the nation and the world. These federal lands traditionally provided timber, minerals and forage for a growing nation. In the last 50 years, Americans have to come to appreciate their public lands for wildlife habitat, sources of clean water, wilderness, energy development and a myriad of outdoor recreation opportunities. While America's public lands are vast, they are not limitless. Resource conflicts have dominated land management decisions for the last 40 years. Those conflicts are reflected in the courts, Congress and local communities, where interest groups of all stripes vie for their share of public lands resources. Students will explore not only pertinent statutes and regulations, but the social and economic debates that are equally critical to understand federal public lands and resources. Method of evaluation: Take-home final exam and class project. AWR: No.