Hillary Hoffmann


Hillary Hoffmann teaches Constitutional Law, Natural Resources Law, and Native American law. Professor Hoffmann's scholarship addresses the systems governing natural resource use and allocation on public lands and tribal lands and the Constitutional tension arising from the sovereign status of indigenous nations operating in a federal system that continues to recognize federal power and authority over tribal lands. She has written and commented extensively on the administration and management of federal public lands and tribal lands, and her latest publications on these topics can be found in the L.A. Times, the Denver Law Review, and Law360. Recently, Professor Hoffmann has focused on the intersection between public land management and tribal cultural resource protection, and the particular threats faced by tribes attempting to defend their cultural heritage on federal and state lands. Listen to her interview for Public Radio International’s Living on Earth to hear more about how President Trump’s reduction of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah affected the tribal proponents of the Monument, or read her testimony before the House Natural Resources Committee on the impacts of oil and gas development (specifically, fracking) on tribal communities in Montana and North Dakota.

A native of northwest Colorado, Professor Hoffmann grew up on a small sheep ranch surrounded by the Routt National Forest, the Flattops Wilderness Area, and the Service Creek Wilderness Area. This environment fostered a life-long interest in public lands and natural resources policy, which remain the focal points of Professor Hoffmann’s teaching and scholarship. Before joining the faculty at Vermont Law School, Professor Hoffmann was in private practice in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she represented a variety of clients with recreation and conservation interests in federal public lands, including The Nature Conservancy, the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, and the Grand Canyon Trust.

Professor Hoffmann received her BA in Spanish literature with High Honors from Middlebury College and her JD from the S. J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah. In law school, she was a William H. Leary Scholar, the Richard L. Dewsnup Fellow in Natural Resource Law, and a member of the Utah Law Review.



"Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments Litigation," Environmental Law Profs Blog, December 5, 2017.

Obama Administration Settles With Navajo Nation for $554M. Vermont Journal of Environmental Law, December 10, 2014 (co-authored with Andrew Settle).​

​Tenth Circuit Issues Decision Regarding Claims to R.S. 2477 Rights of Way Over Federal Lands. Environmental Law Prof Blog, December 5, 2014.

​What Shell's Ninth Circuit Loss Means for Preemptive Suits Under the APA. Environmental Law Prof Blog, November 15, 2014.​
​The End of the Road for RS. 2477 Claimants in Canyonlands National Park. Environmental Law Prof Blog, May 2, 2014.​

Legal Advocacy

Testimony Before the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Natural Resources, Hearing on H.R. 866 and H.R. 1484, November 15, 2016.

​Brief of Amici Curiae Natural Resources and Property Law Professors in Support of Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance​, Utah Supreme Court, October 9, 2015.​

​Brief of Amici Scholars of Statutory Interpretation and Native American Law in Support of Petitioners, in Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma, et al. v. Borough of Jim Thorpe, et al., Supreme Court of the United States, July 2, 2015 (signatory).​

Brief of Amici Curiae Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. and Sierra Club in Support of Appellant the United States of America, in United States v. Estate of E. Wayne Hage, et al. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, May 16, 2014 (co-authored with John Echeverria).​


Presenter, "Tribal Natural Resources Co-Management Agreements: Transitioning Natural Resource Management From a Jurisdictional Model to an Ecological Model," Economics for the Anthropocene (E4A) Law and Governance Research Initiative and Ecological Law and Governance Association (ELGA) Workshop, McGill University Faculty of Law, Montreal, QC, October 18, 2017.

Testimony, "Legislative Hearing on H.R. 866, The Federal Lands Freedom Act and H.R. 1484, The Honor Nevada Enabling Act of 1864 Act," House Committee on Natural Resources, Nov. 15, 2016.
​Environmental Law in Indian Country​, Federa​l Bar Association, Washington, D.C., October 28, 2016.​
"Public Lands and Climate Resilience: Implementing the Paris Agreement Through Progressive Grazing Policies in the U.S. and Australia," 7th Annual Colloquium on Environmental Scholarship, Vermont Law School, September 23, 2016.
Environment Versus Development, University of Vermont Workshop, Reframing the Arctic: Cooperation, Not Conflict, July 6-7, 2015.​
"Grazing and Climate Change: Lessons for Public Land Management," 17th Institute for Natural Resources Law Teachers, Salt Lake City, UT, May 29, 2015.​
"Fracking Waste Disposal in Indian Country," Merits and Ramifications of the BLM Fracking Rule, Environmental Law Institute, May 28, 2015.
"The Unsustainable Livestock Grazing Regime on Federal Public Lands: Lessons from Abroad," First Annual Sustainability Conference of American Legal Educators, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State University, May 8, 2015.​
​"Fracking Waste Disposal in Indian Country," Vermont Journal of Environmental Law Symposium (October 2014).
"A Constitutional Critique of Utah's Transfer of Public Lands Act," Presenter, 5th Annual Colloquium on Environmental Scholarship (October 2014).​
​"The Real Public Lands Standoff in Nevada: Unsustainable Livestock Grazing and Climate Change," New England Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Woodstock, VT (April 2014).
"Demand Management and Livestock Grazing in the Great Basin: an Integrated Approach to the Climate Crisis Facing Federal Rangelands," Shapiro Symposium on Public Lands, George Washington University (March 2014).
​"Cultural Resource Protection and Federal Livestock Grazing Policy," Virtual Guest Lecture Series, Mercer University Law School (November 2013).
​Conference Organizer, 4th Annual Colloquium on Environmental Scholarship, Vermont Law School (October 2013).​
​"Managing Multiple Incompatible Uses: Why the Forest Services Livestock Grazing Policy Fails to Protect Native American Archeological Sites," 19th International Symposium on Society and Resource Management, A Time for Integration, Estes Park, Colorado (June 2013).

Awards & Accomplishments


​Member, Sierra Club Litigation Committee Member (2014-present)​​

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (2013-present)

Federal District Court for the District of Vermont (2006-present)

Vermont Supreme Court (2006-present)

Federal District Court for the District of Utah (2003-present)

Utah Supreme Court (2003-present)

American Bar Association