Environmental Law: Wildlife, Public Lands, and Fisheries
Semester: Spring 2016
Class Unique: 27984
Course ID: 241L
Credit Hours: 2
This two credit course focuses on the legal issues relevant to efforts to conserve and regulate the use of public lands, wildlife, and fisheries in the United States. These issues include, among others, competing claims of the "public interest" versus private property rights; the roles of administrative agencies and the judiciary in environmental decision making; tensions presented by the multiple use/sustainable yield standard in federal law; conflicts among and between local, state, and federal approaches to natural resource regulation; and the opposing goals of resource management espoused by commercial interests, ranchers, environmentalists, native populations and local communities, and recreational users of publically-owned land. The course explores the regulatory schemes embodied in several of the federal statutes that govern management decisions, the constitutional bases for federal and state government regulation of public and private land, and the policy issues facing decision makers today as they consider mechanisms to address current threats to natural resources, such as climate change and drought. We examine the tradeoffs inherent in the development of energy resources on public lands, innovative market mechanisms to protect rare wildlife species, and the challenges of addressing overfishing around the globe.
During the course, students become engaged in natural resources decision-making through the use of a simulation and a case study, in order to gain experience with applying the regulatory framework to facts and balancing competing values in a natural resource management context.