Natural Resources

The West is rife with natural resource protection and management challenges, many of which are exacerbated by climate change and population growth.  Issues include forest health and fire prevention; energy development (both traditional fossil fuels and renewable energy); threatened and endangered species; water quality; and land development regulation. Natural resource law and policy are also in flux, as localities, states and the federal government seek to adapt their systems to a changing world.  

Our team is well-qualified to help you navigate all of these natural resource issues and more.  We each have strong grounding in the full range of environmental laws and policies, and have a finger on the pulse of changes on the horizon. We also benefit from our relationship with Perkins Coie, whose nationally-recognized environmental practice can provide our clients will access to specialized expertise in many key areas of environmental and natural resources law.

Representative Experience

  • Representing clients in the siting and development of renewable and natural gas energy projects, including air and water permitting, NEPA, ESA, Section 404, and other environmental reviews, and supporting related environmental and community outreach, real estate acquisitions, facility transfers, and financing transactions.
  • Assistance to an alliance of landowners and local government officials in the Texas Hill Country, dealing with land development, habitat protection and growth pressures.
  • Establishing and working with a coalition of conservation organizations to change the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approach to wetlands protection and restoration in coastal Louisiana, and developing a Section 404 permitting approach utilizing combined nationwide general permits for a restorative agriculture strategy.
  • High-level engagement in a NEPA process leading to the development of a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision for the operation of the major federal dams on the Colorado River system, including the successful development of a complete stakeholder-developed alternative in the EIS, supportive hydrological modeling, and detailed comments on other alternatives.  
  • Management of a team promoting innovative approaches to Endangered Species Act compliance, including habitat conservation plans, safe harbor agreements, and use of conservation funding from the federal Farm Bill.
  • Developing a proposed plan for the formation of an inter-tribal Natural Resource Damage trustee to address legacy uranium contamination on tribal lands.  
  • Advising a state land manager on approaches to develop conservation and mitigation banks on state-owned trust lands.
  • Assisting a master plan developer in the negotiation of a comprehensive resource management plan covering private, state, and federally-owned lands.
  • Advising clients on a range of traditional environmental law matters, including Clean Water Act permitting and compliance, Clean Air Act permitting and compliance, and CERCLA and RCRA matters.