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John Leshy on the Constitutionality of Public Lands

Published on: Author: Dave Owen

Must the federal government turn over federal public lands to the states? Several years ago, the Utah Legislature appropriated several hundred thousand dollars to study this very question. Not surprisingly, since the study was written by attorneys who hoped to litigate these same claims, the answer was “yes.” This was not exactly a new position.… Continue reading

David Takacs on Biodiversity Offsetting and the Law

Published on: Author: John Leshy

“Are Koalas Fungible? Biodiversity Offsetting and the Law,” recently published in NYU Environmental Law Journal, is the latest product of Professor David Takacs’s more than two-decade-old exploration of humankind’s efforts to protect the earth’s dwindling biodiversity. So far, his project has produced a book on the concept of biodiversity and numerous articles. This paper is the… Continue reading

Dave Owen on the Conservative Turn Against Compensatory Mitigation

Published on: Author: John Leshy

In his new article titled “The Conservative Turn Against Compensatory Migration,” published earlier this year in Environmental Law, Professor Dave Owen starts with a question that has puzzled more than a few observers of environmental regulation over the past year or so; namely, why has the Trump Administration (through Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke) denounced, and appeared to abandon, an idea long embraced by many conservatives, of permitting resource… Continue reading

David Takacs on South Africa’s Treatment of Water Rights

Published on: Author: Dave Owen

As it emerged from decades of legal apartheid, South Africa also embarked on an ambitious program of water-law reform. At its core were two ideas. The first was to treat an old legal concept—the public-trust doctrine—as a foundation for the emerging legal system. That meant treating water as a common resource, to be held by… Continue reading

Dave Owen on Debunking the Myths of Environmental Law

Published on: Author: David Takacs

In his scholarly works, Professor Dave Owen often starts by telling the story that everyone knows about a certain central doctrine of environmental law, and then uses empirical data to meticulously pick apart why that narrative that everyone knows is right is actually wrong. In so doing, he’s not just trying to skewer sacred cows;… Continue reading