Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center

For more than 50 years, the University of Oregon School of Law's Environmental and Natural Resources Law (ENR) Center's focus on public interest environmental law and commitment to innovations in environmental legal education have made it one of the nation's most respected programs.


 The Administration’s Recent Tailpipe Rule: Law and Policy 

On Thursday, September 19, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a final rule to determine that California may not adopt or enforce regulations of carbon dioxide emissions from motor vehicles.  This rule upends nearly 50 years of clean air policy and disrupts an area of climate policy that has been relatively stable for almost a decade.  The state of California and 22 other states, along with the cities of Washington DC, Los Angeles and New York, immediately filed suit. In this webinar, panelists will examine the legal and policy issues that this agency action raises. Watch here. 

ENR Publishes White Paper on Tribal Tools and Legal Levers for Halting Fossil Fuel Infrastructure in the Pacific Northwest

ENR's Native Environmental Sovereignty Project recently published the "Tribal Guide to the Legal Landscape of Fossil Fuel Infrastructure Projects."  Fossil fuel projects affecting tribal lands and resources pose great risks to the health, safety. and well-being of tribes, particularly in the Pacific Northwest. Tribes have several legal tools available to address fossil fuel infrastructure projects.  This guide provides an overview of the various legal issues, rules, and arguments that are relevant to tribal efforts to help address fossil fuel projects.  The guide is divided into two sections: tribal prerogatives at the federal, state, and local level for (1) projects occurring on reservation lands and 2) for projects occurring off reservation lands.  Read it here.

Professor Mary C. Wood Receives UO Sustainability Research Innovation Award 

On May 21, 2019, Professor Mary Wood accepted the University Sustainability Award for Research Innovation. The Research Innovation Award recognizes innovations that were developed in the course of UO Research and are now offered as a product or service that improves sustainability. Professor Wood receives the award for developing a legal pathway called Atmospheric Trust Litigation. Charles Williams, the Associate Vice President for Innovation, referenced a quote from Professor Bill Rogers when presenting the award: "You never will win if you don’t ask. So, what are you going to do? Are they going to say no? Giving the system a try is important. You can never stop asking. In many ways if you just build the record, they say ‘no’ seven times but each time it gets harder to explain. So I’m really happy to see all these things that have happened with the Public Trust Doctrine. Learn more here. 

Study Offers New Approach for Willamette River Drought Fixes 

Efforts to provide for agricultural, urban and environmental needs along the river could be enhanced if they are implemented upstream in advance of projected water shortages, a six-member team from five institutions, including the University of Oregon, reported in the July 15 issue of the journal Nature Sustainability. For the study — led by Oregon State University economist William Jaeger — Adell Amos, the UO’s Clayton R. Hess Professor of Law and associate dean for academic affairs in the UO School of Law, focused on the integration of water law and policy for comprehensive modeling that pulls from both human and natural systems. Read the article here. 

When Honey Bees Hit The Road: The Role of Federal, State, and Local Laws in Regulating Honey Bee Transportation

The ENR Center recently completed a white paper titled "When Honey Bees Hit the Road: The Role of Federal, State, and Local Laws in Regulating Honey Bee Transportation" written by ENR Contract Researcher Deb Mailander and Zoe Grant, an ENR Fellow in the Food Resiliency Project. Each year, millions of honey bees travel thousands of miles- not on their wings but via the highway or a postal service. This report analyzes the regulatory framework governing bees that are purchased and shipped between states and communities. Read it here. 

From Wolves to the Warning to Humanity: Facing the Environmental Crisis Through Science 

Featuring OSU's Dr. Bill Ripple, Professor of Ecology, founder of the Alliance of World Scientists, and co-author of the World Scientists' Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice.Ripple will present his work on how the far-reaching impacts of wolves are affecting the ecosystem in Yellowstone National Park. He will illustrate how he transitioned from Yellowstone to other national parks in western North America and beyond to demonstrate both the benefits of wild large predators and the costs of their demise. Ripple will disclose how his conservation research and general concern about the global environment and climate change led to him publishing the letter “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice.” Featuring special guest, Congressman Peter DeFazio. Monday April 22, 2019 at 7:00 PM. 156 Straub Hall, University of Oregon. Watch Here

Innovative Oregon: Building A Climate for Success 

Oregon has long been admired for its natural resources and the state's economy has been dependent upon these resources since the start of statehood. As a result, Oregon is well-positioned to be a model for natural resource conservation, renewable energy expansion, and carbon reduction policy. Join us as we hear from state lawmakers, agencies, businesses, and attorneys to learn about how Oregon is paving the way in these fields. Topics will cover water conservation policy, business trusts, prospective growth in renewable energy, and a other sustainable legislation. Register here. 

ENR Center Moves Up in National Ranking 

The Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center of the University of Oregon School of Law is again a top-ranked academic program according to U.S. News and World Report. The program rose to #8 in the nation. The ENR Center has consistently ranked among the leading environmental law programs in the U.S. for 14 years. Read more. 

ENR Law Center receives National Jurist highest grade among nation’s best

The University of Oregon School of Law’s Environmental Natural Resources Law Center received a grade of ‘A+’ according to newly released rankings from preLaw magazine, a publication of The National Jurist. A+ is the highest score possible on its new list of best law school programs. The magazine graded law schools based on the breadth of curricular offerings. Oregon ENR program’s focus on public interest environmental law and commitment to innovation in legal education have made it one of the nation’s most respected programs for more than 50 years. Read more. 


60 Minutes Interviews UO Student 

"Juliana — who, like the other plaintiffs, was a teen when the suit originally was filed — has taken her message of climate recovery nationally and internationally. In response, young people from around the world have been inspired to take action. However, despite speaking about the lawsuit to so many audiences, she and the other plaintiffs are still waiting for the chance to testify before a federal court in Eugene." Watch on CBS. 


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