Thomas E. Meacham is a solo law practitioner in Anchorage, Alaska. His legal practice areas involve Alaska’s unique body of natural resources law, in all of its aspects. Tom’s legal experience in Alaska natural resources law goes back some 45 years, and encompasses the significant and comprehensive federal and state resource development and conservation laws that continue to shape life in Alaska. His firm, Thomas E. Meacham, Attorney at Law, concentrates primarily on the legal implications of federal and state statutes and regulations concerning mining, water, public lands, oil an gas, and Alaska Native land and resource matters, and real-property issues involving easements and rights-of-way.
Tom was admitted to the Alaska Bar in 1971, and his immersion into Alaska natural resource issues began immediately. He was fortunate to begin his law practice with an Anchorage firm (then Ely, Guess & Rudd) that was deeply involved in implementation of the Alaska Statehood Act of 1959, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA), and in the planning and construction of the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline. In 1975, Tom formed his own solo practice, dealing primarily with local municipal planning and open space issues. In 1976, Tom accepted a position as supervisor of the Natural Resources Section of the Alaska Attorney General’s Office in Anchorage. In this position from 1976 to 1982, he was the State’s lead counsel in the development of the federal Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 (ANILCA), and he remains involved in the numerous legal issues arising from this landmark Act, to the present time.
In 1982, Tom returned to private practice with the firm of Burr, Pease & Kurtz in Anchorage, where he practiced natural resources law until he began his own solo practice in 1995, which he continues today. He is admitted to the Alaska Supreme Court (1971), the U. S. District Court for Alaska (1972), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (1974), and the United States Supreme Court (1975).
Tom is the principal author of several enacted laws and ordinances at the federal, state and local levels, and is author of “Public Roads over Public Lands: The Unresolved Legacy of Revised Statute 2477 (40th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute Proceedings (1994). He has been listed since 1989 in The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of environmental, mining, natural resources, oil and gas, and water law.
Tom has been appointed to several public boards and commissions, including the Alaska Board of Game (1975-1976), the Alaska Water Resources Board (1982-1990), the Far North Bicentennial Park Board (1982-1986), and the Chugach State Park Citizens Advisory Board (1984-1987, 1994-1999).
Tom is a graduate of Dartmouth College (B. A. in Government 1965), and the University of Colorado School of Law (J. D. 1971). He served as a lieutenant in the U. S. Army Military Police Corps at Ft. Gordon, GA, Yuma Proving Ground, AZ, and Ft. Richardson, AK (1966-1969).