Find Lawyers in Portland, Oregon for Natural Resources Law
Aaron Courtney is a partner practicing in Stoel Rives’ Environment, Land Use and Natural Resources group. He represents energy, municipal, industrial, agricultural and developer clients on compliance, permitting and litigation issues under the Clean Water Act (CWA) (with a particular emphasis on Section 404 and Section 10 permitting), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) (focusing on Bureau of ...
Barbara Craig is a forester turned attorney and as such she brings an understanding in science, biology and public policy that provides for forging creative solutions to conflicts relating to federal permitting. She began her practice during the northern spotted owl debates and the President’s Forest Plan that was followed by the Salmon Summit commenced by Senator Hatfield. She focuses her practice on federal and environmental law and has followed iconic landscape species debates that h...
David Filippi is a partner of Stoel Rives who practices in the areas of natural resources, environmental and land use law, concentrating his practice on water rights and water quality, fish and wildlife law, hydropower relicensing, and project facility siting and permitting. David has been closely involved in the development and implementation of numerous Endangered Species Act compliance strategies on behalf of both public and private clients. His experience includes section 7 consultations ...
Laura Maffei brings her experience as a geologist to her practice in environmental and natural resources law. She has extensive experience in Clean Water Act regulation in both Oregon and Washington where she assists clients with negotiating permit conditions and complying with permits. Ms. Maffei has litigated a number of Clean Water Act cases in both state and federal court, including defending against citizen suits and challenges to state-wide Clean Water Act regulations. Ms. Maffei provid...
Merissa Moeller advises clients on water resources, natural resources, and land use matters, applying her diverse experience representing individual landowners and developers, businesses and local governments, state natural resources agencies, an interstate land use planning commission, and the courts. With that broad policy perspective, Merissa strives to ground legal challenges in the real world, to deliver practical solutions for clients. Merissa’s practice includes strategic counsel...
Natural Resources Law Definition
Natural resources law is occasionally confused with environmental law, but the fields are distinct. Environmental law is what you may not do; natural resources law is what you may do and how to do it. It is the body of law that organizes the discovery, development, allocation, ownership, management, and ultimately use of all the raw materials that our civilization is built from, and of the energy sources that make it run. In a practical sense, this term has come to mean the constellation of statutory, regulatory, and judicial law that customarily applies to the major natural resource industries such as mining, oil and gas, water, and forestry.
This body of law draws heavily from contract, property, and corporate law, but also has substantial overlap with environmental, tax, land use, administrative, and even tort law. The set of legal issues that confront, for example, a client wishing to organize a company to develop a particular offshore or onshore mineral deposit, is unique. Therefore, the diversity and specificity of these issues led to the emergence of specialized natural resource lawyers.
Natural resource lawyers also must be familiar with the business realities that affect their clients. They are experienced with the operational details and points of negotiation in the contracts and physical operations that are common and also unique to a particular resource. They must alert clients to potential traps for the unwary in the case law of their jurisdiction, navigate government regulations to accomplish their clients’ goals, and assemble transactions from the myriad property and operational issues that exist for each particular resource. For example, the mechanics and economics of the development of oil and gas versus hard minerals such as coal has led to dramatically different business structures and contracts to develop these distinct resources.
Some natural resource lawyers specialize in unwinding the often Gordian ownership of mineral resources, others are skilled in litigating the unique disputes that arise in the context of development joint ventures, and still others can structure natural resource projects from exploration, to development and sale. In recent years, the natural resource industries have acquired a significant international dimension; in this context natural resource lawyers can provide invaluable orientation and counsel to foreign companies investing in mineral projects in the United States, or domestic companies seeking to expand their presence globally.
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