Law 293 - Public Natural Resources Law and Policy

Sean B. Hecht

Sean B. Hecht

Co-Executive Director, Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
Evan Frankel Professor of Policy and Practice
Co-Director, UCLA Law Environmental Law Clinic
B.A. Yale, 1988
J.D. University of Michigan, 1995
UCLA Faculty Since 2003
Course Description:

This course examines the laws that address the legal status and management of public lands and natural resources, as well as the history, theory and legal authority that have shaped our country’s approach to public lands management.

The course will explore the theoretical and historical underpinnings of laws and policies that affect exploitation and conservation of resources on public lands. We will analyze the conflicting values and interests that underlie policy debates over the management of natural resources, as well as the legal doctrine that attempts to reconcile those competing values and interests. Anticipated topics include laws and policies affecting minerals, freshwater resources, marine resources, wilderness, rangeland, wildlife, and forests. We will also examine and critically assess the roles of various federal agencies in managing public lands, the interplay among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches in governing federal lands, and the roles of the federal and state governments in public land management.

Course Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this course students will be able to:  

1. gain exposure to various approaches to several areas of federal public lands and natural resources law

2. understand and apply the laws and policies that govern federal public lands and natural resources

3. be able to understand the conceptual underpinnings of public lands and natural resources law and policy

4. be familiar with the conflicts of values and interests that inform public lands and natural resources law and policy

5. understand the range of, and limits of, law and policy tools to address natural resources challenges