What are the Top 10 Natural Resources Stories?

Lots of folks in legal academia are familiar with Foundation Press’ popular Law Stories series; around here on Legal Planet, we are particularly familiar with Environmental Law Stories (pictured right), edited by Richard Lazarus and Oliver Houck, to which Dan and Holly contributed a chapter.

It’s a very useful book, and I’m a fan.  But I couldn’t help thinking that we could also use a  volume focusing on Natural Resources.  Standard environmental law classes focus on pollution control and management, whereas natural resources classes focus on public lands and the resources in them, e.g. water rights, mining claims, forests, rangelands, etc.  There are overlaps — NEPA and the Endangered Species Act come to mind — but in the curriculum, and perhaps in practice, they are distinct.  Generally speaking, for example, water rights lawyers don’t spend a lot of time figuring out how to comply with the Clean Water Act.

It seems that Foundation has, unfortunately, discontinued the series, but it would still be a useful exercise to identify what cases or statutes might be in a Natural Resources Stories volume.  The two that immediately come to mind for me are Arizona v. California, which is the linchpin of the Law of the Colorado River, and Nat’l Audubon Soc’y v. Superior Court, which brought the public trust doctrine back into the heart of contemporary environmental issues.  Sean has previously blogged here about Glamis Mining Ltd. v. California, a recent NAFTA arbitration decision that brought international law into US resources issues front and center.

So what about it?  What else would be in such a volume?  And would another press be interested?

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Reader Comments

One Reply to “What are the Top 10 Natural Resources Stories?”

  1. Practitioner here. I’m currently reading and very much enjoying this book.
    A few I can think of would be Hickel v. Oil Shale Corp., Amoco Production v. Southern Ute, and Kleppe v. New Mexico. The mineral king case isn’t in Envtl. Law Stories, but is subsumed in the “Laidlaw” chapter.
    Then again, I believe “Admin. Law Stories” has its own “Chevron” chapter, so there’s nothing to say a TVA v. Hill chapter couldn’t be rewritten for a different volume…althought I thought it was very good as already written. A book on Nautral Resources law, in my view, would narrow down into areas of specialization that would seem to justify their own volumes, water law stories, tribal law stories, original action stories–but if a seminal case were taken from each area it could be the context for discussing any other cases.

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Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic – Land Use, the Environment and Loc…

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