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April 15, 2008
Zg Plater, Pat Parenteau and others to appear at 30th Anniversary Symposium of TVA v. Hill
Here is the announcement:
“A Symposium on TVA v. Hill:
A 30-Year Retrospective on the Legendary Snail Darter Case”
at The University of Tennessee College of Law, Knoxville, Friday, April 18.
The Symposium will start at noon EDST, and you are welcome to join via Webcast. The Symposium website has a variety of intersting materials.Symposium Website link The WEBCAST itself can be accessed at Webcast Link The different sections of the webcast (which will have to be individually cued, starting at noon), are
The Little T Valley: Home of the Snail Darter
The Saga of How a Citizen Suit Goes National
The TVA History of the Darter Case
The Snail Darter Case in a National Perspective
Overview Wrap-Up Panel
Exactly 30 years before this coming Friday the Supreme Court heard the oral arguments in Tennessee Valley Authority v. Hiram Hill, et al., perhaps the most dramatic national legal story to come out of Tennessee in the past 75 years. Developing over the course of most of a decade, the Tennessee lawsuit— the little endangered snail darter fish versus TVA’s Tellico Dam — became a cultural icon, famous or infamous around the world.
The University of Tennessee College of Law’s thirty-year darter-versus-dam symposium offers a beneficial opportunity finally to put the case into an academic forum and accurate perspective, free of the spins, disinformation, and politicking that graced its years of notoriety, 1973-1980. Thirty years later the elements of the controversy have become broadly clear — the dam project was never a hydro project, but a recreational and land development scheme that was found to be economically dysfunctional from the start, in a unanimous decision by the world’s first “God Committee” session under the ESA. Within a year, however, an appropriations rider nevertheless ended the case and the river. The merits of this saga will be addressed objectively in an academic forum, and lessons drawn.
Presenters include Dr. David Etnier who discovered the endangered species, several farmers who were displaced by Kelo-like condemnations, Zygmunt Plater who spent six years on the judicial, agency, and congressional battles in the case, Hank Hill & Peter Alliman who shaped the litigation effort as students at UT College of Law, Patrick Parenteau who provided sage support for the citizens’ efforts in Washington D.C. over three years of the case, Prof. Bruce Wheeler who co-authored an intensive internal history of TVA’s campaign to build the dam, and LSU Prof. Ken Murchison who wrote a recent book on the legal history of the case.
A bar journal cover story on the case can be accessed at Tennesee Bar Assn
Please join us electronically if you cannot be with us in person!
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