Friday, February 15, 2013

Perpetual Conservation Easements: What Have We Learned and Where Should We Go From Here?

Today, Friday, February 15, 2013, the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law is hosting its third annual academic conference.  The topic is Perpetual Conservation Easements: What Have We Learned and Where Should We Go From Here?.  Organized by Prof. Nancy McLaughlin, the event promises a fascinating deep dive into a complex and interesting topic.

If you can't attend in Salt Lake City, watch live via the internet.


The agenda (all times MST):

12:00 p.m.


Robert B. Keiter, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law

Introductory Remarks

Nancy A. McLaughlin, Robert W. Swenson Professor of Law,
University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law

12:20 p.m.

Federal Tax Incentives

  • History - Theodore S. Sims, Professor of Law, Boston University School of Law; Formerly with the Treasury Department
  • IRS Response to Abuses - Karin Gross, Supervisory Attorney, IRS Office of Chief Counsel
  • Proposed Reforms - Roger Colinvaux, Associate Professor of Law, The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law; Former Counsel to the Joint Committee on Taxation

1:20 p.m.

State Enabling Statutes

  • History - K. King Burnett, Uniform Law Commissioner, Member of Uniform Conservation Easement Drafting Committee
  • Unintended Consequences of “Easement” Terminology - Michael Allan Wolf, Professor of Law and Richard E. Nelson Chair in Local Government Law, University of Florida Levin College of Law, University of Florida Levin College of Law; Editor of Powell on Real Property
  • Reforms - Jeffrey Pidot, Former Chief of the Natural Resources Division of the Maine Attorney General’s Office (retired); Originator of Maine’s Enabling Statute Reforms

2:20 p.m. Break

2:45 - 3:45 p.m.

Charity Oversight

  • Cases and Controversies - Nancy A. McLaughlin, Robert W. Swenson Professor of Law, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law
  • History - Marion R. Fremont-Smith, Senior Research Fellow, Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Harvard University
  • Limits of Self-Regulation - Melanie B. Leslie, Professor of Law, Cardozo Law School

3:45 - 4:45 p.m.

Working With State Attorney General Offices

  • Overview of Attorney General’s Role in Charitable Sector - Mark A. Pacella, Chief Deputy Attorney General, Charitable Trusts and Organizations Section, Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General
  • Working With the Attorney General’s Office in New Hampshire - Terry M. Knowles, Assistant Director, Charitable Trusts Unit, Department of Attorney General of New Hampshire
  • Working With the Attorney General’s Office in California - Darla Guenzler, Executive Director, California Council of Land Trusts

4:45 - 5:00 p.m.

Concluding Remarks­­—Taking The Long View

Wendy Fisher, Executive Director, Utah Open Lands Conservation Association

-Lincoln Davies

February 15, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Taking Groundwater?

Almost exactly one year ago, the Texas Supreme Court issued a decision that ranks—at least by the modest standards of groundwater litigation—as a blockbuster.   In Edwards Aquifer Authority v. Day, 369 S.W.3d 814 (Tex. 2012), the court held that landowners own property rights in groundwater beneath their land, even before they pump that groundwater, and that restrictions on groundwater use could create a taking.  This caused a stir among water lawyers.  The application of takings doctrine to surface water rights was already a hot topic, particularly following the federal government’s defeat in Tulare Lake Basin Water Storage Authority v. United States, 49 Fed. Cl. 313 (2001).  Day provides a reminder that the water/takings battle also has a growing subterranean front.

The Day decision inspired me to see what other courts have had to say about takings claims involving groundwater.   The answer, it turns out, is quite a lot, and the cases hold lessons for larger debates about water rights and takings.  Those cases and lessons, some ideas for the future evolution of groundwater/takings law, and the reasons why we should care all are summarized in greater detail here.  The article is still a draft, and I welcome reader comments.

-Dave Owen

February 14, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

18th Annual Stegner Center Symposium - Religion, Faith, and the Environment

The University of Utah law school's Stegner Center for Land, Resources and the Environment is proud to announce its 18th Annual Symposium, which this year will focus on the topic Religion, Faith, and the Environment.


Details, the conference agenda, and registration are available here.

-Lincoln Davies

February 14, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Utah Law Review Annual Special Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law Issue

The Utah Law Review--the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law's flagship publication--has announced that it will begin publishing an annual special issue on environmental, natural resources, and energy law.  The issue will publish on a schedule opposite the Colorado Law Review's special natural resources law issue.  The announcement and details are below:

The Utah Law Review is excited to announce the inaugural Environmental & Natural Resources Issue, to be published next winter, Utah Law Review, Vol. 2013, No. 6 (expected in print December 2013).

This new special winter issue, Issue 6 of each year’s Utah Law Review, replaces the Utah Environmental Law Review specialty journal.  This robust issue will feature 4 to 6 scholarly works solicited through article selection, student works, and dynamic symposium pieces published in coordination with the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources and the Environment. Published works will focus on significant issues in natural resources, energy, and environmental law and policy.   

We look forward to working with scholars to publish pieces that illuminate the challenges and opportunities in this evolving and critically important field.  While we will be selecting a majority of our articles through the spring article submission process, we also plan to reserve space for articles submitted in the fall submission season.

For more information, please contact:

Stephen Dent
Utah Law Review

Erin St. John
Environmental Editor
Utah Law Review

-Lincoln Davies

February 13, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Univ. of Washington Young Environmental Law Scholars Annual Workshop

The University of Washington law school has issued a call for papers for its annual Young Environmental Law Scholars Workshop, a fantastically helpful and well-organized event.  Details are below:

Call for Papers
UW Young Environmental Law Scholars Annual Workshop
University of Washington School of Law
Seattle, Washington
July 10-12, 2013

The University of Washington is pleased to announce the 2nd Annual UW Young Environmental Law Scholars Workshop. This collegial two-day workshop features discussion of works-in-progress by ten early career environmental law scholars: professors with two or fewer years of tenure, pre-tenure professors, visiting assistant professors, or legal fellows.   We welcome submissions from the broad fields of environmental, natural resources, and energy law.  

Participating junior scholars will be asked to submit an unpublished work-in-progress one month before the workshop. Each paper will be circulated to the entire group for review and assigned to one senior scholar and one junior scholar for detailed commentary. At the workshop, each paper will receive an hour of discussion: a brief presentation by the author, followed by detailed comments from the designated junior and senior scholars, and then a more general review by the group. The overall aims of this process are to promote scholarly discussion and to facilitate rigorous early review for works to be offered for publication in a law journal.

The senior scholars participating in this year’s workshop are:

  • Robert T. Anderson - Director, Native American Law Center, University of Washington
  • William H. Rodgers - Stimson Bullitt Professor of Environmental Law, University of Washington
  • Mark Squillace - Director, Natural Resources Law Center, University of Colorado
  • Wendy E. Wagner - Joe A. Worsham Centennial Professor, University of Texas
  • Sandra B. Zellmer - Robert B. Daugherty Professor of Law, University of Nebraska

To apply, please submit a cover letter, an abstract of no more than 500 words, and a C.V. to by March 1, 2013.

All meals will be included. Participants will be responsible for their travel and lodging costs.

-Lincoln Davies

February 12, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)