Natural Resources Law and Policy

Emmett Institute faculty are leading experts on natural resources law, including water safety, the governance of tropical forests, protection of the California coast, and more.

Donald Bren Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law James Salzman is the author of 12 books and more than 100 articles and book chapters on a range of natural resources law issues. Salzman’s book, Drinking Water: A History, is now in its second edition. Professor William Boyd is an expert on the governance of tropical forests, and leads the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force, a subnational collaboration of 38 states and provinces working to protect tropical forests and provide pathways for rural development. Emmett Institute co-executive director Sean Hecht has authored scholarly analyses and submitted briefs and comment letters supporting sound management of federal lands and natural resources.

UCLA Law students have opportunities to develop skills in natural resources law through doctrinal courses and seminars covering topics including water law, endangered species, federal lands management, marine ecosystems, and more. Student projects through the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic have included work to protect endangered species and to limit extractive activities on public and tribal lands.

Emmett Institute faculty respond to natural resources issues in state, local, federal, and international jurisdictions. Salzman has served as a Member of the Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee and the National Drinking Water Advisory Committees, government-appointed bodies providing high-level counsel to the EPA Administrator. Through the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force, Boyd engages frequently with governors and subnational leaders in Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru, and other countries with significant forest resources, leading engagement with the UN, the state of California, and other entities to protect forests and rural livelihoods.

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