The eJournal is sponsored by the Environmental Law Center at the Vermont Law School, home to one of the nation's leading environmental law programs. Since establishing the Environmental Law Center in 1978, Vermont Law School has been training people to be environmental leaders in government, nonprofits, corporations, and private practice - locally, nationally, and internationally. With the largest and deepest graduate environmental law program in the country, the Environmental Law Center offers the most comprehensive environmental law and policy curriculum in the nation for law students, and also confers the Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP) and Master of Laws in Environmental Law (LLM) degrees, as well as a joint JD/MELP degree. The Vermont Law School's Environmental Law Center is also home to the Institute for Energy and the Environment, Environmental Tax Policy Institute, Climate Legacy Initiative, Land Use Institute, Partnership for Environmental Law in China, and Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic.

Table of Contents

Wilderness and Culture

Eric T. Freyfogle, University of Illinois College of Law

Adaptive Management and the Future of Environmental Law

Eric Biber, University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

A Political Ecology of Sovereignty in Practice and on the Map: The Technicalities of Law, Participatory Mapping, and Environmental Governance

Tyler McCreary, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia
Vanessa Lamb, Independent

Sponsored by the Environmental Law Center at Vermont Law School

"Wilderness and Culture" Free Download
Environmental Law, Fall 2014, Forthcoming

ERIC T. FREYFOGLE, University of Illinois College of Law

The term wilderness is one the more mischievous, elusive, and conflict-laden words in the English language. The ways we think and talk about wilderness are well embedded in modern culture and the debates surrounding it have as much to do with meaning, values, and human perceptions as they do with the ever-changing physical world itself. This essay explores the complex ways that wilderness and contemporary culture are linked. Its central claim is that the cultural clashes surrounding wilderness arise out of and reflect, not just larger cultural currents, but fundamental confusions or deficiencies in the ways we comprehend the world and our place in it. They reflect deficiencies in the ways we think about ourselves as distinct beings, in our understandings of normative values and their origins and legitimacy, and in the limits nature imposes on our modes of living. These intellectual shortcomings play key causal roles in our ongoing patterns of misusing the natural order. They also help explain why we struggle so much to see the errors in our ways and to improve them, even when we have the facts and technology to do better. Once we see wilderness clearly, separating physical reality from the human-constructed, we can gain a better sense of our ecological plight. We can also see better how wilderness areas can benefit us, not just by supporting the health of landscapes, but by providing places and opportunities to stimulate much-needed cultural change.

"Adaptive Management and the Future of Environmental Law" Free Download
Akron Law Review, Vol. 46, No. 4, 2013

ERIC BIBER, University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

Adaptive management is the new paradigm in environmental law. It is omnipresent in scholarship and management documents and is even starting to appear in court opinions. There have been many calls for environmental law to adapt itself to adaptive management by becoming more flexible and dynamic. But does adaptive management really warrant a revolution in environmental law? Or is it adaptive management that might need to adapt to the world of environmental law? There has been an abundance of scholarship on the strengths of adaptive management, making the case for changing environmental law to embrace adaptive management. But answering the two questions above also requires a close examination of the limits of adaptive management and whether it is important enough for environmental law that wholesale changes in the legal structure are required. In this Article, I summarize the literature noting those limits, and my conclusion is that those limits are significant enough that we should be wary of wholesale revisions of environmental law to allow adaptive management to occur. Adaptive management has an important role to play, but there are many questions that it cannot answer. Moreover, the increased flexibility and dynamism that have been called for in environmental law would carry their own costs.

"A Political Ecology of Sovereignty in Practice and on the Map: The Technicalities of Law, Participatory Mapping, and Environmental Governance" 
(Co-authored with Vanessa Lamb) in Leiden Journal of International Law 27(3): 595-619. DOI:10.1017/S0922156514000223

TYLER MCCREARY, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia
VANESSA LAMB, Independent

This article examines the relationships between representations and operations of sovereignty in natural resource governance. We advance a 'political ecology of sovereignty', examining the participation of non-state actors in resource governance processes. We particularly argue that processes of integrating subaltern populations through mapping local ecological knowledge can modify effective governance practices while nonetheless reproducing the legibility of state sovereign authority and its territorial boundaries. Exploring the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline in Canada, we suggest that state jurisdictional authority is secured through incorporating indigenous interests as a delimited geography of tradition. Examining the Hatgyi hydroelectric development along the Thai-Burmese border, we argue that the territorial boundaries of those nation-states are rearticulated through the governance of this transboundary development. Through these cases, we demonstrate how the insertion of local knowledge works not only to reconfigure effective governance processes but also to reinforce the effect of state sovereignty in new ways.


About this eJournal

Sponsored by: Institute for Energy and the Environment at the Vermont Law School. This eJournal distributes working and accepted paper abstracts dealing with the regulation, management, and distribution of natural resources. The eJournal will discuss a diverse array of natural resource topics such as public and private land use, wildlife and biodiversity, forest protection, mineral rights, parks and wilderness, the public trust doctrine, water and wetlands, and tribal lands and resources.


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Advisory Board

Natural Resources Law & Policy eJournal

Professor of Law, Northeastern University School of Law

Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz

Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law

Associate Professor of Law, University of Maine - School of Law

Robert F. Stanton Professor of Law and Director of the Environmental Law Program, University of Maryland - Francis King Carey School of Law

Assistant Professor of Law, Lewis & Clark Law School

David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair in Law, Vanderbilt University - Law School

Professor of Law and Director of the Natural Resources Law Center, University of Colorado Law School

Associate Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin Law School

Professor of Law, Boston University School of Law