My work has been shaping wildfire law and policy for over a decade. Politicians have drawn upon my work in legislative discussions, advocates have cited it in briefs, and the Department of Interior Office of Policy Analysis has cited my work in wildfire reports.
A Modern Overview of Wildfire Law, 21 Fordham Envtl. L. Rev. 445 (2010) (overviewing the long-ignored legal issues associated with wildfire and advocating for increased scholarly attention to the subject).
New Governance and Industry Culture, 88 Notre Dame L. Rev. 2515 (2013) (introducing the role of private governance among timberland owners in managing American landscape, based upon grant-funded archival research at the Forest History Society at Duke University).
Contracting for Control of Landscape-Level Resources, 100 Iowa L. Rev. 2507 (2015) (co-author Dean Lueck) (introducing the notion that governance strategies for natural resources that can only be managed at a large scale, including a case study of wildfire in various areas of the Untied States).
Settling for Natural Resource Damages, 40 Harv. Envtl. L. Rev. 211 (2016) (analyzing how the Forest Service assesses costs for suppression and damages, based upon review of documents produced by a Freedom of Information Act request).
Stakeholder Collaborations, __ Az. St. L.J. __ (forthcoming 2019) (describing the 4 Forest Restoration Intiative—4FRI—a stakeholder collaboration devoted to mitigating wildfire risk).
Animal Property Rights
The legal movement within animal rights largely focuses on protecting captive species and large mammals like whales, apes, and lions. These important efforts focus on the animals most visible to humans. Yet, unsustainable land development and fishing practices are harming many species of wildlife and sea creatures, which we do not observe. Fish and wildlife populations have recently suffered staggering losses, and they stand to lose far more. My work proposes a new legal approach to protect these currently overlooked creatures. I suggest extending property rights to animals, which would allow them to own land and water interests. Humans would manage corporations or trusts at an ecosystem level with a fiduciary benefit to the animal landowners—a structure that fits within existing legal institutions. Although admittedly radical, an animal property rights regime would create tremendous gains for imperiled species with relatively few costs to humans.
I write about the nexus of sustainability, food, and non-traditional knowledge sources. I believe that the way we eat is one of the largest drivers of our impact on —and relationship to—the environment, and other people. My sabbatical research project is a book exploring the intergenerational transfer of knowledge about sustainable eating, particularly among women.
Using Takings to Undo Givings, 10 N.Y.U. J. L. & LIBERTY 649 (2017).
Everyday people—not just government officials—hold valuable knowledge about the land that they live on. Contrary to general scholarly wisdom about the administrative state, I argue that technocratic decision making does not work—and widely is not used—for public land and resource management. Land governance is inherently local and inextricably includes socio-ecological judgments. To capture these distinctive features, leading federal land management agencies use stakeholder collaborations to craft public-private solutions for managing landscapes with diverse ownership structures. My work provides a novel legal take on the field, providing at once the first longitudinal description of stakeholder collaborations in the administrative state and a doctrinal analysis of how courts should evaluate decisions reached by such collaborations. This research is informed by field research on collaborations in Alaska and Arizona to manage caribou herds and wildfires, which was partially funded by the Administrative Conference of the United States (a federal agency).
The Classical Liberal Institute at New York University Law School is hosting a two-day symposium on the influence of this paper on the fields of economics, property law, and political science. Mis-Matched Property Rights, April 12-13 2019.
New Governance and Industry Culture, 88 NOTRE DAME L. REV. 2515 (2013) (describing the role of private governance in early American forest policy in the form of the American Tree Farm System, a certification regime created by the timber industry that predated by fifty years the more familiar FSC and SFI certifications).
The United States manages natural resources held in the public trust for the collective benefit of all citizens. When human action injures certain natural resources, the government has statutory authority to pursue monetary damages, which are used to restore the resources to their pre-injury condition. As the only statutory tort remedy in environmental law, natural resource damages provide a valuable opportunity to consider the efficiency of a tort regime as a tool for addressing environmental problems. Moreover, administration of the remedy provides insights into interagency dynamics and valuation of natural resources without a market value. At present, these important inquiries are sharply limited by a lack of comprehensive information about the remedy. Commentators routinely underestimate the frequency and size of claims by failing to account for settlement, which resolves over ninety-five percent of natural resource damages matters, and lesser-known applications of the remedy.
This Article begins to fill the void of information surrounding natural resource damages settlements. It presents a novel empirical overview of all settlements by federal trustees between 1989 and 2015, constructed from data gathered by Freedom of Information Act requests to each relevant agency. The available data indicate that federal agencies settled for $10.4 billion across hundreds of claims over more than twenty years. This Article maps the statutory authorities that agencies use to provide a comprehensive overview of the field. Ultimately, the data presented in this Article lay a foundation for the important, yet under-theorized, questions surrounding the potential for statutory tort remedies to address environmental problems.
* Translated into Mandarin and reprinted in the top-ranked Chinese environmental law journal, CHINESE ENVTL. & RESOURCES L. REV., 环境资源法论丛 (forthcoming 2018).
* Reprinted in 54 ROCKY MNT. MIN. L. FDN. J. (2017).
* One of the top natural resources law articles of 2015-2016, selected by peer review.
* One of the top twenty environmental law articles of 2016-2017, selected by peer review.
Expropriating Habitat, 43 HARV. ENVTL. L. REV. __ (forthcoming 2019) (describing the incentives that cause government agencies to continually shift threatened and endangered species to lower-valued lands, including foreign countries).
Animal Property Rights, 89 U. COLO. L. REV. 809 (2018) (arguing that the Endangered Species Act is failing to prevent widespread biodiversity loss due to habitat issues and advocating for a property-rights approach to complement the ESA).
Companies, government, and scholars drive consumer/public behavior by using information science to influence how people engage with issues.
Information Flooding, 48 IND. L. REV. 755 (2015) (describing the phenomena of companies knowingly overwhelming consumers congestive limitations with respect information processing, as with greenwashing false claims of environmental attributes).