Natural Resources

Fall 2011 Natural Resources Law Class at UB

About August 30, 2011

This is the blog and class website for Natural Resources with Professor Jessica Owley at SUNY-Buffalo. This site contains pertinent course information and serves as a forum for discussions about natural resources.

Course Description: This course provides an overview of the laws aimed at managing and preserving natural resources and biodiversity through a variety of private, regulatory, informational, and public land-management mechanisms. Students will examine statutes, regulations, and other mechanisms governing the management of the federal lands and their resources. Students will consider the historical, political, and ecological influences on the law and management of these resources. This course will introduce the agencies with jurisdiction over the components of the federal estate and environmental regulation. Through this lens, students will strengthen their understanding of administrative law, constitutional law, and statutory interpretation. The course also covers regulation of natural resources—including land, water, and biodiversity—on state, tribal, and private land.

There will be approximately 30 pages of reading for each class. Class requirements include attending, being prepared for and participating in class, and participating in an online discussion group. There will be three writing assignments during the semester. There is no final exam for this class.


  • Class Participation: 10%
  • Assignment #1: 20%
  • Assignment #2: 30%
  • Assignment #3: 40%

Class participation grade is based on being prepared for and participating in class as well as participating in the class blog.

Contact Info:

Professor Jessica Owley

Office: 722 O’Brian Hall


Phone: 716-645-8182 (but e-mail is preferred)

Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday 3:30 to 5pm or by appointment

Assistant: Linda Kelly in 717 O’Brian


One Response to “About”

  1. bpodkano Says:

    Well since I’m seemingly unable to post to this blog thus far, I will enter my blog post(s) here:

    Post 1 from earlier this week:

    Post 2:

    I recall someone in one of my first-year classes last year discussing the City of Los Angeles having approved a veritable ban on plastic bags. Now, according to a post on Legal Planet (, one Los Angeles City Council member is talking about taking such a shopping bag ban even further by banning paper shopping bags as well.

    According to the post, paper bags have been allowed for a nominal fee. Knowing that California and specifically Los Angeles are more progressive than much of the United States, I would venture a guess that many middle-to-upper class shoppers use canvas shopping bags that have become more prevalent as a way to combat shopping bag pollution.

    Given that the plastic bag ban has been in effect for a relatively short period of time, it seems like implementing an even more stringent ban so quickly might encounter some opposition. If there’s anything that I’ve learned about making laws and regulations, it’s that slow and steady wins the legislative race. Pushing these changes suddenly on shoppers could result in backlash.

    Perhaps informing residents of the proposal’s impending approval, and after a contingent trial period full implementation, would give people time to prepare and adjust.

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