Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Event Date



Summer Conference (15th: 1994: Boulder, Colo.)


Sponsored by the University of Colorado's Natural Resources Law Center and the Byron R. White Center for American Constitutional Study.

Conference organizers, faculty and/or moderators included University of Colorado School of Law professors David H. Getches, Lawrence J. MacDonnell, Gene R. Nichol, Jr. and Mark Squillace.

Governmental regulation for environmental protection and other important public purposes can affect the manner in which land and natural resources are developed and used. The U.S. constitution (and most state constitutions) prohibit the government from "taking" property without payment of compensation. Originally intended to apply to situations where the government physically seized private property for public use, the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment has been applied by courts to situations where the application of government regulation is deemed to have effectively "taken" private property.

In recent years there has been an explosion of litigation asserting that certain regulatory activities by federal, state, and local government constitute such a taking of property. Much of this litigation has arisen in situations involving government regulation for what might be broadly characterized as environmental protection purposes.

This conference examines the federal constitutional law of takings as it has been articulated by the U.S: Supreme Court. It then turns to a detailed consideration of the state of the law as it has developed in relation to environmental control of land and natural resources uses. In particular, speakers will discuss takings cases arising in the context of wetlands use, surface mining, public lands, water, and endangered species.

Speakers include leading constitutional and resource law scholars as well as private practitioners and government attorneys involved in takings litigation.


Gene R. Nichol, Lawrence J. MacDonnell

Alternate Title

What Are the Constitutional Limits?