Jerd Smith

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Event Date



Summer Conference (29th: 2008: Boulder, Colo.)


Presenter: Jerd Smith, Reporter, Rocky Mountain News

11 slides


Tom Yulsman


The Center’s 29th annual conference will focus on the changes in the West resulting from rapid population growth, development, disrupted historical weather patterns and the effects of those changes on land, water, and energy resources. Speakers and panelists will address the adaptability of the legal and political institutions and how the transformation of the West may foreshadow fundamental changes to these institutions.

The agenda includes panel discussions that will address:

  • Water for the 21st Century —the big questions in Western water and rethinking Western water law.
  • The Future of Energy —practical and sophisticated solutions to overcome the energy bottle-necks to meet the overarching goal of climate neutrality.
  • Values of the American West —diverse ethical approaches to protecting natural resources and whether it is possible to reorient our understanding of our ethical duties to the environment and to foster more sustainable communities.
  • The Role of Western Journalism in Relating Difficult Stories – discussion by journalists who specialize in relating stories about the ways in which communities or regions address the limits of their landscapes.
  • Species and Habitats in the American West —the current state of the Endangered Species Act and the potential legal methods of maintaining biodiversity such as reform of the Endangered Species Act and ecosystem services.
  • The Urbanizing West—Limits to Water, Limits to Growth —e an appropriate means to better reconcile the apparent disconnect between land-use planning and water planning in water-short areas
  • The Politics of Change and Natural Resources —the 2008 election and how it may affect the future of natural resources law and policy? This discussion will provide perspectives on this critical issue.

In conjunction with the NRLC conference, the Environmental Law Society (ELS) will host the National Association of Environmental Law Societies Regional Event to discuss strategies and approaches for creating more sustainable learning environments with our peers from other law schools.