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Natural Resources
Representative Experience

We’ve worked across multiple industries, solving complex natural-resource issues for decades. Whether on behalf of an oil and gas company, a forestland owner, commercial fishery, public utility, pipeline, or trade association, we draw on substantive legal, regulatory and technical expertise, combined with a deep understanding of our clients’ business.

  • Represented forest products company in defending against a claim that it had “taken” northern spotted owls in violation of Section 9 of the Endangered Species Act in the management of its forests.
  • Represented timber association as intervenor in defending a suit challenging essentially all of the substantive forest practices rules on the ground that they did not adequately respond to new scientific information about endangered species. Suit dismissed based on our motion.
  • Represented timber association and various public interveners in negotiating a settlement of litigation challenging the sustainable harvest level for Western Washington trust lands and several policies that lifted owl-circle protections for the northern spotted owl on state trust lands and otherwise increased the sustainable harvest level. The settlement restored the sustainable harvest level, lifted the owl circles and sustained the other challenged policies, while at the same time achieving greater protection for the northern spotted owl.
  • Represented trust beneficiaries in challenging the Lake Whatcom Management Plan adopted by the state, which reduces revenues to the trusts by 50% over the 200 years of the plan.
  • Lead counsel for timber association in protecting the “500 acre rule” for the northern spotted owl, that allowed $2 billion worth of private timber to be harvested over the objections of the environmental community and the Department of Wildlife. After the trial court sustained the rule, assisted the WFPA in developing a draft rule for the northern spotted owl based on science that is essentially the rule now in effect.
  • Lead forestry counsel for forest products company in defending a suit for $90+ million in damages and termination of the remaining 45 years of the lease of 212,000 acres of forest land in Louisiana and Mississippi, based on a claim that the client had breached the obligation to be guided by good forestry practice. A four month jury trial resulted in a defense verdict.
  • Lead forestry counsel for forest products company in suit for damages and to terminate a long-term lease of 25,000 acres of forest land based on claimed violation of duty to practice good forestry. Two-week trial on the first phase resulted in a defense verdict, after which the case was favorably settled.
  • Lead counsel for timber association in a suit seeking to apply the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) to all forest practice applications.
  • Counsel for timber association in obtaining dismissal of a suit to invalidate the adaptive management process mandated by the legislature for forest practice regulation.
  • Represented a group of trust beneficiary school districts assembled by the Northwest Forestry Association, challenging DNR's management of the Loomis Forest, in the face of a massive pine beetle epidemic.
  • Represented forest products company in appeal of permit claimed to injure a northern goshawk and pileated woodpecker. The decision held DNR had no authority to condition or deny permits based on threat to wildlife, where the species itself was not threatened by the permit.
  • Settled a series of tribal appeals based on archeological resources (lithic scatter) by negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding that allowed the client to move forward without continual challenges by the tribe.
  • Represented major industrial company in defense of the permit for a dock expansion, issued without preparation of an EIS.
  • Represented a coalition of Washington businesses as amicus curiae seeking reversal of the District Court's declaratory judgment that tribes had a treaty right to control or veto development that would tend to damage fish runs for which the tribes had treaty fishing rights.
  • Represented the City of Bellevue in claims by landowners at the base of Coal Creek that the City had violated the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act and committed nuisance and trespass as a result of sedimentation caused by the combination of urban storm water and historic coal mining along Coal Creek. Case settled to satisfaction of all parties.
  • Counsel for municipal port in recovering the cost of cleaning up Commencement Bay from its insurers.
  • Represent timber association on a variety of matters with potential for significant impact on state and federal public land management plans and decisions, including appearances in agency proceedings, and administrative adjudicative proceedings, including before the Pollution Control Hearings Board, and state and federal court.
  • Represent and advise timberland owners on a variety of matters, including litigation, regulatory compliance questions, enforcement actions, and purchase and sale agreements.

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