5th Annual Carver Colloquium


5th Annual Carver Colloquium
State Control of Federal Lands: Legal or Not?
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Room 165
6:00pm – 8:30pm

The Carver Colloquium is an annual event hosted by the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute and Jan Laitos, the John A. Carver, Jr. Chair at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and presented in partnership with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Held each fall term, the Colloquium features two leading legal or planning scholars from the land use, environmental and natural resources law fields. The Colloquium presents divergent or alternative viewpoints on cutting-edge issues in these fields in a point-counterpoint format.

Can the West be on “equal footing” with Eastern states when the federal government owns almost half of all the land in the Rocky Mountain West compared to less than 5% of New England states? Federal ownership of public lands has been a hotly debated topic in the West, long before the Sagebrush Rebellion of the 1970s and 80s first brought it national attention. Now the issue is back in the news — and in legislatures and courts — across the West.

Those in favor of transferring public lands to the states believe that Western states will never be fully sovereign until they control their extensive public lands and the resources they contain. They believe that the federal government is out of touch with Western concerns and its management of public lands frustrates Western development.

Those opposed to transferring the public lands to the states argue that the states don’t have the resources necessary to properly manage these holdings. This financial burden has led many to speculate that states would sell off large swaths of public land to private entities for development, forever removing it from public access. They believe that federal management of Western public lands for all Americans benefits all of us.

At the heart of the issue, however, is whether states have any legal claim to these lands. Despite several attempts to pass legislation in the past, the federal government has retained control. This year’s Carver Colloquium focuses on whether current efforts to transfer control to the states can succeed.


Professor Fred CheeverFederico Cheever
Professor of Law
University of Denver Sturm College of Law
Federico Cheever is Professor of Law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. He came to Denver as an Associate Attorney for the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund in 1987, and began teaching at the University of Denver College of Law in 1993, specializing in environmental law, wildlife law, public land law, land conservation transactions and property, and served as the Hughes/Rudd Research Professor at the University of Denver College of Law in 2002. Professor Cheever writes extensively about the Endangered Species Act, federal public land law and land conservation transactions. He has recently co-authored a natural resources casebook, Natural Resources Law: A Place-Based Book of Problems and Cases, with Christine Klein and Bret Birdsong.





William Perry PendleyWilliam Perry Pendley
Mountain States Legal Foundation
William Perry Pendley is president of Mountain States Legal Foundation. He has argued cases before federal courts of appeals and the Supreme Court of the United States. Time called his victory at the Supreme Court in the historic Adarand (equal protection) case a “legal earthquake.” His monthly column, Summary Judgment, appears throughout the country and he is the author of four books: It Takes A Hero (1994); War on the West (1995); Warriors for the West (2006); and Sagebrush Rebel (2013). He was a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps, served as an attorney on both sides of Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and was a political appointee in the Reagan administration. He holds three degrees from the George Washington University and the University of Wyoming.





Professor Jan LaitosModerator: Jan Laitos
John A. Carver, Jr. Chair
University of Denver Sturm College of Law
Jan Laitos holds the John A. Carver Jr. Chair at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. He is a Reporter for the Planning and Environmental Law Review; a regional board member of the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute; and Trustee of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law foundation. He was Vice Chair of the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission. In 1996, he was given the University of Denver’s distinguished Teaching Award, and in 2005, he was selected a “DU Law Star.” He has worked as a consultant on several cases decided by the 9th Circuit Court of Federal appeals, the Montana Supreme Court, the Nevada Supreme Court, the Idaho Supreme court, and the Colorado Supreme Court, and on several petitions before the United States Supreme Court.




4th Annual Carver Colloquium
Fracking Bans & Setbacks: An Unconstitutional Takings?
Click Here to View a Video Presentation of This Event

A Takings is the seizure of private property or a substantial deprivation of the right to its free use that is caused by government action. This year’s event will debate the issue of whether or not proposed fracking bans and setbacks constitute a takings.

3rd Annual Carver Colloquium—The Colorado Compact: Effective or Obsolete?
Click Here to View a Video Presentation of This Event

Negotiated almost a century ago, the Colorado River Compact allocates water supply among many of the western states, but it may be outdated. The Compact overestimated the amount of water available from the Colorado River, seeming to benefit Arizona, Nevada, and California at the expense of Upper Basin states like Colorado, and failed to anticipate current and future demands on the River that have been exacerbated by climate change. Is the Compact still relevant or should we throw it out and start over?

January 2013: Local Regulation of Oil & Gas Production
Click Here to View a Video Presentation of This Event

The 2013 Carver Colloquium featured a debate between UCLA Professor Robert Freilich and Dan Domenico, the Colorado Solicitor General. The Colloquium focused on the challenges facing local governments regarding oil and gas drilling and production in their communities, in light of the traditionally dominant regulatory role played by state authorities, such as the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission.

October 2011: The Governance of Renewable Energy Transmission
The 2011 Carver Colloquium featured former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. and Robin Kundis Craig, Associate Dean of the Florida State University College of Law, who presented two models of governance to overcome this challenges of energy transmission.

The Carver Colloquium is presented by:
University of Denver Sturm College of Law Logo RMLUI Logo 
Lincoln Institute of Land Policy

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