Natural Resources Section
About the Section
The Natural Resources Section represents virtually every major federal agency in federal district court, the Court of Federal Claims, and State courts throughout the country in litigation concerning novel and complex issues arising under more than 80 natural resource, environmental, and cultural resource statutes, various treaties and international agreements, interstate compacts, and congressional referrals.
On any given day, our attorneys could be working on cases involving:
- The stewardship of our national parks, forests, rangelands, wildlife refuges, and offshore resources.
- Vital federal programs ranging from nuclear materials management to military preparedness to national energy policy including renewable energy projects.
- Original actions in the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve boundary and water allocation disputes in the western part of the country.
- Real property claims arising under the Just Compensation Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which cover the full spectrum of governmental activity relating to land use and environmental regulation and involve issues such as military readiness, transportation infrastructure, and flood control.
- The nation's trust relationship with Native Americans and Tribes.
NRS litigates hundreds of cases every year that are brought under the Administrative Procedure Act. These cases involve virtually every federal agency and implicate dozens of statutes involving the use and protection of federal lands and waters, including the National Environmental Policy Act.
NRS litigates water rights nationwide on behalf of the United States, including asserting water right claims in Western States’ water rights adjudications, representing federal agencies with respect to water rights and management issues, commencing affirmative actions, and handling Original Actions in the U.S. Supreme Court along with the Office of the Solicitor General.
NRS represents the United States in all real property claims arising under the Just Compensation Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
NRS represents the United States in suits by Indian Tribes or individual Indians challenging the federal government’s management of Indian lands and resources, as well as litigation involving federal recognition of Indian Tribes and Tribal membership.