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F&ES 851 01 (24022)  
Local Environmental Law and Land-Use Practices
Roy Lee
Th 9.00-11.50 KRN G01
Spring 2014 
 
This course explores the regulation by local governments of land uses in watershed areas and the effect of development on the natural environment. The course helps students understand, in a practical way, how the environment can be protected through effective regulation at the local level. It introduces students to federal, state, and regional laws and programs that affect watershed protection and to the laws that delegate to local governments primary responsibility for decision making in the land-use field. Theories of federalism, regionalism, states’ rights, and localism are studied. The history of the delegation of planning and land-use authority to local governments is traced, leading to an examination of local land-use practices particularly as they relate to controlling development in and around watershed areas. Course participants engage in empirical research working to identify, catalogue, and evaluate innovative local laws that successfully protect environmental functions and natural resources. Nearby watersheds are used as a context for the students’ understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of local planning and regulation. Attention is paid, in detail, to how the development of the land adversely affects natural resources and how these impacts can be mitigated through local environmental regulations.