State Bar Hosts Another Outstanding Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite
Many of the nation’s top environmental officials, lawyers, and other professionals converged this past weekend in Yosemite to take part in the California State Bar’s Environmental Law Conference. The Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite is nationally recognized as the largest and most prestigious gathering in California of leaders in environmental, land use, and natural resources law. BLG sponsored and attended the outstanding event.
This year’s event featured an exciting line-up of speakers including California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Matthew Rodriquez, Mayor of Fresno Ashley Swearengin, Professor Manual Pastor, Professor Jody Freeman, Professor Richard Lazarus, photographer James Balog, and many others. James Balog gave a fascinating and inspired presentation on the impacts of climate change punctuated by his impactful time-lapse images of glaciers disappearing at an alarming rate. In addition, the Environmental Law Section presented its second annual Lifetime Achievement Award to E. Clement (Clem) Shute, Jr., a leading practitioner and innovator who has been instrumental in shaping substantive law and the culture of the environmental legal community in California for over five decades.
The conference featured numerous panels of leaders in the environmental field discussing and engaging the audiences in hot topics in environmental law, such as California’s attempt to manage its shrinking groundwater resources under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan, and recent developments in the U.S. Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and California Supreme Court. Other panel discussions addressed cutting edge issues such as the trend toward extender producer responsibility (a concept intended to minimize the total environmental impact of a product by making the product manufacturer responsible for its entire life cycle), the growth of rooftop solar, the impacts of wind turbines on birds, and environmental justice issues.
Against the backdrop of the awe-inspiring beauty of the Yosemite Valley, the Environmental Law Conference was an undeniable success. BLG was honored and privileged to be part of this wonderful event and looks forward to participating in next year’s conference.