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UM News
March 27, 2013


The deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior and legal experts from around the country will converge at The University of Montana School of Law to discuss energy policy on public lands during the 35th Public Land Law Symposium and the 41st National Spring Conference on the Environment on Wednesday and Thursday, April 17-18.

The conferences will focus on the theme “Balancing Act and Paradigm Shift: The Role of Public Lands in America’s Energy Future.” The events will be hosted by the Public Land & Resources Law Review, the UM School of Law and the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy and Resources.

The conferences will be held in conjunction for the first time and will feature discussions on the role of America’s three major sources of public lands and resources: river systems, lands and oceans.

The symposium will address the opportunities and challenges facing public lands and public resources as national energy needs change, and also how energy development using these resources can be balanced with conservation, preservation and cultural objectives.

Keynote speaker Joseph Hovenkotter, attorney for Energy Keepers Inc., the tribally owned corporation purchasing the Kerr Dam for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes, will kick off the event April at noon with a lecture titled “Transfer of the Kerr Dam to Tribal Ownership: A Story 85 Years in the Making.”

Additional speakers will include U.S. Department of the Interior Deputy Secretary David Hayes, who also will deliver a keynote address; Eric Eberhard, distinguished Indian law practitioner-in-residence at the Seattle University School of Law; and many other law professors and attorneys from several states.

Registration for the conferences is free, but those attending to receive continuing legal education credits must pay $195, which includes tuition, course materials and the credits. Breakfast is complimentary and lunch is available for $20 for those who pre-register. The registration deadline is Monday, April 1, and registrations received after April 1 will include a $25 processing fee. Registration is available online at

For more information and a full schedule of events call UM Public Land & Resources Law Review Editor-in-Chief  Dustin Leftridge at 406-210-3653, email or visit the conference website at



Western Montana


Contact: Dustin Leftridge, editor-in-chief, Public Land and Resources Law Review, 406-210-3653,