University of Arizona Establishes Natural Resource Users Law and Policy Center

Nov. 4, 2015

The University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) Cooperative Extension System are partnering to launch the University of Arizona Natural Resource Users Law and Policy Center (NRULPC), the first of its kind in the nation.
The two units are jointly conducting a nationwide search for the Center director to lead the NRULPC in collaborating with stakeholders, mentoring student clinicians and fellows, and designing and implementing the Center’s structure.
The Center will include a Natural Resource Users Public Interest Law Clinic staffed by law and CALS students to address the currently unmet legal needs of ranchers, farmers, miners and others whose business involves the use of natural resources.
All-American canal in YumaThe businesses the Center will work with — most often run by families, individuals or small entities in Arizona — confront a wide array of legal and regulatory issues including land, environment, tourism, water, employment, trade, food safety and security, and economics. These issues are often difficult to resolve without the advice of private legal counsel, which many natural resource users cannot afford.
“The NRULPC will pair carefully supervised students trained in the law and natural resource use with resource users in Arizona who need legal services and policy advice,” said Marc Miller, dean of the College of Law.
Drawing on the statewide reach of the university’s Cooperative Extension System and other affiliated facilities, the Center will serve clients in multiple locations throughout Arizona.
“The Cooperative Extension System has a long history of bringing University of Arizona expertise to bear on practical issues and problems encountered by citizens of Arizona,” said Jeff Silvertooth, director of UA Cooperative Extension. “This new partnership will allow us to serve even more Arizonans and contribute to the economic development of the state.”
“As Arizona’s flagship and land-grant university, located in the region that is home to the vast majority of the country’s public lands, the University of Arizona is ideally positioned to host this Center,” said CALS Dean Shane Burgess. “I am thrilled that this new center will highlight the bright future our students can have by following their CALS degrees with a professional degree from the College of Law. This collaboration is a huge opportunity for CALS.”
“I am very excited about the development of this center,” said Richard Morrison, attorney, Salmon, Lewis and Weldon PLC. “Having represented agricultural interests all of my career, I know there have never been enough agricultural lawyers and there has always been an issue of affordability. I believe this clinic can provide the solution.”
Arizona rancher, Andy Groseta, owner of Groseta Ranches, said that in addition to giving students new educational and career opportunities, the Center will provide a much needed service.
“The NRULPC will train aspiring attorneys to help natural resource users navigate a complex legal landscape and also reach resolutions in bureaucratic and administrative matters,” said Groseta. “I am very pleased that the UA is stepping up to the plate in being a nationally recognized leader to provide legal and policy solutions for natural resource use not only in Arizona but throughout the nation.”

Photo of the All-American Canal near Yuma, Arizona by Lynn Ketchum


Media Contact:
Tracy Mueller
Assistant Dean, External Communications and Marketing
James E. Rogers College of Law