It’s been a busy Spring for ELS! On March 24, UCLA Law School hosted our annual Law Student Negotiation Competition. We had 7 schools and 10 teams. First Place was UCLA School of Law, Samantha Yeager & Emmett Barnes; Second Place was Chapman University, Shehzaib Rahim & Paula Dizon. But everyone was a winner who participated because the day was a lot of fun and very educational. Next year’s competition will be held in the Bay Area in March, so keep an eye out for the applications!
On April 7, ELS, CARB, the CPUC, and the California Environmental Law & Policy Center at UC Davis collaborated to create an A-list all-day conference at UC Davis on “Confronting Climate Change: In California and Beyond.” Our key note speaker was none other than Yana Garcia, Secretary for Environmental Protection in California. Other speakers represented the California PUC, California-China Climate Institute, Dream.org, Center for Biological Diversity, CA DOJ, California Energy Commission, CalSTART, and FEMA. The day was a good warm-up for our impending three days in Yosemite coming up October 19-22.
You won’t want to miss this year’s Yosemite conference. I’d like to thank all of the individuals and organizations that submitted panel topic ideas for Yosemite between last November and January (note this time period for next year if you did not get your ideas to us in time). We have made our selections! We have lined up amazing speakers, including California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye, Former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbit, and Author/Professor on Public Trust John Leshy, among many others. The Yosemite panels will be diverse and wide ranging on hot topics such as PFAS, SGMA, Indigenous Communities, Environmental Justice, Energy Storage, as well as a tribute to the 50 years of the Endangered Species Act, and much more. Don’t worry, old favorites like the Legislative Update, CEQA Update, and Supreme Court Update will still be there, too. As we do every year, we will have many outdoor activities to choose from, an entertaining speaker at dinner Saturday, and the famous dessert and dancing party. We are planning a few new fun activities this year, too. Don’t miss it. Quick reminder to law students – scholarship applications for Yosemite are due June 5. Also, to potential sponsors including law firms, organizations, and consultants, it is not too late to be a Yosemite conference sponsor; please contact me or CLA.
Between now and Yosemite, we will present several new 101s (to get you ready), including Forestry 101, Land Use 101, and PFAS/drinking water 101. Look for the 101s to be available on YouTube in June, July/August, and September. We also have two webinars coming up, Jose Gonzales from Vamos Outdoors on May 15th, and State and Local Authority Over Residential Natural Gas After CRA v. Berkeley (date not yet set). There is much more happening behind the scenes, but I wanted to thank all of the volunteers and CLA Staff who worked on the programs thus far, as well as thank all of YOU for participating and making the programs a big success. I hope you enjoyed (and will enjoy) them as much as I have (and will)!
Chair, Environmental Law Section