Environmental Law

Join Us for the (Virtual) Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite®!

The 30th Annual Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite® is taking place virtually next week! Join us Thursday through Sunday, October 14-17, for a range of educational, social, and inspirational events and activities. The conference has something for everyone. Twenty-three panel presentations offering MCLE will take place over four days, with live Q&A included in each session. Following the theme of Looking Back, Looking Forward, panels will explore the latest developments in environmental law, consider how past actions have gotten us to the present moment, and look forward to emerging developments. We are also welcoming extraordinary plenary speakers to the Conference – on Thursday, Janea Scott, Senior Counselor at the U.S. Department of the Interior; on Friday, Dr. Carolyn Finney, author of Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors (our book club selection); on Saturday, Amy Cordalis, Principal, Ridges to Riffles Conservation Fund, and member of the Yurok Tribe; and on Sunday, Justice Ronald Robie of the Third District California Court of Appeal.

We are keeping the Yosemite spirit alive in our virtual format. Join our “outdoor” presentations each afternoon, a fireside chat with our Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Clifford Lee, in-person meet-ups, a book club session with author Dr. Carolyn Finney, and the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, available on demand all weekend. The virtual Pheedloop platform has also been updated to provide improved opportunities to virtually hang out with other attendees. Meet up with others at the Coffee Chat each morning and afternoon, attend the law student reception, or an in-person regional event … Let’s connect!

And, one of the great features of this virtual conference is that all conference registrants will have access to recordings of panels, plenaries, and outdoor presentations for 30 days following the conference.  

Check out the conference schedule and register at this link, and pass on the word to others who may be interested!


Conference events to look forward to:

  • Socializing and networking activities, both virtual and in-person:
    • Virtual activities:
      • Coffee Chats — Daily, morning and afternoon
      • Book Club discussion — Thursday, early evening
      • Law Student Reception — Thursday evening
      • Virtual Trivia and Socializing — Friday evening
    • Regional in-person activities:
      • San Francisco tree tour led by Friends of the Urban Forest — Friday afternoon (contact atorbitt@nixonpeabody.com for details and to RSVP)
      • Sacramento County Bar Association In-Person Cocktail Hour — Friday evening
      • Beach Cleanups in Los Angeles and Alameda — Sunday afternoon
  • Four “Outdoor” presentations by experts from Yosemite National Park and UCLA:
    • After the Fire—How Do Birds and Other Animals Respond to Fire? (Morgan Tingley)
    • Extreme Fishers (Sarah Stock)
    • The View from Sing Peak—Chinese Americans in Yosemite (Yenyen Chan)
    • Merced River Restoration (Catherine Fong)
  • The Wild & Scenic Film FestivalSaturday evening
  • Lifetime Achievement Award and Fireside Chat: Clifford Lee Saturday early evening
  • Four plenary presentations: 
    • Department of the Interior Priorities (Janea Scott)
    • Being Black and Dreaming Green (Dr. Carolyn Finney)
    • (Native) America the Beautiful (Amy Cordalis)
    • CEQA at 50 (Associate Justice Ronald B. Robie) 
  • Twenty-three panels in five subject matter areas, plus cross-disciplinary panels that span multiple areas:
    • Air quality / climate change panels:
      • The Biden Administration – A Breath of Fresh Air?
      • Natural Approaches for Sequestering Carbon
      • Recent Developments Regarding Fine Particulate Matter
      • Engineered Approaches to Limiting Climate-Change Risks
    • Energy panels:
      • The Carbon-Free Electric Grid: Opportunities and Challenges
      • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice before the California Public Utilities Commission
      • Getting to Zero-Emission Transportation by 2035
      • Legal and Policy Mechanisms and Challenges for Addressing California’s Aging Oil and Gas Infrastructure
    • CEQA / land use panels:
      • Neighboring Priorities: Managing the Resource Impacts of Meeting California’s Affordable Housing Shortage
      • Protecting Sacred Ground: How to Identify and Avoid Culturally Sensitive Sites
      • Annual CEQA Update
    • Toxics / waste / chemicals panels:
      • California’s Waste Goals
      • Clean Beauty: Regulation of Toxic Chemicals in Cosmetics and Personal Care Products
      • Silent Seafloor: Addressing the DDT Disaster off the Southern California Coast
    • Water panels:
      • Learning From Our Dry History: Lessons for a Drought-Prone California
      • “If You Build It…”
      • Pandemic Public Financing Fallout—Public Water System Finances and Consumer Debt
    • Cross-disciplinary panels:
      • Legislative Update
      • Environmental Justice: From Advocacy to Action
      • Grappling with the Plastics Waste Crisis
      • Recent Environmental Law Developments in the U.S. Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and California Supreme Court
      • Sustainability Law and Practice
      • Lessons Learned from Environmental Bankruptcy: Challenges and Opportunities

Please join us!

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CLA Membership is $99 and includes one section. Additional sections are $99 each.

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