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Date(s) - 09/06/2023
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


The Getches-Wilkinson Center, in collaboration with the Wyss Scholars Program, will be hosting a panel of speakers regarding careers in public land law; what they look like and why they matter. The panel aims to highlight the speaker’s work in the public lands, while introducing career paths within the field to CU law students.

Wednesday, September 6
Hybrid (in-person and virtual)
In person: Wolf Law, Room 306
Free lunch provided

A recording of Careers in Public Lands Panel can be view here.

Careers in Public Lands and Why They Matter brings together three legal practitioners in the field of public land law to discuss their own work and how it relates to public land conservation across the American West. Scott Miller (The Wilderness Society’s Southwest Regional Director), Michelle White (Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance Staff Attorney), and Roger Flynn (Western Mining Action Project’s Director) will discuss their efforts to protect and manage public lands, as well as their experiences as professionals. All three are CU alumni, and have carved out careers following their education at CU Law.

In this discussion, the panel will answer three sets of questions. First, who they are and what work they do. Second, what is “public land law” and conservation. Third, how their careers and work tie into the field and its current developments. The overarching goal of the talk is to introduce students to careers in public lands, the issues they work on, and provide insight into how students may pursue their own professional interests.

This discussion arises out of a collaboration between the Getches-Wilkinson Center and the Wyss Foundation. Both organizations support innovative solutions to conservation across the American West and beyond. The Getches-Wilkinson Center regularly convenes thought leaders and practitioners to address the most pressing issues of the day—including public lands, water resources, climate change, energy development, tribal resources and treaty rights, environmental justice, electricity systems, among others. The Wyss Foundation is a private, charitable foundation dedicated to supporting innovative, lasting solutions that improve lives, empower communities, and strengthen connections to the land. The Wyss Scholars Program supports the education of conservation law and policy and the application of that knowledge in careers at land management agencies and nonprofit conservation groups. Together, this event continues the work of both organizations by bringing together leading practitioners and introducing Colorado law students to the field of public land law.

The event is supported by the Colorado Environmental Law Journal and Environmental Law Society. It will be hosted by Adam Fisher, Colorado Law ‘24 and 2024 Wyss Scholar.

Scott Miller has focused on federal public land, natural resources, water, energy and Indian law and policy during his career, including areas such as wildfire, land exchanges, biomass energy, forest restoration and wilderness protection. He has served as a Visiting Scholar at the University of Colorado School of Law, as Senior Counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, as an Honors Program attorney and Attorney-Advisor in the Office of the Solicitor in the Department of the Interior, and as a Biological Technician for the National Marine Fisheries Service. Scott earned his juris doctor from the University of Colorado School of Law and a B.S. in Biology from Vanderbilt University.

Michelle White is a staff attorney at the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance where her work focuses on issues in public lands including RS 2477 disputes and litigation arising under the Antiquities Act. She graduated from University of Colorado School of Law, where she interned with the Natural Resources Defense Council and United States Department of the Interior. After school, she worked as the Getches-Wyss Fellow at the Getches-Wilkinson Center, before beginning her current position with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.

Roger Flynn is the founding Director of the non-profit law center, Western Mining Action Project, representing public interests on mining issues in the West since 1993. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Colorado School of Law, teaching courses in Natural Resources Law and Mining and Mineral Development Law since 2002. He was formerly staff attorney with the Environmental Defense Fund and the Land and Water Fund of the Rockies, specializing in mining, public lands, and western water law. Roger was a lead negotiator for the Colorado environmental community behind passage of the Colorado Mining Reform Act of 1993. Roger received his J.D. from the University of Colorado Law School in 1991, where he was a founding member and staff editor for the Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law and Policy. He earned his B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University in 1984.