Today was the first day of classes at Vermont Law School, and I’m teaching Natural Resoucres Law.  I enjoy teaching this course immensely.  Today we identified three key questions: (1) What is a natural resource?; (2) Who should protect natural resources?; and (3) Why should we protect natural resources?  These are three questions that must be answered to create natural resources law and policy.

One of my favorite parts of the first day of class is asking students, what is a natural resource?  Bison? Cattle? Hamburger? Trees? Lumber?  We have strong viewpoints as to what we should protect as natural resources, but we often give less thought to the cultural, social, artistic, religious, and philsophical reasons for labeling some things as ‘natural resources’ and others not, and, therefore, choosing what deserves protection.

(Of note: It’s also my daughter’s first day of Kindergarten.  I think I’m more nervous about Kindergarten than she is!)