Public Lands and Endangered Species


Schwabe attorneys help clients develop sustainable strategies to maximize and protect the value of timber, agriculture lands, minerals, grazing permits, port properties and other assets while protecting lands and species.

Aligning the goals of businesses, landowners, communities and governments

Companies involved in developing and using the Pacific Northwest’s rich natural resources face a formidable array of challenges: complex and conflicting federal and state regulatory standards, increased enforcement, public misunderstanding of their objectives and activities, and a growing sense of isolation from the agencies that affect their ability to prosper. Schwabe helps timber, mining, ranching, farming, and sand and gravel companies meet these challenges. We represent clients in all areas of federal and state environmental and natural resources regulation and public land laws, including:

  • Endangered Species Act (ESA)
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and state environmental policy acts
  • Clean Water Act (CWA), Clean Air Act (CAA), and state water and air quality regulations
  • Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA)
  • National Forest Management Act (NFMA) and state forest practices acts

At every step in the permitting process, we work to ensure that rights granted today will withstand future challenges. We also negotiate contracts, agreements and permits with governmental bodies that allow the use and development of public lands.


  • Advise an Oregon mining company on the NEPA process, rights of way through BLM property, and coordination of Oregon laws and federal laws for mining projects.
  • Guided an energy company through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers process, including NEPA, ESA consultation and tribal consultation, and obtained a permit for upgrades to an historical dock.
  • Represent numerous grazing permit holders on BLM and Forest Service lands in permit renewals, modifications and transfers.
  • Guided farmers through the process of obtaining wetlands and water-right permits to build new storage in the Willamette Valley.
  • Defending a coal-transportation company in a dispute involving a denial of a state wetlands permit.
  • Protect grazing permit interests as intervenors in litigation against the Forest Service and BLM.
  • Successfully defended a permit suspension and enforcement through the Forest Service administrative process.
  • Represented a large group of permit holders in comments on an environmental assessment, resulting in significant revisions and improvements to proposed permit renewal terms.
  • Worked with a rural county to protect an RS 2477 road.
  • Advised counties, local organizations and permit holders on coordination and cooperating agency status.
  • Evaluated and provided guidance to a port applicant through the USFWS consultation process on avian species.
  • Represented the applicant in an Oregon spotted frog consultation that resulted in a favorable biological opinion recognizing value of the client’s activity to the frog.
  • Successfully negotiated a significant settlement of Oregon wolf plan amendments.
  • Advised multiple property owners on involvement in a candidate conservation agreement with assurances.
  • Advised permit holders on the impacts of Greater Sage Grouse Resource Management Plan Amendments.

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