Elizabeth E. Howard


Elizabeth works with companies and individuals to navigate complex natural resource and environmental regulations and to obtain permits and authorizations. She also defends and resolves enforcement and regulatory actions from environmental and natural resources agencies in Oregon. Elizabeth is particularly experienced in the areas of water; wetlands; endangered, threatened and sensitive species; Confined Animal Feeding Operations; fertilizers and pesticides; and public and federal lands.

Elizabeth has a strong focus on natural resources, agriculture, and commercial and residential development. Because of her time working within these industries, she is regarded as a trusted legal advisor, guiding clients through all aspects of their operations and business activities including transactions, contracts, and agreements. 

Elizabeth works with landowners, developers, investors, farms, ranches, dairies, energy development companies, timberland owners, ports, and cities throughout Oregon and Washington.


"Elizabeth Howard was recommended as someone who understood the ‎cattle rancher's perspective. She does."

-Maurer Ranch



  • Assisted applicants in obtaining water rights (storage, groundwater, surface water), transfers, permit amendments and extensions, groundwater modifications, and other authorizations from and agreements with the Oregon Water Resources Department.
  • Assisted in obtaining Oregon state removal/fill permits, Section 404 (Army Corps of Engineers) permits, Section 401 state water quality certifications, Mutual Order and Agreements, and fish passage authorizations.
  • Defended and resolved enforcement actions issued by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Department of State Lands, Department of Agriculture, Department of Water Resources, and Department of Forestry.
  • Coordinated and led consultant, engineer, public relations, and attorney teams to timely complete complex projects and to defend against state regulatory actions. 
  • Provided water rights due diligence, environmental due diligence, and public lands rights of way (access) due diligence and advice for developments, real estate transactions, asset purchases, and mergers and acquisitions.
  • Assisted landowners and entities in developing federal and state legislative concepts. Participated in rulemaking and legislative work groups.
  • Represented applicants in contested cases before the Oregon Administrative Hearings Office. 
  • Resolved fish damage and water quality impact claims (civil and administrative) exceeding $50 million through a negotiated settlement with multiple state and federal agencies.
  • Resolved public land trespass notices and enforcement actions related to fires, grazing, and access. 
  • Resolved, through stipulated agreement and mutual order and agreement, various Oregon Department of Agriculture claims related to pesticide labeling, use, and applications.
  • Mediated grazing permit enforcement actions and restored grazing activity on U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands.
  • Defended high profile enforcement and termination actions for individual CAFO permit issued to Oregon dairy and later held by bankruptcy trustee.‎
  • Defended and settled reforestation and harvest violations issued by the Oregon Department of ‎Forestry.‎
  • Assisted in development of Biological Assessments and Biological Evaluations, and obtaining Biological Opinions.

Memberships & Awards


  • Oregon State Bar, Agricultural Law Section, Former Chair
  • Oregon State Bar, Environmental & Natural Resources Law Section, Member
  • Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, Member
  • Oregon Farm Bureau, Member
  • Oregon Dairy Farmers’ Association, Member
  • Washington Cattlemen’s Association, Member
  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Member
  • Oregon Forest Industry Council, Legal Committee member
  • American Forest Resource Council, Member


  • Ranked for Environment Lawyers in Oregon, Chambers USA (2021-2022)
  • Best Lawyers in America award, Lawyer of the Year, Portland Water Law (2022)
  • Best Lawyers in America award, Water Law (2012-2022)
  • Oregon State University, College of Agricultural Sciences Alumni Luminary award (2011)
  • Oregon Super Lawyers, Rising Star in Environmental Law award (2008-2012, 2015)
  • Portland Business Journal, Forty Under 40 award (2009)
  • U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers, “Law Firm of the Year” in Timber Law, Team Member (2015 and 2018)
  • U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers, National Tier 1 Firm in Timber Law, Team Member (2015-2018)

Resources & Ideas


Seminars & Speaking Engagements


Community Activities

Community Activities

  • Village Baptist Church, Leadership Team
  • Western Resources Legal Center, Board Member (2005-2012)




Oregon State Courts

Washington State Courts

North Dakota State Courts

United States Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

United States District Court, District of Oregon

United States Supreme Court

Outside The Office