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Three Schwabe Attorneys with Arizona Ties Serve Natural Resource Users

September 4, 2018


Three Schwabe lawyers have been working to benefit natural resource users, including timber operators, cattle growers, farmers, dairy producers and miners.

Joe Willis, Kirk Johansen and Sarah Lawson are serving on the Natural Resource Law and Policy Center’s (NRULPC) Advisory Task Force.  The NRULPC is a fairly new effort co-sponsored by the College of Law and College of Life Sciences and Extension Service at the University of Arizona.

Sarah practices Indian law with special focus on tribal land and natural resource management. Sarah lived in Tucson prior to moving to the Pacific Northwest, and she remains an active member of the Arizona State Bar.  Sarah is also admitted to practice with the Navajo Nation and the Tohono O’Odham Nation and is an enrolled member of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska.  She presented a continuing legal education seminar in Tucson for the Arizona Bar’s Indian Law and Tax Sections titled “Taxation on Indian Trust Land.”  

Kirk spends winters in Scottsdale and serves as the Chair of the NRULPC’s Forest Products Industry Steering Committee.  Kirk recently spent two days in Tucson working with Professor John Lacy and a team from the Idaho Forest Group putting together an online program for undergraduate and law students on forest products aspects of federal land management. 

Joe, who spends winters in Tucson, is serving as the President of the Advisory Task Force and just finished teaching the NRULPC-sponsored first course in agricultural and natural resource regulatory law.  It is a survey course for undergraduates interested in going on to law school and/or into a natural resource career.  The curriculum and delivery are designed to present the array of regulatory laws and regulations from the point of view of the owners and users of the resources.  It covered an overview of the constitutional and regulatory Administrative Procedure Act provisions in general and more specifically as they apply to the use of public and private lands, animal welfare, food safety, organic food production, Endangered Species Act, NEPA, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, CERCLA, and water law.  Joe’s background in takings law serves to provide a good grounding in that area.

For more information on NRULPC and its activities and updates, go to


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