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Law journal symposium will explore future of grasslands

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

LAWRENCE — Grasslands play a crucial role in our planet’s ecological, social and economic health, but environmental degradation threatens this fragile ecosystem. Policymakers must balance agricultural development with conservation efforts to ensure that this precious resource remains for future generations.

Legal scholars and environmental advocates will gather in Lawrence this week to discuss these themes at the Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy’s annual symposium. “Grasslands: Balancing Preservation and Agriculture in the World’s Most Imperiled Ecosystem” will run from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, at the University of Kansas School of Law.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Register and preview the complete schedule online.

“Both worldwide and here in Kansas, prairies and grasslands play a crucial role in the health not only of humans but of countless other species,” said John Head, professor of law and a panelist at this year’s symposium. “For soil conservation, biological diversity, animal habitat, recreation and carbon sequestration, grasslands are irreplaceable. Unfortunately, they have been deeply degraded, so drawing attention to what protections can be put in place or strengthened is important and timely. This symposium promises to contribute to a worldwide effort aimed at ensuring that such protections are robust, thereby serving the interests of generations to come.”

Environmental law scholar John Nagle will open the symposium with a keynote address on “Restoring the Prairie with the Endangered Species Act,” followed by panels on balancing grassland preservation and agricultural use, and grassland preservation in the management of public and private lands.

Speakers include:

  • Timothy Crews, director of research and lead scientist, Ecology Program, The Land Institute
  • John Davidson, professor emeritus of law, University of South Dakota School of Law
  • Robert Glicksman, J. B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Environmental Law, The George Washington University Law School
  • John Head, Robert W. Wagstaff Distinguished Professor, KU School of Law
  • Ron Klataske, executive director, The Audubon of Kansas
  • John Nagle, John N. Matthews Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame Law
  • Irma Russell, Edward A. Smith/Missouri Chair in Law, The Constitution, and Society, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law
  • Lijuan Xing, assistant professor, City University of Hong Kong School of Law

Scholarship associated with the program will be published in a future issue of the Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy. Contact Symposium Editor Lindsay Schermer at kjlppsymposium@gmail.com for more information.