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The Rule of Capture Conference

Date: April 7, 2005 Location: Council Chamber, Templeton Campus Center

Council Chamber, Templeton Campus Center

Templeton Student Center and Albany Quadrangle

In English common law, the “rule of capture” allowed people to capture and possess wild animals wherever found, regardless of whose land the animals originally occupied. Translated into the law of underground resources, the capture rule became known as “the law of the biggest pump” because the biggest users of underground resources (such as water or oil) received the largest share of the resource without regard to equitable principles of allocation. Although in some areas of the law the doctrine has been limited or abolished, it remains an active doctrine in other areas.

In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark expedition, which opened the West up to pioneers and their subsequent exploitation of natural resources, Lewis & Clark Law School presents a conference examining the role of the “rule of capture” in American environmental and natural resources law.

Expert speakers from around the country, both law professors and historians, will examine the effects of the rule and draw lessons for the future in topic areas as water rights and allocation, oil and gas, wild animals and state ownership, and economic analysis. Confirmed speakers to date include Lewis & Clark Law School Dean Jim Huffman and Law Professors Michael Blumm and Janet Neuman, University of Oklahoma Law Professor Owen Anderson, University of Arizona Law Professor Robert Glennon, University of Idaho Law Professor Dale Goble, University of Pennsylvania Law Professor Jason Johnston, and noted Lewis & Clark historian and Pamplin Professor of History Stephen Dow Beckham.

For more information, contact Lin Harmon-Walker, Assistant Director, Environmental & Natural Resources Law Program, 503 768-6882. Register through the Oregon Law Institute at 503-768-6580, 800-222-8213, or

For further information about Bicentennial Programs, please consult http://www.thejourneycontinues. org

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